Archive for March, 2012

Two new Class II+ creeks in southwest Arkansas may get enough rain in the next few days to allow what may be a first descent on each.  One has a gradient of 78 feet per mile and is two miles long; the other is five miles long with a gradient that averages 30 feet per mile; photos at http://sports.webshots.com/album/582227587TxnNkI.  The second one should offer uncountable number of surfing opportunities; photos at http://sports.webshots.com/album/582339133yRUGYx.  Let me know if you want to take part in the adventure.


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The rain didn’t fall on either of the new Class II+ streams, but the radar summary showed a narrow strip of Arkansas received more than four inches overnight on Thursday, 3/8/12.  That strip of heavy precipitation included the drainage basin of Bayou Des Arc, a small Class II+ creek near Romance in White County.  The water ran down fast, but the creek still offered plenty of fun on Saturday morning.  Check out the Bayou Des Arc page for more information on the creek.  We had no swimmers, just a few close calls.  This was my first time to paddle after a long layoff; my low brace muscles were sore on Sunday!

This creek requires basic boat control and the ability to recognize a tree hazard.  We encountered several fallen trees that had to be portaged (the slender paddlers were able to slide under some that stopped the rest of us).  One such portage was needed just downstream of an area that had obvious tornado damage – tree tops twisted and laid over, probably from the April tornado last year that went through Vilonia.  Trees were laid down in large numbers such that the portage around a blocked chute was quite challenging.  The scenery was really nice on the upper half of the six mile run.  We joked about the “darn pools” between the rapids, pools that took three or four strokes to traverse.  It’s that continuous!  My first trip down this creek was at slightly higher water, when there were leaves on the trees.  The reduced visibility on that outing made us portage a time or two for safety; I much prefer the run with the leaves off.

Maybe the next rain will fall on the new Class II+ creeks; can’t wait to try them out.

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Possible first descents may happen this weekend:

A: Class I-II; 6 miles long; 12 feet per mile; not scouted so there may be
portages around fallen trees; limited scenic value; Perryville area; no
photos available for this moderately small creek; suitable for open boat.

B: Class II+; 2 miles long; 78 feet per mile; fully scouted and hazard-free;
narrow and flume-like with quick maneuvering required; shallow with
narrow passages through brush (similar to Thompson Creek); strong
possibility this will be a first descent; Glenwood area. Probably not
suitable for open boats due to tightness. Photos at


C: Class II+; 5 miles long; 37 feet per mile; fully scouted and hazard-free;
many small falls and much surfing potential on this fair-sized creek; first
two miles narrow but clean; fast paced throughout; good scenery;
Glenwood area; Probably suitable for open boats. Photos at


I will be watching the radar to determine if enough rain falls in the right places. Let me know if you want to get in on any of these. Full data will be published after the first(?) descent.


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