Sunday, May 10, 2009

Along the Trail: It's Going to Be Nasty

The rain keeps falling and the river is still over much of the trail, though it has receded a couple of feet in the last few days, starting to expose the mud and debris that promise to create hazards and foul drive trains for weeks to come! The fine silt makes for sticky, slimy mud followed by transition to clinging dust that it will be with us for a while if experience holds true.

I went boating Saturday at The Cossatot River, helping with a "First Timers" run. It's an annual event intended to help whitewater paddlers take a step up in difficulty from the likes of the Big Piney and the Mulberry, while being shepherded by a crew of experienced boaters. It's always good to be in my boat, though the planned group trip was cut short by a storm as we reached Cossatot Falls. My partner and I had to seek shelter at a deer camp after we decided at the Falls that our best bet was to press on downstream to the truck. Nothing like a cataclysmic storm to liven up the boating!

Anyway, I was eager to ride on Sunday and jumped at a small window around midday. I rode from the Little Rock side of the BDB as I thought that would be my best bet for dry pavement and it worked out OK, though there were still stretches covered with run-off and some puddles.
Cook's landing remains accessible and I rode a short distance down Isabella Jo Trail before being halted by a stream of water draining from the woods across the trail into Campbell Lake. I stood there for awhile just watching fish moving back and forth across the trail as if they couldn't decide where they wanted to be when the water goes down, leaving them stuck with their choices. More likely, the big fish were thinking about eating the little fish and the little fish were trying to be anywhere besides in a big fish belly!

The trail is going to be a mess as the water recedes, so be on the lookout for slick mud, new potholes, big ol' snakes anything else that can come out of the river!

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