Date: Mon, 02 Feb 1998 16:50:14 -0600
From: Glenn Hart <email@example.com>
Subject: Trip Report - Medina at 1200 CFS
I ran the Medina River at a low flood stage Saturday afternoon from Camp Bandina Crossing (about eight miles below Medina) to the Hwy. 470 bridge, a distance of seven miles.
The Camp Bandina bridge usually has plenty of room for a canoe to pass under it, with a little ducking of heads. At this level, the water was touching the bottom of the bridge. There were quite a few three foot waves downstream from the bridge.
The water was the familiar "chocolate brown". The only debris was occasional bark and other small stuff. There were no floating logs, and no logs jammed across the channel. The flow was (obviously) quite fast at most times, but most waves were fairly small.
The hazards were the typical ones you find on this stream even at moderate flows - lots of cypress trees in the channel with at times very little margin of error. The run was not a whole lot different than at moderate levels , except that all decisions and turns had to be made quite a bit quicker. I would say that this is a dangerous, but not extremely difficult run at this level IF you respect the problems the trees can cause you.
I kept thinking about the advice Fred Collins (a veteran paddler and the area authority on the Medina) gave me years ago. If you come around a blind bend and there is a tree across the channel, do a quick eddy turn into the bank and hold on! Actually, this happened to my friend and me in a tandem one time, and it worked.
I was paddling a solo Mohawk 13 footer (I'm still on the learning curve for solo paddling). I did fine except on a couple of eddy turns. Guess what happens when you lean a round bottomed boat too much as you go into an eddy....
You guessed it!
Oh welll, Mike Fox once told me "If you ain't swimmin', you ain't learning!"