Wednesday, July 27, 2011

TTMA - Team Trail Monster Adventures - Float n Bike

  I keep letting the blog slip as summer rips by, not much I can do except try an toss a few posts as time permits. Trail Monstering is busy work, er...busy fun!  I have been working on some local adventures to try and squeeze in a bit more fun into my weeks, as if I need more. The latest round is a little something I will call Trail Monster Tri Training. Basically multi-sport training with a bike, a kayak, and my two feet.
  Here's the scoop all you adventuring types out there. The goal is to make a short float/bike/run loop close to home and self shuttled. When you can self shuttle there are no excuses for not giving it a try. Today's route is along the Big Creek on the Lincoln/St Charles Missouri county line just west of Hwy 61. I have discussed this route with several people, researched the Google Maps, test drove the bike route to ensure a solid route, and yesterday I set out with the plan in my head.
  Ready here goes, Drive to Indian Camp Creek Park, secure your bike (I locked mine to a trailhead kiosk out in the open. Obviously the lock only keeps the honest man honest.), drive to Meyer Road bridge over Big Creek ~4 miles via John Creech and Creech Roads just North of the park accessed via Hwy 61. Alternative route is Dietrich Road to English Road to WW(Meyer Road). If you can't get there with these basic directions, well, you probably have no business out there. ;)
  I park on the SE corner of the bridge. Ticks are really bad right there, so stay out of the grass and check yourself before heading down to the water. Car secure and bike gear in the dry sack, it's time to paddle out for the float.
Hit the water - Start time 6:02PM - A bit earlier would have been better, say 4-4:30PM.  Notice on the way down under the bridge there is a rope...don't take it as if it were trash.  It's to help pull yourself up the slippery slope after a day of swimmin' in the creek or running back to the car for the typical forgotten stuff...bug spray/sunscreen.  Pop a tab on a fine PBR and enjoy the next few miles, don't get to comfy your gonna need to get out of the boat and drag soon.  This picture shows what looks to be a deadend, however, upon closer inspection of this and many other log jams, root wads, and gravel bars there is usually a little tunnel to slip through.  Some are bit tighter.  Keep a watchful eye for spiders n snakes.  Here are a few photo's from the float.
A small chute through the grasses and into a nice deep hole. 8-10' Deep on the backside.

This next pic had me wondering if I made a mistake on the creek choice...
The creek has lots of twists, turns, slow pools, little ripples, log jams, and some trash...Thank you Mr. Farmer for creating an illegal dump where you thought nobody would see as the stream bank erodes and drops your trash into the creek.
This rootwad and trunk are absolutely huge.
Gravel and Sand bars line the creek edges interspersed with eroding corn and bean fields.

Look close.  Ya think that ladder on the earth bank is for the pool access?

The end of the paddle but not the end of the Adventure.
I missed my turn into Indian Camp Creek and had to do a little bushwhacking.  If your not up for a little bushwhacking then ya better not join a Team Trail Monster Adventure.  Bushwhacking is almost always required.  Besides the itches will go away in a week or so.

The photo above is a long grassy field edged by woods and stinging nettle...yup I marched right through it dragging my boat while in only stings for a minute.  From here I ran to ICCP and my bike.  Quick change of clothes from within the dry sack and off for the bike leg.  Given I have forgotten my light mounts I used the Creech road connection instead of Dietrich.  The only auto to pass me was on Dietrich and of course the pickup that needed to cackle the pipes a bit for me.  The shoulder of Hwy 61 is not really a good place to ride, however, it's a very short shot and plenty of shoulder to work with.  The ride down Creech was pretty cool after dark.  Wish I had that light mount, had to hand carry.

So was it a success? In my book a success defined as "any Adventure you return home from breathing".   Might be fun after a light rain when the water level picks up.  Probably a bit dangerous, so take heed and be prepared.  Bailing on an Adventure is always an option.  Knowing your limits keeps you alive.  Here is the Garmin data from the trip.  I will take 10 miles of cross training like this any day.