Post by Tony Daniel on Sept 22, 2013 18:35:09 GMT -5
Chapter 1 The Plan I wanted to do a short run and take advantage of localized high water and Anglins Creek seem to fit the bill. Tales of it being haunted and the fact that just one ridge stood between it and Upper Meadow added to the appeal. The plan was to hit it early and then go to Gauley Fest. Three of us attempted Anglins: Jim McClure, Mason Daniel, and myself, Tony Daniel. Jim drove south to Hico (I met him at 9:15) after he had an eventful and sleepless Fri. night camped at Gauley Fest. We picked up Mason (who mentioned he had also stayed up late) in La Vista before heading to the water plant on route 41 where Anglins dumps into the Meadow. We left my van and piled into Jim’s truck. We took Runa Road 24 and then went to the 24/7 crossing of Anglins creek to determine options for put ins. I explained we could put in there and kayak 3 or 4 miles back to van or continue on to the next option. In reality, option 1 actually looks closer to being 4 or 5 miles after consulting the maps at home. Somehow I always under estimate distances.
We went for option two: putting in further upstream, at a ford on a road that roughly resembles 17/2. I say resembles, because we were navigating on logging roads that were gated (but open) on land being leased by hunting clubs. Brent Samples and I had scouted this put in a couple years ago. Before putting on we followed the road some more, fording the creek since the road on the other side of the creek looked like it was in much better condition than the way we came in. Eventually, 8 miles later, we ended up in Quinwood. We turned around and went back to the put in (at the ford) but we now knew a better way to drive into the creek. I'm going to estimate it was 11:30 am when we put on the water for what was supposed to be a 6-8 mile paddle all together (probably would have been 9 miles had we actually made it).
Chapter 2 Beaver City A tell tale “sign” that the day and our trip was doomed was when we put in below one strainer and above another. The whole section we ran was littered with strainers. We spent as much time out of our boats as in, mostly fighting with our boats through Rhododendron thickets. I've boated several smaller streams with far less wood. Obviously the area was hard hit by Sandy, the Derachio, or both. This is too bad, because the creek was pretty, had consistent gradient would have been considered a straight forward class two-three run. The creek was dropping out so we scraped a bit and we all found ourselves temporarily pinned on rocks at one time or another but that was a minor nuisance. As it was, we were doing well to travel half a mile per hour. It was slow tedious work that involved getting out the boats continuously (20x or more). The fallen logs weren’t limited to the creek, so when we did carry we frequently had to pull our boats over and under fallen trees.
Chapter 3 Separation and another “Sign” We were about a quarter of the way when we realized we weren't going to make the whole 6-8 miles (which after studying the maps it would have been closer to 9 miles). All three of us were determined to make it to the first road crossing. We had no vehicle there but we all were getting exhausted and knew that we would run out of daylight if we tried to push the whole way back to the van.
At one point Jim portaged on river right around a log jam, Mason portaged center, and I portaged left. The creek continued to braid out. Mason and I met up but Jim was nowhere to be seen. As we got back in our boats, Mason and I hoped that Jim was ahead of us and not caught in a strainer upstream somewhere. After paddling a short distance, we noticed three rocks stacked on a strainer or log that you could pull your boat over. We knew that was a “sign” from Jim. Mason and I were glad to know he was safe and ahead of us.
Chapter 4 A Welcome Sight We didn't see Jim again until we reached the bridge on road 24/7 at about 6:45 pm. It was a very welcome sight to see the bridge and then see Jim. We had traveled 4 river miles and at least 4 ½ miles or 5 miles if you include the detours around the wood. We had scraped, clawed, waded, and hacked our way through trees both on and off the creek. Jim had gone ahead on his own through the strainer filled creek, caught a ride back to van, found my stashed keys, and had returned with the van. Obviously, I was the slow poke. Mason often traded me boats, dragging my heavier xp and he helped pull our boats over and under logs. He also was a very good probe when it came to paddling through strainers. My resolve is still strong but sometimes strong bodies are needed as well, and Mason has both those qualities.
Chapter 5 a Million Dollars or Just Haunted? It was foggy and rainy as we drove the Russelville Road back to Quinwood. Gazing down into the valley where Anglins is nestled, the fog and encroaching darkness truly made the place look haunted. Jim says the place played with his mind. He claims to have received a phone call from me, and heard my voice, even though I was still fighting my way down the creek earlier in the evening. When we finally made it back to Jim’s truck (the creek ford put in) at 9:00 pm, he asked Mason, “If I gave you a headlamp would you paddle the creek for a million dollars?” Mason responded, “It wouldn’t matter how much you offered, there’s simply no way I could make it.” So I dropped Mason off at his Mom’s house after eating dinner with him at the Rainelle McDonalds and I made it back to Oak Hill at 10:30. I settled on a warm shower and soak in the hot tub instead of a trip to Summersville. Maybe I’ll actually make it to Gauley Fest next year. Jim did make it back there to pick up his tent and sell a boat and then he made it home at 1:00 am.
Sore muscles and a few scrapes were the price we all paid for our wood filled adventure. Would I do it again? Sure, but you paddle it first and then let me know if you still want to go. Until then, I’m a one and done concerning Anglins. Tony
Post by Jim McClure on Sept 22, 2013 19:46:07 GMT -5
It wasn't just bad it was the closest to worst I've ever dealt with!! Not to mention the stream is about as remote as it can get, we did find one trail with a camp but it was grown up as well, absolutely no way possible to walk out. And no whare to go if we did. Search and rescue would not have spotted us on a count of 90% of Anglins is under tree canopy. I was supposed to do a UG first timers trip with josh Jordan and the Jackson guys as our guide, but it was candled due to high water This was my 5th or 6th gfest and my 3rd time camping there, I've never had any issues before but Friday night was like a rave party at a easy rider rodeo. So coupled with my experience of the dark side of Gauley fest (2-3 hours of sleep) made for a long somewhat stressful day. Did I mention it pored rain most of the day?
Post by Brent Samples on Sept 22, 2013 20:09:42 GMT -5
Wow! that sounds like a epic day. I remember when Tony and I scouted for the put in we had county maps and a GPS and it still got confusing, I can imagine what it was like at creek level, glad you all made it out safe.
Post by Doug (Freeze) Ackerman on Sept 22, 2013 20:13:14 GMT -5
OK, that is the second descent of Anglins Creek that I have heard about. The participants in the other one were equally unenthusiastic about returning. However, I believe that they did finish the run. Jim, you might have been better off on the Upper Gauley at 5,000, where almost certainly the exits from your boat would have been fewer and more exciting.
Post by Chally Erb on Sept 24, 2013 7:35:41 GMT -5
i ran anglins creek back about 6-7 yrs ago with bernie, and shawn before the derachico wood. it was not bad run. the last drop being the biggest just before the take out at the h2o tank. also we had someone on the bridge at 41 shooting viedo as we came down that last rapid well just before we ran it unknow to us boaters our presences jumped a deer into the water and it ran the rapid just before us and we have footage of it. he actually had a better line than we did. sound too much of a hasel to run it now! later chally