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Green River  

Mouth of Snake Creek Upstream to… Sprout Springs Branch, Maybe?

 

Friday, August 6, 2010

 

 

 

Ever get the feeling that the world revolves around you – in a bad way?  Well, you may be right!

 

(Now please note that I am not just some ranting malcontent off on a tangent about his misfortune.  I do have a positive point to make here, and it does involve the experience I had on the water today.  Kindly bear with me and this will all come together – promise.)

 

I’ve come to the conclusion that financial success is unattainable for some people due to forces beyond their control.  They do everything right, only to be denied in sometimes spectacular fashion.  I fear I am one of those people.  I make my living in the stock market.  Check out a chart of the common stock of Active Power (ACPW) for the time period of October 2009 to the present.  I didn’t own too many shares, but I certainly had enough.  Check it out…  This stock had no reason not to keep rising exponentially during the winter of ‘09 and on through the summer of 2010 – look at all the great news!  Instead, it dropped 50 percent.

 

Well I bitterly held on as long as I could, only selling as many shares as needed to pay the bills, but I was eventually forced to sell them all at an average price of 80 cents from May through July of 2010!  As I sold my last share on July 7th I knew that it would probably be a terrible mistake.  Nuff said!  The stock chart is my proof of my curse.

 

Does this kind of thing also happen to you more often than not?  Why does it happen?  Could it be the Lords’ way of dragging us, kicking and screaming towards his aims?  This is a horribly flawed world and the Lords’ will is pure.  Could it be that He desires more missionaries for peace and that this is why He’s nudging some of us down this road?  Missionaries, after all, generally live their lives in poverty and are probably more successful in their chosen areas for having done so - it makes for fewer distractions. 

 

Well, it’s taken me a long time to grudgingly accept my fate, but my track record in the pursuit of certain things has been unbroken.  I’m not going to fight it anymore.  The world, after all, needs peace.  Not just the absence of war kind of peace, but the serenity kind of peace that can only be attained in 2 ways that I know of – in church or out in nature.  Most only go to church on Sundays (or sadly not at all), but you can get out in nature anytime.  Besides taking some quiet time to contemplate the natural beauty of your own back yard, Green River Lake is just one of the many places that you can go! 

 

That’s it!  End of segue - I’m pleased to relate my experience on this lake for those in search of peace, and I won’t waste any more time in getting to one of the standout features of this particular paddle:  there were more butterflies out here than Quakers’ got oats!!!  Yes, butterflies!  I couldn’t believe it.  See the little white flowering bushes below?  Well, they must be some of those Butterfly Bushes I’ve heard about.

 

 

 

Or not…  Looking them up now I don’t see any with white flowers, but whatever they are the butterflies sure do love em!  Every time I’d approach one of these bushes today I’d get swooped by one or two as they came closer to check me out.  Then, after satisfying themselves that I wasn’t a threat, they’d get back to business.  I noticed tons of little red dragonflies today too.  At first they spooked me – looked like wasps!

 

 

I’ll make a point of it here and mention that the Snake Creek Ramp I used today wasn’t my first choice.  My original intention was to use the White Oak Ramp off KY551 on the northern side of the lake, but as I started driving down the very narrow gravel lane off Texas Eastern Road I began to have misgivings…

 

I’ve used some pretty forlorn put-ins before, but this was really out there, and it just didn’t feel quite right.  I got partly down the road and turned back.  This was only the second time I’ve passed up an access point for this reason, but you’ve got to be careful out there!  (If you do decide to try this one I wouldn’t suggest coming alone.  I’d also recommend an all-terrain vehicle.  Be very careful too, because there’s only room for one on this little road.) 

 

Anyway, since I had the Fish and Wildlife Boating Guide with me I searched for an alternate launching point, and this Snake Creek Ramp (full directions below) looked a little safer.  As I first looked out across the water from it all I could see was the Green River flowing from right to left, but I found out later that the ramps’ namesake (Snake Creek!) was, indeed, also flowing just out of sight behind me - it entered not 50 yards to the left.  Also not yet apparent was a large cove directly across the water – it was blocked by the trees.  I put in and headed right (or upriver) on the Green…

 

You’ll be in the midst of a long left arc as you begin here, and among the first things you’ll notice (aside from the little island in the center) is that the banks are fairly low.  This contributes to a flooded plain feel in many places (or in most cases a flooded forest), and in this regard these tail waters reminded me a lot of the tail waters of Taylorsville Lake.  In fact, the ramp may well mark a defining point in the transition of the Green from river to lake.  It’s definitely still a river upstream, but downstream it’s got more of an impounded lake feel.

 

I did find some points further on where the bank steepened a great deal - sometimes revealing a rock wall - but as soon as I got to one of the numerous little incoming streams the bank would get low again.  You can paddle back into some of these and it’s an interesting experience.  The float could be described as being akin to sitting in a forest – you’re that low - but you won’t get very far at all before bottoming out (I got further into the coves on the left side on the return paddle).

 

 

Anyway, there’s a point in this arc where the river seems to split into 3, but it’s actually just a point with 2 islands in the middle.  I went around these to the right with the butterflies being almost constant company.  Also of note here was that along this side of the river there’s an incoming stream that eventually comes to look very much like a side-canal - albeit a side-canal that quickly ended in a deadfall today.  (Looking at the Kentucky Atlas and Gazetteer (http://shop.delorme.com/OA_HTML/DELibeCCtdItemDetail.jsp?item=156&section=10042) this could have been Denton Branch.)

 

After this point the river straightened out and then began curving right.  A rock outcrop awaited me at the end of the arc, and when I got to it I saw very fine layers of shale eroding off of it into little piles at the bottom.  At some points it was interesting in that the layers had eroded away to reveal a very smooth flat rock face…

 

 

From these rocks you’ll launch into an upside-down “U” which you’ll be paddling from right to left.  On the first straight of this letter there were a couple nice little rocky shoals to stop and rest, and the Green generally looked like a pretty tame river.  Also of note here was that the sun was directly overhead.

 

OK…

 

…and why is this important you ask?  Because dummy forgot his phone!!!   I was hoping I wouldn’t run into trouble, of course, but I had noticed this right after I got on the water.  What I decided to do was judge the time by the sun.  Figuring that it was coming up now about 7AM and that it was setting about 9PM, that was 14 hours.  Divide that in 2, get 7 hours, and add them to 7AM.  You’ve got 2PM midday for the sun – and I decided that it must now be 2PM because the sun was directly overhead.  I decided to keep going until about 4, or until the arc of the sun was about consistent with the left edge of my baseball cap.

 

Side note (with picture):  More general awe here in regard to how well trees adapt.  Here's where one fell over and then branched into 3 new trees!!!

 

 

At any rate, when I got to the curve in the “U” the character of the river changed.  On the map it looks like this was the spot where the Bryant Creek came in, and today the place was marked with so much deadfall debris that I didn’t think I’d be able to get through.  I’ll tell ya:  if the ramp I used marked the transition of the Green from river to lake, then the middle of this “U” marked the transition from a wild river to a tame one, for from here on out this was definitely the free-flowing Green that I remembered from my last trip upriver from the US31 Bridge in Munfordville – farmland flowing, with tiny incoming streams forming very large shoals in the river at frequent intervals. 

 

As a result of this, I was to encounter a lot more moving water on the back straight of the “U” as the shoals really had the river meandering - so much so that I soon lost track of where I was on the map.  The indications therein must have been drawn with a higher water level in mind, you see, and I apparently didn’t bring my “A” scouting game with me today.  I’ll do the best I can, for what follows is what I think I did…

 

After floating up and through some moving water on the final part of the “U”, I started making some turns (and some portages) on the next section of water.  A right, a left (100 yard portage), and another right ushered me to another straight section, and as I paddled up to a shoal on one of the curves I had a turtle swim directly toward me and under my boat.  They’re slow on land, but they sure are fast in the water!

 

As for the straight, it would turn out to be the last upriver section that I’d paddle today, and on it I encountered the first signs of civilization since the ramp – 2 dirt/gravel paths coming down to the water at the same point, one on each side.  It was here that I decided to make my final stand.  Since I was getting a little tired (and since the sun was nearly at the edge of my baseball cap!), I decided to paddle through one more instance of moving water and also to make one more portage before heading back (I believe I made it to the point where Sprout Springs Branch enters from the left).

 

 

Anyway, thus navigating I found myself at the spot below.  I got out of the boat, crossed to the other side of the river to get a better vantage point of what I was going to be passing up, and then took the shot below.  It looks like I would have had to get out of the boat every 25 yards or so from here…  (By the way, I noticed when I crossed the river that it had a very flat bottom and in the spots where I could see this bottom, it looked akin to an algae covered parking lot.)

 

The paddle back was very enjoyable since I was able to move with the water this time, and about a mile from the ramp I got a real surprise.  What was that ahead… 

 

Couldn’t be… 

 

Another paddler?!? 

 

Sure enough, there she was, paddling upstream towards me!  I could see the paddle moving...  What a nice surprise!  In fact, I think she was just as shocked to see another kayaker as I was!  This is a very nice place to paddle though.  I’d love to see even more people taking advantage of it.  As we talked, I was informed that just below the dam there was a reputable outfitter who offered trips on the Green.  I believe this is the applicable website -http://www.greensburgonline.com/paddletrail.asp.  I’ll try them sometime.

 

Parting ways with this nice lady, I went on to check out the fairly large cove I’d noticed on the left side.  It came in at a point just downriver from those 2 islands I mentioned, and it went in a little way before forking at the back.  There was also a little alley on the left just after entering which forked off in the same manner – many more butterflies at work in these areas too.

 

 

Now up until this point I’d been under the assumption that this was the large cove represented on the map, but once I got back to a point across from the ramp, I found that this wasn’t the case.  Noticing a break in the shoreline I thought:  “Hmmm…  What’s back here?”  Well, as I paddled in I encountered what looked like another very large river – seemingly as wide as the Green itself!  Surely there was no way I’d have enough time to paddle all the way back into this?!?

 

Inadvertently I professed my surprise out loud – and scared away a beautiful white egret or heron in the process!  It hadn’t been but several feet away!  I was seriously bummed, and I certainly wasn’t going to be able to get a descent picture at this point!  Regardless, I did notice that this area was generally quite a spot for large waterfowl.  In addition to the one I’d just seen I also spotted a few blue heron and a couple flocks of 30 – 50 wood ducks.

 

Deciding to try and get back as far as I could before I ran out of time, I found that - true to the map – this seeming-river turned out to be a cove that petered out with surprising speed in another marsh-like area.  If Kentucky had crocodiles this is one place you might see them!

 

 

At this point I had time to go just a bit further before heading back to the ramp, so I decided to paddle around the boundary of the area where this cove branches off from the Green.  I’m on the northern end of the lake now and heading east (and yes, I’m calling the water a lake at this point).  There was another nice rock wall here, and as I paddled alongside it I caught a glimpse of something black run down and into the water.  I figured it must have been an otter.

 

 

For a “grand finale” I paddled up the Snake Creek and, making it maybe a couple hundred yards before it ended, I headed back home for what turned out to be a great nights’ sleep!  Are you, too, being called to live your life as a missionary (although maybe not your “normal” kind)?  Well, it might be a life of financial uncertainty, and it can be physically exerting, but it’s so darned peaceful!!!

 

 

 

DIRECTIONS:

 

From Lexington I took US27 South through Nicholasville and over the Kentucky River.  Then, making a right onto KY34 West, I headed into Danville.  Now the city of Danville is extremely confusing – I got lost on the drive in and the drive out.  KY34 will go to one lane and will then curve left into the city.  What you want to do is make a right on main street and start looking for US127 South.  If you can’t find it, by all means, ask.  For as confusing as this city is to drive through – believe me – there’s no shame in asking.

 

Once in US127 South, take it all the way to Liberty and begin looking for KY70.  You’ll want to take it West.  The eastbound and business routes of KY70 will come first, but hold out for KY70 West.  Take a right onto it and go just short of 10 miles.  Here lies a very dangerous KY551 intersection.  KY70 will make a sharp right turn here, but you’ll want to go straight (left turn) onto KY551.  Please be careful here!

 

Follow KY551 for 15 miles (and 8 miles past the KY76 intersection) and you’ll cross over the lake.  When you see a sign for the Holmes Bend Campground at a convenience type store, you’re real close.  Take a left onto Snake Creek Road and follow it 2 miles to a boat ramp sign.  Take a left and the ramp is at the end of the road.