Saturday, November 24, 2012

Meremac River- Pacific Palisades CA, November 21st, 2012: Short but awesome trip- not exactly serene

Kayaking the Meremac River, Pacific Palisades CA, MO

EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking near St. Louis, Missouri

This is a conservation area I tried to kayak last year and never could seem to find the boat launch.  Technology and smart phones have so helped out the efforts to find boat launches.  I looked this one up and found it and decided I had a couple of hours to kayak before it got dark, so I went for it.  One of my favorite routes is just downstream at the Route 66 SP (see prior post).
The boat launch is nice, but you almost cannot find it (it is not signed very well from the main road).  I saw on a chat board in doing research that the launch has occasional problems with people breaking into cars and such.  I can see where that could take place here...very remote.
Earlier this year I heard a newstory about a teenager who drowned in these waters.  I can see, after kayaking this part of the river, how that would happen. The current in this part is medium, but the depths seem to go from 2' to 12' suddenly in many places.  The section that has the boat launch is right in the current and appears to be deep.  There is also an old gauging station about 300' upstream from the ramp that has a lot of old wood pilings and concrete blocks, but above and below water.  This is not a good place to swim!
I paddled up stream toward the Silica plant.  The railroad tracks are on the starboard side as you paddle upstream, so my title "not the most serene" comes from the noise of the plant and the railroad tracks.  I personally do not have much of a problem with this, but I have friends who would not want to paddle this section because of this (I consider myself to be a bit of an "urban kayaker" so I am good).  When you get up to the plant area, the river shallows out to about 2' and turns into a quick run.  I paddled it across, and could have gotten out of the kayak and portaged to go further, but I was running out of daylight, and wanted to explore the lake-inlet area of the CA.
What is cool about the Pacific Palisades area is that there is a lake in the middle of it that connects to the river.  I think it used to be a gravel quarry or strip mine of some sorts way back.This provides for a really nice wetland area right in the middle of the conservation area.  I padded a bit into it, and there were a couple of guys throwing decoys to duck hunt, so I turned around and headed back to the ramp.  Saw a nice herd of deer in the distance as I was heading back (I think the duck hunters scared them).
This will be a great place to come back in the summer time and explore some more.  I fished it a little, but did not have any results

Paddle ON!


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