The following is a true story, only the names have been changed, to protect the guilty.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Lower Sand Creek

This looks really good right now since it's the middle of winter
 There really isn't an upper or lower Sand Creek....just Sand Creek. I'm calling it lower here because it's down stream of the main stretch that most people do, near and within, the small town of Jordan Mn.

One of about 17 log jams

Holes to the right of the kayak are those of a turtle's nest
  I had the pleasure of  running this class I and II watercourse a couple years ago with ArcFlash, it was a lot of fun but since then I wanted to follow it all the way out to where it joined the Minnesota River. Timing had to be just right, both rivers need to be up and based on their water shed this doesn't always happen at the same time in the summer months.  I'm going to go out on a limb here but,.....nobody really runs the lower section. I say this because it's really rough going and is choked off with fallen trees numbering in the high teens. This makes it sound like it would be no fun, on the contrary, it was exactly what I was looking for.
Turtle egg shells littered all sandy areas I encountered

This bridge marks the spot in which I would no longer have to negotiate log time I'll start here

 When I did this day trip last summer I did not see a soul for about four hours, or even a foot print for that matter. The creek was pristine in the way that there were no traces of anything other than animal, plant and natural entropy. The log jams and snags came in the first forested miles. Theses were negotiated by exiting the kayak and either pulling it over the top, being care full not to fall through the gaps, or going overland in the tall grass, brush and undergrowth. Once out in a more prairie like setting, actually a very large swamp, I was able to stay in the boat and just paddle. Again, not even a foot print, just birds and turtles.
Entering the Louisville swamp and the sandstone outcroppings that mark the area


The delta I got stuck in 
 As the creek entered a large body of shallow water known as the Louisville Swamp it formed a delta which was very difficult to pass through. The water was more of a suspended mud that my boat would not float in, it was stuck even though I could clearly see current about one inch deep running over the top of all of it. Walking was out of the question in mud that consumed about half of my paddle when I checked for depth, that would be creepy as hell anyway. I ended up uncoupling my paddle and using both pieces in unison to lift and push myself along in 6-10 inch increments. An exhausting battle against the mud ensued for about a 150 feet until I got to deeper water. I was now in the clear to paddle across the lake and on to the Minnesota.
Almost to the Minnesota

My ride back 
 A nasty head wind made forward movement a chore, but when I reached the bigger river I had a lot more shelter and enjoyed the last couple miles to my take-out. I exited in Chaska and rode my pre-placed bike back to Jordan, fatigued and completely satisfied.    

D Rider .....................out