Mullica River Overnight
by Larry Pohl
Sun-Mon, January 29-30, 2012
Morning temps were in the 20's both mornings, getting up into the balmy 40's both days. The shuttle ran a bit longer than expected. The potholes are filled and the bridge is open, but a rollover accident took out a telephone pole cutting power to the Batsto area and requiring a detour through Totem village while they were replacing the pole and re-stringing the wires.
The river gauge flat-lined at 200 CFS, but I think it's broken or possibly powered by the local power grid and not that little solar panel.
http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nj/nwis/uv/?site_no=01409400&PARAmeter_cd=00065,00060 It felt like it was running around 350.
We made camp after a nice 2:35 run down from the put-in at 206. We were alone in an empty camp till just before dark when a lone backpacker showed up. The trees are hacked up and dripping sap even worse than they were a few months ago. I have to wonder about the outdoor skill of people that hack up trees, can't get a kiln dried pine 2X3 with the Home Depot bar-code still on the end to burn completely and leave underwear hanging in the trees.
We broke camp late, and after 50 minutes of leisurely paddling we stopped on the high bank just upstream of Constable Bridge, had lunch and enjoyed the sun for a couple hours before paddling to the Pleasant Mills takeout. We caught scent of a fire just above the high bank that seemed to start out as a clean burn, then picked up that damp debris scent of burning woods as if it were arson or an illegal campfire that got out of control. A call to the cell phone of the local Forest Fire guy in charge of that area confirmed that they not only knew about it, it was indeed a woods fire started by humans. It was not a problem though, it was the Forest Fire service doing a controlled burn.
The local coyote pack had a feast on the high bank not long before we arrived. Fresh footprints were everywhere and it looked like they ate something substantial. Overall it was a fun trip.