Monday, July 25, 2016

Shoal Creek, TN

Andrea has not paddled down a creek before, so we decided to go back to Shoal Creek at Iron City, TN and do the 8 mile trip on kayaks this weekend.

There are several reasons we chose Shoal Creek: their rates are really good, they are less than 2 hours away, they have lots of info on their website and they take you right to the creek and leave.  Then when you are done, they come down and get the boats, the whole time on the creek is all up to you.

The water was a little low, but we only had to drag our kayaks once at the very start of the trip.  Every other time I got stuck was because I paddled into shallow water.  Chandler pulled me out once, Matt the second time and Ben rammed me off a rock the last time.  So, yay family!

We got on the water around 10:15 and got back to the cars at 2:30, we stopped to play in the water 3-4 different times.

When the trip (we did Factory Creek to Iron City) you pass lots of houses and camps set up along the creek,  After about a mile, maybe 2, the banks get more steep and the creek is flanked by fields and woods.  There are rocky beaches and deep spots to pull over and take a dip.  We all got out to swim in one spot and there were gar EVERYWHERE.  We got back in and kept going!

The banks are dotted with turtles on logs, heron, dragonflies and butterflies that dive bomb at hats or heads, I was fluttered into more than once.  In the reeds are tadpoles and bullfrogs occasionally let loose with a 'bonk' that sounds like a banjo string badly out of tune.  Floating on your back, you can hear the clink of rocks as the current moves them along the creekbed.  Flashes of tiny silver fish, splashes from bigger fish out hunting, the stillness of gar in the dappled shade, it's a lovely way to spend a day!

Andrea is pretty sure she's a professional kayaker now.

I kept putting the camera in the water to see if I could get any fish.  There's one!

Caitlyn, Andrea's daughter, came too!

Another fish!

The water was surprisingly cold, I enjoyed our stops to take a dip.
I am not sure what's going on here, looks like the guys are staring off upstream while Chandler dramatically drowns.

Lots of these, we think baby dragonfly

Another one I have no idea what's going on, and I just took it yesterday.
Ben is pushing his 'yak upstream and Chandler is in the background looking for life sustaining grubs on that tiny island.  Where is her kayak?  hahaha!

Well, she found it.

Several heron sightings

The kids are really ready for some 'bigger' water, I am looking at a trip with some technical spots, like whitewater lite. 

Whew, barely made it through the riffles!

I was thrilled with my corkscrew pigtails.

And a couple quick shots from our sunset swim last week:

Matt had a 4 day weekend, he took Thursday off after a late night gig Wednesday.
We lazed around mostly, but managed to get in about 10 miles of walking and a minor grocery shopping trip.

Chan will likely be starting work full time in the next couple of weeks, so she and Ben are off to stay with Phoenix for a few days on an extended sleepover.  I am hoping to squeeze in one more trip with her next week, I knew August was the plan, but it got here so fast.

About Me

Unschooling mama from the start with 2014, 2016 and 2018 graduation dates. I enjoy camping, reading, swimming, hiking and photography.