Pictures: Withlacoochee River and Sabal Trail @ US 84 2015-08-28

A paddle so brief we went past and had to float back WWALS at the proposed Sabal Trail pipeline crossing 30.7955398, -83.4526749 down the Withlacoochee River to where the Sabal Trail pipeline proposes to cross.

Winnie Wright of WCTV interviewed us at the US 84 bridge median while we were preparing to put in; don’t know if it aired.

Update 2015-08-28: WCTV story online.

See previous post for pictures of the put-in. It has everything: steep rocks, thorny Smilax vines, poison ivy, and wasp stings! Yes, this is one of the access points on the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail WWALS is developing.

Heading upstream Yes, we are looking for an easier access point. We have some leads, but if you have access or ideas, let us know.

Meanwhile, once you get past the rocks in the river right at the put-in, it’s easy paddling upstream, even though the water level according to the nearby USGS US 84 gage was about 1.8 feet.

On the rocks 30.7947578, -83.4529342

On the rocks 30.7947578, -83.4529342 There were some remarks about we could have used more water. Naturally rain the very next day shot the water level up to 4.5 feet Saturday and 5 feet Sunday. But Friday there was getting out and pulling boats up on these rocks upstream. One of our party capsized and lost her shoe. She will remain nameless, at least until we give her the Best Sport award for being cheerful throughout. And she found her shoe as we went back downstream.

Moss 30.7959785, -83.4514465 Mossy rocks 30.7959785, -83.4514465 Julia and Ashlie 30.7959785, -83.4514465 Fun on the rocks 30.7959785, -83.4514465 Water appears pretty clean 30.7959785, -83.4514465 Might as well have fun with it. 30.7959785, -83.4514465

Looking from the proposed pipeline crossing to the US 84 bridge 30.7955398, -83.4526749

We went back downstream because the proposed pipeline crossing is so close to the US 84 bridge you can see it from there. Yep, we went too far and need to float back downstream a bit.

Looking from the proposed pipeline crossing to the US 84 bridge

WWALS at the proposed Sabal Trail pipeline crossing 30.7955398, -83.4526749

WWALS at the proposed Sabal Trail pipeline crossing 30.7955398, -83.4526749 WWALS, proposed Sabal Trail pipeline crossing, US 84 bridge 30.7954483, -83.4526749

300x200 STA. 12189+00 TO STA. 12242+00, Withlacoochee River, US84, Brooks and Lowndes Counties, in Lowndes County, GA, by Sabal Trail Transmission, for WWALS.net, 14 August 2015 The proposed Sabal Trail crossing appears to be at about 30.795273, -83.452722.

WWALS later that same day did file an amended petition against a proposed FL-DEP permit for Sabal Trail to drill under the Suwannee River in Florida.

Down the rapids is easier than up 30.7954483, -83.4526749

Down the rapids is easier than up 30.7954483, -83.4526749 Leslie shoots the rapids 30.7954483, -83.4526749 Ashlie tries rapids sideways 30.7954483, -83.4526749 Leslie floats right through 30.7951679, -83.4526367 Heading in 30.7940922, -83.4533005

Walking stick 30.7935219, -83.4525223

There were more interesting things on the highway median above the put-in, such as this quite large walking stick, probably 2.5 inches long.

Walking stick 30.7935219, -83.4525223

Here’s some native Partridge pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata), which is good for wildlife such as bobwhite quail. That’s rather like a WWALS Water Trail, which is good for wildlife and people.

Partridge pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata) native good for wildlife 30.7934761, -83.4525604

And here’s some exotic invasive Chamber bitter (Phyllanthus Urinaria), which nothing eats. It grows ten or fifteen feet tall and crowds out native vegetation. Hm, that would make it much like an invasive exotic fracked methane pipeline.

Chamber bitter (Phyllanthus Urinaria) exotic invasive

Blue Springs Road closed to Spook Bridge 30.7908344, -83.4440613

Julie wanted to know if you could still go down Old Quitman Highway to Spook Bridge (the old closed highway bridge just south of US 84 and the railroad). Nope, there’s a gate where it becomes Blue Springs Road as Martin Lane branches off. And you can’t go all the way down Martin Lane to the SONAT pipeline right of way, either (the proposed Sabal Trail drilling under the river would come up on the other side of SONAT).

Blue Springs Road closed to Spook Bridge 30.7908344, -83.4440613 Martin Lane closed to SONAT right of way

Upcoming Outings

This Friday paddle was a WWALS Field Trip with a few people to get a few pictures. Don’t forget these actual WWALS outings:

Watch the WWALS calendar for details and more outings and events as they are posted.

-jsq

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!