Saturday, January 19, 2013

Suburban Exploration on Oyster Creek

Finally, my paddling drought has been broken! The last time I was on the water was Thanksgiving of last year, and it's been even longer than that since I explored a new paddling destination.

Linda suggested we head down to Sugarland and explore Oyster Creek near where she once lived. We launched just downstream from where Williams Trace Boulevard crosses the creek. At that point the creek looks more like a narrow lake, lined by attractive houses.

As we paddled downstream, we came to the little dam which maintains the lake-like conditions above it. After we portaged around the dam, the character of the creek changed completely. The wide channel lined with houses was replaced by a narrow one lined by trees. Thanks to the dry winter, there was no water flowing over the dam, leaving the creek below it shallow and with very little current.

And suddenly we were surrounded by birds. There were the typical back yard varieties like jays and cardinals. But there were also kingfishers, hawks, ducks, and various wading birds. And just below the damn we spotted a pair of pileated woodpeckers.

All of this scenery came at a cost though. It only takes one fallen tree to block a narrow stream, and there were many fallen trees. Some we could paddle over. Some we could paddle under. One we had to get out of the boats and portage around (or over!).

Eventually we reached a log jam of such epic proportions that we gave it up and turned back toward the launch. There were no regrets though. It was a fun paddle and I enjoyed seeing Sugarland from a slightly different angle!

More Pictures from Oyster Creek

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