Saturday, August 26, 2006

Biking OS

Ocean Springs has a lot of area yet to discover also. I went to the park to rent a pavillion for a cookout, then let the bike take me where it wanted to and headed south towards Gulf Park Estates. I found that Point Aux Chenes, a road that takes you towards St Andrews, goes way farther west than I knew. This is the part of the track on the bottom left, extending west. I heard this mentioned in a documentary about Walter Anderson and I believe this is the part he talked about. It goes to the water on the west side, and there are some beautiful properties down there. Of course, lots of trucks and repair activities present as this is waterfront land, but many houses seem to be fixed up. I got the feeling that may be some of the longest-owned property in OS outside the downtown area. This land is between OS and St Andrews and has some of the feel of both. (27.6 mi.)

2 great paddles in one day

Last weekend went out with Mom in the morning and Dale in the evening. The morning trip, track shown above, was an adventure through the bayou somewhere we didn't know was possible to go through. It makes the bay seem so much bigger, to keep finding these new places to go and new ways to get around. This was Mom's first trip all the way to the gulf. Evening was a nice sunset - you never can tell when they're going to be good - sometimes the clouds look like they're going to block the whole thing but then the sun burns on through and surprises you. Dale made a good discovery while we were up near the bank watching the fiddler crabs run around. If you wave a paddle in the air, they can see that and they all start moving for the grass. It's funny; kind of like conducting an orchestra. We also saw a snake swimming, then slithering up through the mud into the grass.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Graveline Sunset

Sun, sun, going away
See you again another day.

Fort Bayou, North

Fort Bayou north of the interstate is mostly a freshwater world. The plants and the fish seem quite different than the tidal part of the bayou down towards the bay. I think the dividing line is around the interstate, though a test of salinity would help tell for sure. I wonder if the salinity varies a lot. I tasted the water and it wasn't salty at all.

Dale and I went up to a sandbar that we had been to before in the boat. I remember back then walking up a short path to a cleared field. This time, surprise! The whole area has been turned into a golf course. If anyone had seen me on the path they would wonder why a golfer had on a PFD and water shoes.

There is a paddler in this picture (me), with the Mississippi pines, bayou, and late afternoon sun.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Wailua Falls, Waimea Canyon in Kauai

Lucky me, got to go to the island of Kauai in Hawaii again last week. In a place where you could kayak forever, I made just one trip on the east side of the island to Wailua Falls. It was a guided group and I was in a triple sit-on-top -- not exactly what I'm used to! But worked out much better than I'd have thought and we had a great time, despite the rain that came continuously after the first leg of the trip up the river. Hiking through the woods through mud and rain, made it to the falls and swam in the pool and up under the water. Awesome!

I'm sure I would kayak the ocean waters around the island if I had more opportunity. Would have to be ready for surf, sharks, colder water, and higher seas -- but it's obviously done by others so I'd go for it. The island is beautiful and mostly in a natural state, unspoiled by over-development. It's small but it's still more than any one person could see in a lifetime, if you consider all the hiking, biking, swimming, kayaking available. It seems to me again that people there live a very balanced life, in harmony with the people and the environment around them; like the land, not over-extended beyond what should be, as so many people here on the mainland are.

Also did a Bike Trip: "Bicycle Downhill, Canyon to Coast" down the Waimea Canyon road to Kekhaha. Only had to pedal a few times and other than that stayed on the brakes all the way down from 3,500 feet to sea level. The bikes were outfitted with special drum brakes and were easy to ride. Beautiful scenery and fresh scent of Eucalyptus trees and the Pacific Ocean. Must return someday for more!