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Project ReWard — Expedition Two


Project: ReWard


PaddleBR’s Project ReWard is underway, and the high water really makes us feel like we’re getting somewhere.  This time, we polished off more of Barringer and then made a big dent in the top layers of the giant jam at the Derelict Bridge by Buzbee Drive.

With the rain, we knew the water wasn’t going to be notably lower than it was for Expedition One, but we wanted to have some idea before we actually reached the bridges.  Well, aren’t we in luck.  It turns out that the Ward Creek gauge at Highland Road is actually up and running with uninterrupted readings since about December.  We didn’t include it on the PaddleBR map because it wasn’t showing data, but now that it is, onto the map it goes.  Apparently, Ward Creek was at about 5.5′ or so as we started Expedition Two, versus just a bit under 4′ for Expedition One.

Barringer Blockage

We made it to the leftovers at Barringer Foreman, complete with the unrelenting soundtrack of incessant barking (but you do stop noticing it after a while… at least until you stop working).  It was relatively quick work to pull the rest apart, and the heavy tackle remained stowed.  We can feel some big logs against the bridge pilings, but we won’t be able to pull those until the water’s low enough to tie on.  Maybe next week.

Foreman Free

With Barringer as good as it was going to get at the 5.5′ gauge level, it was on to the next.  The Derelict Bridge by Buzbee Drive (its official title as far as we’re concerned) has been a collector of tree trunks and debris for as long as we’ve known it, and it did not disappoint.  Well, not much.  Most of the giant mountain of wood and debris was hidden by the high water, but there was plenty of reachable wood to fill out the day.

Derelict Before

The very convenient thing about having high water the first day attacking the Derelict’s jam is that we got to pull it apart from the top.  Playing one of the largest games of canoe-based pick-up sticks to dismantle a jam layer by layer is fun, and we sent many pieces on their merry way.  Especially appreciated was being able to pull that gargantuan crane pad, made of huge beams bolted together, and wrangle it through.  We were not looking forward to having to deal with that monstrosity, but with buoyancy, anything is possible.

Derelict Day One

Eventually we hit bingo daylight and turned back down Ward Creek to head home.  The Derelict looked pretty good, but of course, looks can be deceiving.  Just below the surface are some hefty bits of wood, and if the rain holds off and the water level drops, we’ll have plenty in reach next time.  Still, it’s a definite step in the right direction, and it does look pretty good.


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