Friday, August 25, 2017

The Point of No Return

This was my third trip to put in on these rivers, the first two thwarted by very little water at a somewhat low tide.  Today, I timed the beginning with a couple of hours of rising tide.
I set out up the Indian River.  In short order, just a 150 yards or so to be specific, I come to a choke point.  The river passes through a 15 ft wide gap under the main street of town.  A few yards further on is an 1884 railroad bridge, perhaps 20 ft of channel there.  As expected, the river goes shallow as soon as I am through.  130+ years of choked flow has silted in the river upstream of these two bridges.  Although the salt marsh and river upstream of this spot fills with tidal flow, the flow certainly doesn't move with the current that it once did.  I carefully stay in the deepest part. 

Young Yellow-Crowned Night Heron
The bird life is decent - Yellow Crowned Night Herons, Snowy and Great Egrets, and a few Osprey.  I continue something short of a half mile before running out of depth.  I return.

I continue out seaward past my put in and turn east into the Hammock River.  Passing under a wide enough bridge I find a broad salt marsh with a good number of Night Herons and Egrets.  This part of the river flows somewhat like it did long ago.  But, I find the river spiritless.  As nice as the marsh and river are, the surrounding neighborhoods have encroached.  Instead of looking over the spartina to see a forest, I look over the spartina to see a neighborhood of McMansions.  Their eagerness to have a nature view has diminished what they intended to experience.
Tide gates
Before a mile goes by I come to a road crossing.  Unfortunately, there is no passage under this road. Tide gates, devices to limit flooding (okay, I really don't understand this convoluted east coast idea) block the flow.  I contemplate a portage into the river above, but decide against it.  I'm writing these rivers off.

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