A Gorgeous Summer Day: Paddling Magee Creek

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My friends Jo Ann and Robbie invited some folks to go kayaking in the Bogue Chitto River area yesterday, and Ashok and I pounced on the opportunity. We had been on the Bogue Chitto River last September, and it was absolutely beautiful. I arrived at about 8:30 at Canoe and Trail Outpost in Tylertown MS. The folks there were super nice, and I decided to take a walk while I waited for my compadres to arrive. The woman up front told me the campground was beautiful, so I headed back.

Campground Site I Want!

There were campsites at the front of the outpost, but the really pretty area was the primitive area in the bend of the Bogue Chitto. They charge $6 per person per night, so it’s really affordable, but, of course, it’s primitive so there is no electricity. There are outdoor hot showers and restrooms, though, up front. That’s a recipe for a return trip for me when the weather gets a tad cooler. I know the campsite I want, too. A tent sat up on a bluff overlooking the Bogue Chitto, and it looked exactly like the kind of place I’d like to wake up to in the morning. I can just see Ashok running down to get a quick bath while I cook up some eggs and toast. Hell, I might even cook up bacon with a view like that!

The Beach Behind the Campground

I took some pics and wandered around on a sandy, rocky beach on the other side of the campground. Ashok swam for the first time of the day and rolled in the sand a bit. She even found something extra stinky to perfume her for the day. By that time, my friends had arrived, and we loaded our boats and supplies in the van. We decided to paddle Magee Creek instead of the river. Another party with a German Shepherd departed with us. We saw them on and off throughout the day.

The creek was beautiful. It is spring-fed, so the water was really cool. It was so cool that the first dip was enough to take my breath away. But, after that, it just felt really refreshing. For a June day, it was not too hot, and I don’t think I ever even broke a sweat. We stopped frequently to grab bites to eat, swim in the creek and wonder what the poor people were doing today. I think I can speak for all of us that we felt really blessed to be out on the water on such a gorgeous day. We did get a few sprinkles here and there, but the day was mostly sunny.

Ashok takes a swim. She doesn’t really like to swim. I had to act like I was leaving her to get her to jump back in the water and come across.

I saw lots of fish in the creek. Some were quite large. I suspect it would be a good fishing hole. Jeff said a fish rubbed up against him and showed us the red mark to prove it. In between swimming breaks, we meandered along, taking turns leading the group with no official structure. We had a kayak pile-up at one log jam, and Ashok almost drowned (or thought she did) when she tried to abandon Jo Ann’s kayak and head over to mine in the middle of a little rapids. I told her to jump in the boat NOW, but she doesn’t get the concept that the boat is going to move, and I can’t stop it in the middle of a current. She ended up on a branch on the bank, and I had to coerce her to swim toward me. But how do you jump into a kayak when you can’t touch the bottom? She swam to the back of the boat, and I could barely reach her collar to pull her in. The whole thing made me really nervous, but that’s part of being in nature. I should have had her life jacket on her yesterday, but I was afraid she’d be too hot. I won’t do that again.

Our Group… Jeff and I had to trade out taking pics, so we have two! I wish I knew photoshop. 🙂

Other than that, the whole trip was easygoing. Toward the end of the trip, the thunder started rolling. We could see the black clouds on the horizon, but they never really covered us up. About a mile before we ended, a Kingfisher rattled and caught my eye. I love those birds …. and not only because they are named after me. They fly down rivers and streams, flitting in the tops of trees on one side of the bank and then they other. They’ll dive to the water, fly along the surface and hop on a tall tree again. When I kayak, they often lead the way downstream, and this one did that today. It’s rattle is unique, and I always get a bit excited when I hear it. It’s one of the few birds I know by their call.

Loved these beautiful trees

I’ve decided that I want to go back to that campground when the weather gets a little cooler. They also have cabins with air-conditioning for $100 a night. That might be an option for the summer. I just think it would be really nice to paddle the creek one day and the river the next. They are both beautiful. Surprisingly, for a summer weekend, we only encountered one roudy teenage bunch and that was just before we got back to the Outpost. By then, we caught up with our German Shepherd buddies, and one of the guys laughed and said he used to be that way when he was a teenager, too. I concur. One day hopefully they’ll appreciate the quietness of a secluded paddle with a Kingfisher rattling against the backdrop of a beautiful day.

A Taste of Kayaking. You can hear the thunder rolling toward the end.

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