Big Creek, Stokes County, NC
October 27, 2007
Big Creek Video (39MB)
Dale, Susie, Justin, Mike, Brad, Josh and I ran Big Creek at 2 ft on the Dan's Francisco Gauge.
The day started early with seal launches off a boulder at the put-in (which isn't really a put-in according to the notes left on our vehicles.) A couple of miles of scenic class I-II paddling under a blue October sky and falling leaves followed. When Mill Rapid seemed to pop up out of no where, everyone got out of their boats to scout it. As the only person to have paddled Big Creek before, Dale pointed out all the lines and hazards. He also ran it first, stopping in the middle to check out the river left line for wood. A log still blocks that side, so everyone ran it on the right. The rapid starts with a choice of either going right or left around a rock in the center of the river. Running it right allows for a sneak by the first ledge. A log on the left doesn't totally block that line, but it does mean that if you go to the left of the center rock, you have to paddle left to right, then hook back and down the ledge. Justin ran it twice and picked the left line on his second drop. I followed that same line when I came through last. Everyone ran both sections of Mill Rapid problem-free, but the small drop between it and Loop De Loop brought out four braces and one roll. We got out again at Loop De Loop, which is just around the corner from Mill Rapid, scouted it, then ran it one at a time, taking lots of photos. Justin ran it on both sides. Suzie and I ran it twice on the right. Suzie showed that it was nothing to be worried about by hamming for the camera on her second run. Dale ran it on the left. Mike and Josh ran it on the right. Brad's first run found him upside down under the pour over where his boat circulated against the rock, not allowing him to roll-up. But when he finally made it to the surface he was all smiles and quickly hucked back to the top for a second run. This was the first local run for Josh and Brad. I hope the weather and water didn't spoil them, because days like that are far and few between. I had been waiting for a chance to run Big Creek for over two years. I hope another two years don't go by before I get to run it again. It's a beautiful, secluded run with two really exciting rapids on it. At the take-out it was time to eat lunch, pick up the shuttle vehicles and decide where to go next. Susie and Mike had to call it a day, but everyone else decided to head to the Boiling Hole on the Mayo.
The take-out for this run is at the 268 (Linchburg Road) and Route 8 bridge, right where Big Creek enters the Dan River. I currently don't have a solution to how to get onto Big Creek. The access will be off Forrest Road, but you cannot cross the property at the only place the creek nears the road. We ran it with the Dan River's Francisco Gauge at 2 feet. I'd put that at my minimum for running Big Creek.