Monday, May 29, 2017
Collins/Barren Fork Rivers
I met Craig in McMinnville at 127 boat ramp. It has a nice parking area, but you have to carry your boat a little way to the water. The current was too strong for paddling upstream. So plan B. We consulted the river map book and the TWRA site to find some other ramps. The VFW was the next one. It was crowded with kayaks and people that didn't know the rules of using the ramp. Craig did a great job maneuvering the trailer down between all the boats and gear.
We headed upstream fighting the current occasionally. Saw about a thousand turtles. We didn't see anyone until the confluence of the Barren Fork. We decided to paddle on the Barren Fork for a break in strenuous paddling. Found a shallow spot for lunch out of the sprinkles, then paddled as far as we could. Turned around and met the TWRA officers in their motorboat. They were cheating, anyone could go upstream with a motor. Started a faster trip back, no paddling, just steering, listening to the birds sing.
Got back to the VFW ramp and had the same issue with kayakers not knowing the rules of sharing a ramp, but they moved when the TWRA officers pulled in with their boat. We got out of the river just ahead of the rain.
About 6 miles round trip