On Sunday June 1, Alex and Dave, and Ben and Andy, headed off for an 8 hour drive from McDonough GA, to the northeast corner of North Carolina, destination, Holiday Inn - Williamston. Our plan was to arrive by 5:00 pm so that we might spend the afternoon locating the put-in and take-out points, and, perhaps doing a little Geocaching in an area we had never visited before.
Apparently, Murphy was in the truck with us.
Near the South Carolina / North Carolina border the steering wheel, on Alexs 18 year old F150 Pickup truck, started to shake. We initially thought it was the road, but it kept getting worse until we finally pulled off the road. The cords in the right front tire were starting to separate. Not to worry, we installed the spare and were on our way. 50 miles later, at 4:30 pm on Sunday, the steering wheel started to shake again. Yup, another tire problem. Same as the first, but on the right rear. We had the incredibly good luck to locate a Wal-Mart with an open Auto Center with our size tire in stock. We agreed to purchase 4 tires and went inside to purchase our non-resident fishing licenses and wait.
About 20 minutes later we were beckoned by the Tire guy. He informed us that the truck would not start. As if Murphy hadnt already displayed his presence enough, now it was raining. Andy and Dave went outside, and using a pair of jumper cables, they were able to get the truck started.
Add a new battery to the bill (can you believe the good luck to have the battery fail while in the Auto Center) and 60 minutes to make the repairs, and we were ready to go again. One more stop for dinner and we arrived at our destination at shortly after 10:00 pm.
10:00 am the next morning we left Robersons Marina and headed North on Gardner Creek
We had lunch at a hunters cabin at the intersection of Gardner Creek & Devils Gut. After a hearty lunch of MREs, we were back on the water toward our destination.
As we approached Barred Owl Roost platform, the waterway narrowed. Roanoke River Partners has done a fantastic job of providing 1st rate camping platforms in this beautiful swampland.
Total for the day, we paddled about 6 miles from Robersons Marina to Barred Owl Roost platform.
East on Devils Gut to the Roanoke River
The sights were amazing! Among other things, we saw a ship, a Bald Eagle, a derelict boat, and a snake West on Broad Creek. Then we followed the signs to Cypress Cathedral platform.
In all, it was about 12 miles to Cypress Cathedral platform.
We paddled East from Cypress Cathedral, then cut back on Cut Cypress Creek. Followed Cut Cypress Creek back to the Roanoke River, then South on the River, with a leisurely lunch stop, and then on to the boat ramp at the Cypress Grill. In all, about 7.5 miles.
After packing up the vehicles, we drove back to the Holiday Inn in Williamston where we enjoyed some R & R before our 8 hour trip home (with a brief stop at Darlington Speedway).
Total distance paddled, including fishing trips, about 29 miles.
Platform camping in the swamp - go to:
$10.00 person / night, minimum $20.00
I-95, N or S, to Rocky Mount, NC.
East on 64 to Jamesville.