Paddling question

1:11 p.m. on February 22, 2010 (EST)
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We're moving to a new place that's within walking distance of a nice put-in/take-put spot on the Yadkin River Trail. As near as I can tell, the nearest put-in point upstream is about 11.5 miles.

Does that sound like a distance a rookie could do in one day (downstream of course)? The river's all Class 1 with no rapids and moves pretty slowly.

1:51 p.m. on February 22, 2010 (EST)
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I've been canoeing (not kayaking) a few times at distances over 12 miles and it never took more than a few hours to complete the trip with a stop for lunch. Bring a lunch, the 10 essentials, and a life vest and go for it.

7:13 p.m. on February 22, 2010 (EST)
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Get local knowledge. It would be a nice 2-4 hour trip unless you need a chainsaw to clear deadfall. Be sure you have some rope along, at least 20 feet. Also water proof bags can save a camera and lunch and wallet and keys, but car keys should be attached to you and dry bags are best tied to the canoe also. You might want your wallet to be in your zipped pocket in a sandwich bag. The keys you simply hook through your pierced belly button.

Have fun. If you have a klutz in the boat, pull in and hold on and be in a stable place before they try turning around on their set. That's the only time I ever flipped, my turned around in the middle of a lake. Its a drag trying to get back in, even without a current.

Jim S

11:06 p.m. on February 22, 2010 (EST)
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Is this 11.5 miles on the river or on the road between the two points? I'm not familiar with the Yadkin River, but in my experience here in Michigan the river mileage is often twice as long as the road mileage between two points. Your 12-mile drive might become a 24-mile paddle.

11.5 river miles with moderate current is a good day trip for a novices in a tandem canoe, with moderate paddling and several stops. In a kayak, with a double blade, it could take far less time.

Other variables include the time of year, whether there are any dams to portage, and, as Jim suggested, whether the winter's deadfalls have been cleared.

Also as Jim suggested, with a klutz in the boat the situation is entirely differrent.

7:13 p.m. on February 23, 2010 (EST)
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Upper Yadkin? The further south you go, the slower the river will run. Check water levels too. I've drug many a canoe across NC river rocks. Better than not paddling though. I wonder if I could put in up in the NC mountains and padlle it all the way to the SC coast. Then, cut back up the intercoastal to North Myrtle and take out less than a mile from home. Only take 5,000 portages and then a butt transplant afterwards. And not being eaten by a 6 foot catfish crossing Badin Lake. Or a gator in Georgetown County.

12:15 p.m. on February 24, 2010 (EST)
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Local Knowledge will be your best bet to find out if it's clear all the way through. If it has enough draught and flow all the way down then 12 miles would make a nice full day of relaxing floating & paddling. There are a several small rivers that I know of in the southeast that make for a nice afternoon paddle if the water is up but a hellacious slog through brush, logs, and mud if the water is low. There are still others that have lovely stretches, yet have sections where the water spreads out into rocky flats or a maze of brush filled bogs that are nearly impassable.

A very capable and experienced friend of mine took some friends on a trip down a river. He knew the lower section of the river well, but decided to explore the upper, not knowing that it had one of those nasty sections where the flow virtually disappears...for miles. Long story short, what was supposed to be a half-day paddle turned into a two-day, "where the hell is that banjo music coming from??" experience that involved the party getting separated, and a night spent on a rock in the middle of the river.

Fun times ;)

(BTW all the maps show that river clear all the way through, so we also learned not to trust a map to tell you if a river is passable or not)

12:26 p.m. on February 24, 2010 (EST)
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The Yadkin has an official "river trail" and an association governing it, so I'll check with them before I do anything crazy.

Somebody asked about the distance: if you go into google maps and create a google map (you have to have a google account), one of the editing tools is a line you can draw across the map; it tells how long the line is, and you can use this to get a pretty good distance estimate. That's where I came up with the 11.5 miles.

12:57 p.m. on March 20, 2010 (EDT)
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have you gone down the river yet?

We have a "wild and scenic" river flowing into town from the glaciers above us. Is fairly steep and swift but not real big, probably a bottom scraper lots of places and there are many spots along it where you would have to quickly beach and jump and then portage 50 feet. It averages 15 feet wide and goes into some narrow shoots. It was 16 degrees here again last night, so I think I'll wait another month, but then I'm gonna put in about 4 miles above town and run it in my 12 foot canoe.

Jim S

12:00 p.m. on March 21, 2010 (EDT)
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Haven't gotten out on this one yet -- in any case it's nothing like the wild rivers in your neighborhood. It moves slowly enough to get nice reflection shots with a camera.

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