Saturday, April 6, 2013

SPAM #2 - I'll Be Dam

Special Packraft Adventurer Map #2 - Between the dams

When I'm out looking around all I find is more places to boat in the metro that with a hard boat would be a gigantic pain in the calf, from carrying a 45 pound boat up and down a cliff. With a packable boat it's just a matter of walking down a high angle goat trail to an absolutely gross river.

The spring runoff is rinsing all the trash people allow to escape waste management services into the river so it's totally nasty with trash. Look along the side of the road and then to the photo in the last post about how it drains directly to the rivers to understand just how bad it it/was.

Below is one of the Trash Shoots. This is one of many we see in the few miles we paddled last weekend (I'm about three adventures behind) between the dams of the Mississippi.

Above Right: I'm covering my headlamp so I don't blind the camera. This drain is only about 4 inches deep so we have to bail out or walk and we don't have rubber boots and there is no way we want to get any of the colloidal suspension that is the river on us.

I think this is another trash shoot.

We come across some large anchors. Obviously they are bollards for mooring something but what and why are they in the middle of the river and at the water line when the river isn't even high?

After some time working my way back into time I figure it out! Look at the pictures and I'll tell you in a minute.

This is a lock and dam that has been lost to time! It's the old Meeker Island Lock and Dam. I'm so going to go back and look at this now that I know what it is, oh, rats, the trash. It would be a sewer dive.

We make our way up stream and up wind to this Pacific RR Short Line Bridge. It's a treat to see from below and up close. The age (1880) and stone work (1902 upgrade) is impressive thinking that stone cutters had to stand in a coffer dam to set stones below water level and presumably into the sandstone 'bedrock' below to anchor it in place. They must have done a great job for it to be so true over the years.

We loop the large stone footings and take a rest. We allow the prevailing wind and current to take us downstream to the exit. We drift, have a snack and enjoy the sun although it's still very cool out.

The experienced reader will notice that I didn't bring a bike and am trying out a dry bag of gear. The light weight gear loads well but without the bow weight it doesn't track as well into the wind.

This is the reclined seating that the packraft allows and the plastic kayak does not. I really enjoy this feature.

Landing is clean and dry footed. A quick pack and a slippery hike up a steep trail to the car and we are done.

We launch between dams, find a lock and dam in a river full of trash, and I have a good time, I'll be dammed.

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