Monday, November 02, 2009

Kayaking Ross Barnett Reservoir - 11/1/09

Sunday morning was pretty boring. I woke up early, early because of the time change. Then, I spent the morning putting away summer clothes and unpacking sweaters. By mid-morning I was ready to get out into the day, breathe some fresh lake air, and move my muscles! On Sunday afternoon, Chip and I loaded up the kayaks and drove up the Natchez Trace to Brown's Landing on the Ross Barnett Reservoir. We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day in the sun. On the drive to Brown's Landing, we saw three white-tail deer having their lunch and a flock of five wild turkeys. I just knew it was going to be a good day for spotting wildlife. The animals were all out enjoying the cool, dry day!

We put in at Brown's Landing around 1:45 PM and hung a right (to the south) to paddle the bank that runs along the Natchez Trace. For the first mile, we were paddling along a forested bank. The trees are turning down here, and they were gorgeous. We saw snapping turtles sunning out on logs. We scared a few into the water, and every once in a while we'd see a turtle pop its head up to take a look around.

The cypress knees are poking out of the water along the bank. The elephant ears are thick along the sunny edges.

Not far into our paddle we spotted this beautiful red fox taking a drink of water. I SLOWLY took my camera out of the dry hatch and snapped this photo of the critter. Man, oh man, I wish I'd had time for a close up! He was checking us out, and shortly after I got a photo of him, he decided I was too close to him for comfort and scampered off into the woods. Seeing that fox was the highlight of my week! He was that pretty.

After the first mile the water really started to hug the road, so instead of listening to traffic, we decided to turn around and head towards an island in the middle of the lake. Right around Highway 43 the reservoir narrows back into the Pearl River and gets more swamplike. We turned our boats that way and paddled about two miles across the open water. The island wasn't nearly as cool as we thought it would be. The water was barely a foot deep even 20 feet away from the shore, so we couldn't get close enough to explore the bank. It was 3:00 PM by then, so we decided to head back and call it a day. We did 5+ miles in 90 minutes. Definitely not fast, but a good paddle for a Sunday afternoon.

It was about 68F outside during our paddle and we had very little wind. The water was cold, but I think we could handle at least 10 degrees cooler, maybe 15 degrees cooler with no wind. Even at 68F I was a little warm in short-sleeves, rolled-up pants, and my PFD.

I would love to visit this area again to see if we could spot the fox, but I really doubt we'll be back. There just wasn't enough to see from Brown's Landing. Next time I think we are going to put in at Ratliff Ferry or Fanning Landing. I can't wait to report on our next trip!


Dirt Princess said...

How much fun! You guys are really enjoying kayaking! Glad to see it is turning out to be such a great adventure

Rachel said...

Funny you mentioned the Elephant Ears. My Chip noted how many there were along the edge of the water yesterday when we took the Trace back from Jackson.

Beautiful pics!

Ginger said...

Awww I love the cute fox!!! The trees are really beautiful, too. Glad you had a relaxing afternoon :)

Jeannette said...

Foxes make my heart got a good photo.

Sleep Inn-Airport in Flowood, MS said...

Hey, I kayaked the upper Pearl from Low Head to Hwy 43. It was really wild and beautiful! Love your pictures. Please feel free to share them at the Ross Barnett Fan Page on Facebook.

Anonymous said...

could you email me. We are from CA and thinking about relocating to MS while are kids are in college there. Can you do summer sports on the rez all summer? Are the mosquitos a problem.