Rocks, water, and bugs

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What a day! Jeff Trop and Craig Kochel gathered a number of faculty, geology students and we loaded the kayaks and bicycles and headed up the Pine Creek gorge in north-central Pennsylvania. Stopped at a few roadcuts along the way where Professors Trop, Kochel, and Gray explained the sedimentary rocks and geologic history of Appalachian Plateau. Put in at ___ and paddled downstream to . Professor Gray stayed back with the boats while the rest of us rode bikes on the rails-to-trails back up to the cars. A long day, made longer because it was the maiden voyage of the kayak trailer and we didn't have a good setup for securing the boats. Learned a lot about outfitting.

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Total distance paddled was 15.9 miles, then rode that distance back! Here's the breakdown: 2.0 miles from Babb Creek to Rattlesnake Rock; then 5.1 miles to Gamble Run; then 4.2 miles to Slate Run; then 2.2 miles to Black Walnut Bottom; then 2.5 miles to Ross Run.

The air temperature warmed up to mid-70s and we paddled most of the trip in short sleeved shirts. The discharge in Pine Creek at Cedar Run was 784 ft3 sec-1. It was the opening day of trout season - we saw numerous fly fishermen working the riffles and pools, but didn't see any fish being caught. Most were using whooly buggers and various nymphs. The breezes (averaged 2 mph, with gusts up to 8 mph) made casting difficult.

Discharge - Pine Creek at Cedar Run, PA

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We saw numerous bufflehead ducks (Bucephala albeola) skirting around the edges of the river (see photo). It's the smallest diving duck in North America and nests almost exclusively in holes excavated by Northern Flickers and, on occasion, by Pileated Woodpeckers. Unlike most ducks, the Bufflehead is mostly monogamous, often remaining with the same mate for several years.