Friday, October 12, 2012

45th State: Mississippi–Sardis Lake, and Pearlington (10/12/12 and 10/24/12)

Next I ran across an archaeological site/museum and stopped for a look see.  I can not find the flyer for it so will come back here and add more information when I do.  Mississippi River Peoples.




Then I went on to Sardis Lake @ Engineer Point.  Met some folks cat-fishing. I didn’t know they grew that large.


I put in for a brief paddle, but a storm was coming in, so I didn’t stay long.IMGA0485IMGA0489

Fisherman bait lines that are tied to rocks, then come back later and pick up their catch.


Very strange rock formations just at the put in point.  Have to wonder how these were formed.

Next I put in at Turtle Landing Bar and Grill. This is a neat spot and owners were very nice. Didn't cost me anything to launch and when I returned I had fresh shrimp and fresh catfish. Enough left over for lunch tomorrow. They are at 16463 Highway 90, Pearlington, MS 39572. I think they would even have let me stay in the parking lot a night for free, but I didn't ask.


Stilts without a house... some of the storm damage. Saw many empty lots and foundations, sometimes fences around yards but nothing in the yard. Sad, so many people did not rebuild.

Next I decided to kayak in Pearlington, MS.


A house with stilts.





That little ripple and spot ahead off to the right of my kayak is an alligator.


Another set of stilts with a house on top. I even saw some house trailers on high stilts.


I don't know what these two plants were, but I thought it was very lovely.


I could have gone farther, but turned around at this point as it was late afternoon, and I wanted to get back to Turtle Landing, get dinner, load up and get to next stop before dark. But decided to go look for this house on land...


... and I found it... on Riverside Dr. in Mississippi, and that is Lousiana across the water. So I estimated my paddle was about 2.5 miles.


Across the river, in LA, I found this newly acquired Wilderness Use Area (acquired though the Nature Conservancy). Decided I would try to park here tonight and kayak it early in the morning. Wouldn't it be cool if I get to see a Manatee. I asked one of the guys in the boats if they saw any Manatees, and he asked me, "What is that?" I told him to look at this sign on the tree when he took his boat out of the water.



As I was taking this shot from the boat ramp, a guy in a pickup told me to not get too close... there was an alligator right there. So then he giggled and laughed with another man about telling me that as he watched me backing away from the water. Well I'm in flip-flops... of course I'm backing away. Guess he had no way of knowing I have spent the last three days kayaking just so I could see alligators.


The jerk is in the green truck.. laughing with this fella about telling me not to get too close to the water.



Same gator. It has been a great day.  OK... this one was the biggest one I saw at this location. Wasn't scary at all... you find yourself wishing they weren't so afraid of us so we could get better photos of them.

Next after Florida: Alabama

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

44th State: Missouri - Table Rock Lake (Oct. 9, 2012)


A Cyprus Tree???   In Missouri?

Decided to find a spot on Table Rock Lake west of Branson MO.  Thought I might also take in a show at Branson, but just couldn’t wrap my mind around getting into a busy town with hundreds of loud people… and besides the price of a ticket would buy a lot of gasoline.  So, I found this strange little spot… north on Road JJ.  Coombs Ferry Public Use Area, Blue Eye, MO.  It has been abandoned for some reason.


Lots of Oak Trees and Cyprus Trees.  It’s a peninsular that sticks out into Table Rock Lake… and it has nothing on it except old roads, a parking lot, run down picnic tables, and a boat ramp.  But what more does a boondocker need?


A little target shooting, but didn’t find a lot of shells and I felt strangely safe.


And a Boat Ramp!!!  That’s all I need.


There is a picnic table hiding in there.  See it???

I spend the night I arrived, just resting.  It was the most quiet I have had since I left the Colorado mountains.  Below… the paddle… early morning before breakfast.  Fog still burning off.


Yes, it was a Cyprus Tree… on closer inspection, knees!!!!


My new paddle grips are working out splendidly.


Always fun to run across someone else’s fun.



I thought fishermen had gotten their lines caught on the snags but finally realized these lines were carefully and deliberately tied to the snags.  Check it out.  Each line has a weight tired on it… and this one had a bolt.


Not sure what they are fishing for, but they must be large… this hook is laying on my knee and is about the size of my knee cap.  Each line hanging from each tree snag is rigged this way.  Odd.



A Great Blue Heron???

So, that was my Missouri paddle.  I would like it to have been longer and more adventurous but there were just too many speed boats on the lake to really enjoy it the way I like.  Time to move on.

I tried to take a backwoods road down to the Buffalo National River park... but felt like I had dropped down into dog patch hollow... and never could get down to the river... turned around in some farmers' field and high-tailed it out of there. Got that "uncomfortable" feeling they tell us to flee from... and I fled. Ended up the highway crossed the river a few miles farther down the road... and I got out and walked along it. Water level was too low anyway for boating. The trouble with rivers is I usually have to arrange a shuttle back to the van... and looks like all the kayaking places are closed up tight around here.




It’s all rock down there… and people drive right out on the rock… and camp and make campfires.  Nice, odd, I liked it.


Lil’ Morgan, this one is for you.  Camels in Arkansas.

And as I headed back south through Arkansas toward Mississippi, I spotted this unusual sight… wish I had seen them sooner to get a better photo.

Next State: Mississippi

Who is Swankie?

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Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
Visit me on In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles in Spring 2017. In training now for the hike.