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12/22/2012
  The creek of the week is Bobtail Creek. I first heard of this creek probably thirty years ago...and also came to know that kayakers have paddled this tributary of Richland Creek. Being a kayaker myself this prompted me to go and hike the valley of Bobtail Creek on the Saturday just before Chrsitmas 2012. Bobtail converges with lower Richland Creek 1.5 miles below the bridge at Richland Campground. American Whitewater classifies Bobtail Creek as class III-IV+ which is the same rating as upper Richland Creek. I came into this area from Hwy 16 and turned west on CR 265 then north on CR 387 (FS 1219A) also known as Bobtail Trail. I parked about 3 miles in and headed down into the valley at 6:15 a.m.. Weather was clear with a temp of 27...still dark with sunrise at 7:15. The frost on the ground sparkled against the beam of my head lamp as I moved down the hill. The sound of rushing water notified me of my proximity to the creek which was my goal.
  Bobtail Creek started out pretty small but there was an adequate flow-o-H2O and downstream the map showed many feeder branches to add to the flow. Much of the stream bed was filled with small boulders, gravel and bedrock but the best stretches were crammed with good sized boulders. At one point two large whitetails pranced past me at 50 yards away then bounded up the slope and disappeared. Wildlife was scarce aside from these deer. Nearly a half a mile from Richland the water slid beneath the surface and never showed itself again until it joined its mother. At this point evidence of 4 wheeler activity was seen with the usual cans and tracks scattered about the dry creek bed. here I headed up the ridge towards my origin. The slopes were quite rocky and free from undergrowth from a fire that I assume was a controlled burn some time back. By 1:45 p.m. I was back with a temp of 59 degrees. I never saw another person or vehicle during my entire hike. Total miles were right at 9.

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