My inaugural paddle on Lofton Creek. I passed the boat ramp many times traveling on A1A always with a great deal of curiosity. The morning air was 42 degrees with no wind. Forecast said mostly cloudy but there were only a few clouds on the horizon. As I unloaded my boat I was excited. It has been a while since I paddled in a new place. The creek is wider than Durbin or Julington and the water was very still. I wanted to arrive 30 minutes earlier (this always seems to be the case) and the sun was getting ready to make its presence known. For the first 10 minutes the sun was still behind the trees. It was dark and quiet. Soon the sun rose and illuminated the trees. Then a few clouds started to roll in. Winter mornings are distinctive with cool crisp air and blue skies. I’m going to miss these times when the dog days of summer return.
I paddled north from the Melton Nelson boat ramp for about 3 miles. There are a few houses and docks along the first 2 miles. Beyond Rte 200A the creek is pristine. I dislike seeing development on the creek, even if it’s tastefully designed. A total destruction of the landscape. I don’t understand why the construction of permanent structures is so important to people with riverfront property. Isn’t there a responsibility on the part of the owner to preserve the natural quality of the area? If you want to avoid the docks, there is a small launch area off of Rte 200A. You can see this point on Google Maps just west of the bridge over the creek. Next time I may launch from there.
With the wider creek there were fewer overhanging trees and a more open feeling. As I paddled further upstream the creek narrowed and became more intimate. There are several old growth cypress trees along the way. One in particular was huge, and I stopped to marvel at its resilience and grandeur. At one time the creek was covered with these trees, and for some reason this one survived. How inconsequential one becomes when in the presence of these ancient living wonders.
My intent is always to proceed until fallen trees block passage. I had been paddling for 3.5 hours and I figured I had a long paddle back to the launch, so I turned around and left the rest of the creek for another day. The sun was further up in the sky (it was 11:30) and I just enjoyed the cool weather and took a slow pace home. I was hoping to have a current to assist me but it seemed like I was always paddling against the flow…how does that happen? I met 3 other paddlers along the way, otherwise I saw no one else all morning.