Tag Archives: Outing

Banners at Banks Lake: no paddle in rain 2020-07-05

Rained out: Banks Lake Full Buck Moon Paddle last Sunday.

[Shelby Miller, banners, two attendees]
Shelby Miller, banners, two attendees

Expedition leader Shelby Miller, pictured on the left, called it off at the on-water time, because of more rain coming and chance of lightning on the Banks Lake. There’s another picture with four more people. And, other than me, Shelby, and Shirley Kokidko, that’s all that showed. Quite a few people had said they were coming, several of them reserving boats, but they all cancelled, due to intermittent rain all day.

Don’t worry; we’ll go again next full moon, which is Monday, August 3, 2020.

And meanwhile, come on down to Dowling Park Boat Ramp on the Suwannee River on Saturday July 18, 2020, for Intro to Kayak and Canoe Camping at Dowling Park River Camp, Suwannee River, 2020-07-18.

For more WWALS outings and events as they are posted, see the WWALS calendar or the WWALS outings and events web page. WWALS members also get an upcoming list in the Tannin Times newsletter.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

Bike and Paddle Suwannee River, Hal W. Adams Bridge, 2020-08-29

Bicycles and boats! There’s no shuttle, because we get from the takeout to the put-in on bicycles, on this Suwannee River paddle, with optional river camping.

[Paddle Map: WWALS SRWT]
Paddle Map: WWALS map of Suwannee River Wilderness Trail (SRWT)

Meet at Hal W. Adams Bridge, unload boats and gear. We will have a designated person watch the boasts and gear.

Drive cars to Hardenbergh Public Boat Ramp. Bike about 30 minutes back along CR 354 to Hal W. Adams Bridge, secure bikes, launch boats, paddle to Telford Springs, and cool off a bit.

Paddle to Peacock Slough River Camp. Camp overnight (or paddle through). Call Suwannee River Wilderness Trail for reservations at 800-868-9914.

We can rest at Cow Springs and pass Drew Bridge for historical site and take out at Hardenbergh Bridge.

This outing eliminates putting people at COVID-19 risk by removing the need to shuttle. We will be able to maintain social distancing while paddling and biking.

When: Gather 9 AM, launch 10 AM, Saturday, August 29, 2020

Bring: a bicycle, and the usual personal flotation device, boat paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. If you’re going to camp, bring camping gear. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

Boats: Kayaks and maybe canoes are available to borrow but please let us know at least 2 days prior to the event. Bring your own if you have it.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Put In: Hal W. Adams Bridge Ramp, From Mayo, Continue reading

Watching over the Waters: WWALS paddles, songwriting contest –VDT 2020-06-27

Amanda M. Usher, Valdosta Daily Times, 27 June 2020, Watching over the Waters: WWALS sponsors paddles, songwriting contest,

[Paddle Georgia from Spook Bridge, Withlacoochee River]
Photo: Gretchen Quarterman, Paddle Georgia from Spook Bridge, between Quitman and Valdosta, GA, Withlacoochee River, June 15, 2019.

VALDOSTA — John Quarterman has been around the Suwannee River Basin since his childhood.

Living on land his [grand-]father purchased near rivers and swamps in 1921, he has always felt attracted to rivers and works to keep them clean.

Quarterman is the Suwannee [R]iverkeeper with WWALS Watershed Coalition. WWALS is an acronym for Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Little[, Santa Fe,] and Suwannee.

The coalition was established in June 2012 to eliminate issues with rivers and creeks such as sewage spills, he said. Quarterman became the Suwannee [R]iverkeeper in 201[6].

WWALS Watershed Coalition serves a significant purpose of water quality testing, he said. The City of Valdosta tests waters three times a week from U.S. 41 North to the southern state line, he said.

Through the years, the group has hosted cleanups at the Troupville boat ramp and holds two or three paddles monthly.

[Lakeland cleanup, Alapaha River]
Photo: Gretchen Quarterman, Rivers Alive Cleanup, Pafford’s Landing near Lakeland, GA, Alapaha River, October 12, 2019.

“We’re not just a paddling organization,” Quarterman said. “… We do paddles, but we’re also an advocacy organization. We want to do conservation of stewardship.”

Quarterman is about awareness. He strives to bring attention to the rivers’ existence and informing people they can make use of the recreational rivers by boating or fishing.

“Getting people out there on the rivers to see what it is they are trying to conserve and protect is really important because until you see it for yourself, you’re not really appreciating the beauty of these rivers,” he said.

The rest of the article is about the upcoming paddle outings at Banks Lake at 7:30 PM Sunday, July 5, and at Dowling Park River Camp; for that one please be at Dowling Park Boat Ramp a 11:30 AM, Saturday, July 18, with camping gear.

The article concludes with the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, 7-9 PM, Saturday, August 22, 2020, at Turner Center Art Park, 605 N. Patterson Street, Valdosta, GA.

Come on down!

Thanks Amanda M. Usher, for Continue reading

Next outings: Full Moon Banks Lake and Suwannee River Camping

Tired of being cooped up inside? Want to get out on the water? WWALS has two outings coming up with plenty of room for physical distancing.

First is an easy evening lake paddle out and back, then overnight camping with a brief upstream paddle.

[Moonrise and River Camp]
Moonrise and River Camp

Banks Lake Buck Moon Paddle 2020-07-05

Come see the sun set, the bats come out, and the moon rise over Banks Lake, just west of Lakeland, Georgia, on Sunday evening, July 5, in the Banks Lake Buck Moon Paddle, If you don’t have a boat, let us know, and we can supply you one. Please be there by 7:30 PM. See previous post for more details.

Intro to Kayak and Canoe Camping at Dowling Park River Camp 2020-07-18

Experience one of the fabled River Camps on the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail, in Intro to Kayak and Canoe Camping at Dowling Park River Camp. Five screened sleeping platforms! (Bring a tent if you don’t get one reserved.) Air-conditioned bathrooms with hot and cold running water and showers!

Please be at the Dowling Park Boat Ramp by Continue reading

Subaru featured Tom Potter for science, cleanup, outings, and water quality

“If you get people out on the river and they have a positive experience with nature, they will help protect it,” wrote Dr. Tom Potter, pictured during the March 2019 Onemile Branch Cleanup at Drexel Park during Azalea Festival.

Kara Pound, Subaru Drive, Winter 2019, 2019 Subaru Drive Community Champions,

We are thrilled to celebrate these exceptional Subaru owners who embody the Subaru Love Promise by giving their time and talent to help their communities.

[The catch]
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS, Tom Potter at Onemile Branch Cleanup during Azalea Festival, Drexel Park, Valdosta, GA, 2019-03-10.

The Watershed Protector

Tom Potter, 69
Valdosta, Georgia
Vehicle:
Subaru Outback
Volunteering: WWALS Watershed Coalition, which works to protect watersheds in South Georgia and North Florida

“I have a Ph.D. in environmental chemistry and a lengthy background in the science of water quality — I worked as Continue reading

Naylor Boat Ramp upstream Alapaha River pictures 2020-06-13

We made it the 1.24 miles upstream from Naylor Boat Ramp to Hotchkiss Road Landing on the Alapaha River Water Trail in the Naylor Boat Ramp Out and Back paddle outing. Very nice weather, cool and overcast, and just enough water in the river.

[Banners]
Photo: Shirley Kokidko for WWALS, Banners at Hotchkiss Road Landing, Alapaha River, 2020-06-13.

First WWALS Trails Committee Chair Dan Phillips planted the new Naylor Boat Ramp ARWT signs.

[Paddlers with signs]
Paddlers with signs

Then we headed upstream. This may be a first: every paddler was already a WWALS member. Continue reading

Naylor Boat Ramp signs planted 2020-06-13

Before the Naylor Boat Ramp upstream and back paddle, Dan Phillips, Chair of the WWALS Water Trails Committee, installed the new Alapaha River Water Trail signs there.

[Paddlers with signs]
Paddlers with signs

That’s Dan standing by the signs, among all the paddlers.

Here he is at work installing them. Continue reading

Good to go: Naylor Boat Ramp upstream Alapaha River paddle 2020-06-13

It’s a go on water quality and quantity for tomorrow morning at Naylor Boat Ramp on the Alapaha River. For outing details, see the original post.

[Naylor Boat Ramp (portrait)]
Photo: Bobby McKenzie, Naylor Boat Ramp (portrait), 2020-06-10.

Sure, the afternoon thunderstorms could happen earlier, but so far the weather ereports indicate they’ll start after we’ve paddled upstream and back. For further updates, see the facebook event or the meetup.

WWALS water quality tester Tasha Ekman LaFace reports her sample from Thursday resulted in 33 cfu/100 mL E. coli, which is quite clean, so no worries about bacteria. The kinds of contamination we’ve been seeing on the Withlacoochee River are apparently not happening on the Alapaha River, which has much less animal agriculture next to it. For context, see wwals.net/issues/testing/.

She also says there is plenty of trash to pick up before we paddle, so bring a bag, some gloves, and a trash picker if you’ve got it.

WWALS Outings Committee Chair and the leader of this expedition, Bobby McKenzie, reports:

I started paddling it today after work but it was raining, which I didn’t mind. I didn’t continue due to the lightning. But I’m pretty confident that there is enough water to paddle a mile based on the previous levels I’ve seen there using visual indicators.

The gauge at Statenville shows 82.5 currently and the lowest paddling level indicated on the WWALS Alapaha River Water Trail for Naylor Boat Ramp is 78.1.

Statenville gauge, Alapaha River

See you at Naylor Boat Ramp tomorrow morning. For outing details, see the original post.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

Intro to Kayak and Canoe Camping at Dowling Park River Camp, Suwannee River, 2020-07-18

As an introduction to Kayak and Canoe camping, we will visit the Dowling Park River Camp on the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail.

[Ramp]
Photo: John S. Quarterman, Ramp to bathrooms at Dowling Park River Camp, 2019-06-20.

We will do a short paddle across from Dowling Park Boat Ramp in Suwannee County to the River Camp in Lafayette County. We will check in with the camp host, set up camp and continue our paddle upstream for 1 mile.

We will use Dowling Park Rivercamp as a base camp while having an intimate outing on the Suwannee River. You will have the comfort of having the boat ramp right across the river in case you forgot something or its just not working out.

Dowling Park River Camp is the model for the Troupville River Camp WWALS is proposing at the confluence of the Little River with the Withlacoochee River just west of Valdosta. Come see it for yourself!

Plus, there’s even a rope swing! There 5 are screened in platforms with fan, lighting and electrical outlets as well as multiple primitive camping sites. Along with a communal pavilion, there are also hot and cold showers and air conditioned bathrooms. There is a Camp Host that you can get firewood ($6 a bundle) and ice ($2 bag) to help lighten you load.

Platforms are available for families first until 6 July, 2020. After that platforms will be available to everyone on a first come basis. To maintain physical distancing, we recommend only families or already closely-associated groups stay in a platform. Everyone else, please bring a tent: primitive Camping is open to all. Message us with any questions/reservations and we will help you get setup.

Also there is no shuttle for this trip.

Dowling Park River Camp is the model for the Troupville River Camp WWALS is proposing at the confluence of the Little River with the Withlacoochee River just west of Valdosta. Come see it for yourself!

When: Gather 11:30 AM, launch 12 PM, Saturday, July 18, 2020

Put In: Dowling Park Boat Ramp. The boat ramp is on the north side of CR 250 at the Suwannee River, in Suwannee County, Florida.
That’s an hour south of Valdosta, GA, an hour west of Lake City, a little more than an hour east of Tallahassee, and an hour and a half northwest of Gainesville, FL. It’s only about half an hour from Live Oak, Madison, or Mayo.

GPS: 30.244833, -83.249

Take Out: Dowling Park Boat Ramp

Bring: a tent, plus the usual personal flotation device, boat paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

Boats: Kayaks and maybe canoes are available to borrow but please let us know at least 2 days prior to the event. Bring your own if you have it.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

[Elevated]
Photo: John S. Quarterman, Elevated sleeping platform at Dowling Park River Camp, 2019-06-20.

Continue reading

Banks Lake Buck Moon Paddle, 2020-07-05

Update 2020-07-07: Rained out.

The July Full Buck Moon will rise over Banks Lake a few minutes before three quarters of an hour after the sun sets, as we paddle leisurely on the lake.

Since there’s no shuttle on this outing, we can all stay 6 feet apart on land 10 feet apart on the water.

Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge is in the Grand Bay–Banks Lake ecosystem. We usually see birds, bats and alligators. Sunsets are usually spectacular, and the full moon over the tree tops reflected in the lake is a sight to see.

When: Gather 7:30 PM, launch 7:50 PM, Sunday, July 5, 2020.

Moon and sun: Sunset 8:40 PM, Moonrise 8:31 PM
Sunset 8:39 PM, Moonrise 9:26 PM

Put In: Banks Lake Boat Ramp, 307 Georgia 122, Lakeland, GA 31635, in Lanier County.

GPS: 31.035097, -83.097045

Take Out: Banks Lake Boat Ramp

Bring: the usual personal flotation device, boat paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

Boats: Kayaks are available to borrow but please let us know at least 2 days prior to the event. Bring your own if you have it.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members, optional during this virus pandemic period. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

[Cypress and boats]
Cypress and boats on Banks Lake Flower Storm Moon Paddle 2020-06-05.

Continue reading