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8/25/16
  This loop begins at Long Pool Campground at Big Piney Creek north of Russellville. My arrival here came after the usual breakfast at Denny's. After stashing my boat and gear I drove back to Long Pool and parked. A small dog came up to me but it had to be ignored or it might follow me for miles. The plan for this trip was to hike and paddle and camp on the river. This Thursday morning was sunny with a temp of 71°. At 6:35 a.m. the planned loop was begun. The hike involved following a road along a ridge to my put-in location. This meant climbing out of the valley and then descending back into again. My route included a power line to a poor road to a good road.
  After a pleasant hike Indian Creek was before me. By 9:45 my kayak loaded with camping gear slid down the very low tributary of Big Piney Creek. The pools were fine but many of the shoals had to dragged over. After 2 miles of his the Piney came into view. At 1.8 feet on the Corps of Engineers gauge the river was at its lower limits. My kayak was quite heavy with my camping gear and the shallow rapids were harder to penetrate with this extra weight. By 12:15, a gravel bar just below where Graves Creek enters the river provided a lovely lunch stop. So far the hike and paddle had been plagued by horse flies. On and off the river their onslaught was without escape. Many of these little bastards perished in their attempts to eat me.
  The temp was somewhere in the 80's and the many miles of travel made my ass weary. A search for a proper campsite was fruitless, for my tastes are quite specific in this regard. The thought of a constant persistence by these damned flies also played a role in deciding not to spend the night. Thunder in the distance  gave me hope for some rain while paddling, but this was not to be. The experience of paddling through a warm thunderstorm is fantastic, and lightning does not deter me. By 3:15 the dreaded Pool of Length was before me. I savored my final strokes as my journey ended. The hike was 7 miles and the paddle was 10 miles for a total loop of 17 miles. I pondered camping at the campground there but the remembrance of the flying hordes quickly dissuaded me. My next destination became home. The trip was a good one.  

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