July 23, 2007

Weekend Camping Debriefing

Thursday afternoon, two friends and I went on what is becoming an annual trip up to Blue Ridge Reservoir for a few days of summer R&R.

The basic shape of the lake is that of a horseshoe.

Two years ago, we hiked down to a campsite above the last fork on the southern end of the horseshoe. Last year, when we returned to the same site, the water level had dropped so far (about 15') that we had no direct access to float the canoe. We had to slog across 10 yards of mud to get to the water line.

This year we decided to float our equipment from the boat ramp (a few turns west of the dam) back to the campsite. If we didn't have water access to our preferred site, we could find something near deeper water.

The water level was down an additional 10'. Not only was our primary site dry, but so was our backup. The dam used to be managed by Phelps Dodge, and they tended to keep the water level high for recreational purposes. Two years ago, control of the dam was turned over to Salt River Project, and they've proceeded to sell off much of the water in the reservoir.


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