The Great American Logjam Expedition, July 2000
The July 28-29 Village Creek trip went swimmingly and was memorable. And, if you believe that . . . .
The use of "swimmingly" may be Clintonesque in that swimming came up when, after eventually shoving your loaded boat over a log, you slide over the log yourself and fall into a hole. In case you didn't know it, there are holes immediately downstream of logs lying across the current.
We had six boats (four canoes and two kayaks). One canoe had two adults and two children, one only four. We put into the water approximately 10:30 A.M. for the 19 mile trip. The plan was to pass the Highway 327 bridge (mile 8 ) the first day and camp 10 to 12 miles from the put in. We finally camped about 7:00 P.M. not yet having reached Highway 327. We were back on the water reasonably early the next morning and reached Highway 327 about 11:00 A.M. The planned takeout was Highway 96, which was another 10+ miles down the river. All but one boat took out at Highway 327 (we had fortunately left a backup vehicle at that bridge).
Between Highways 418 and 327, Village Creek is a succession of logjams, one after another. Some can be negotiated fairly easily, especially when you reconcile yourself to getting in the water to push the boat over the log. Others are more difficult. Some required taking boats out of the water and dragging them yards down the shore in search of unobstructed water. The creek was quite low, so from time to time, the tedium of logjams was interrupted by sandbars over which we dragged our boats. Sometimes we got a coincidence of logjam and sand bar.
After Highway 327, the creek clears up considerably. The one boat that continued reached the Highway 96 bridge by 3:30 P.M. So, if you are planning a Village Creek trip, don't put in before Highway 327, unless you enjoy wrestling boats over logs or are looking to tell horror stories. Everyone who went has plenty. And, in reflecting back on their many river trips, they will remember this one. The two kids had a great time. The four year old especially didn't see why the adults had a problem.