Riverkeeper report: Crazy train

Published 8:06 am Saturday, August 13, 2016

Spirit of Moonpie and I spent the 8th through the 10th on the Nottoway and Blackwater. The water was that strange brown color it’s been all year it seems and 81 degrees.

Trash was light on both rivers. I did pick up two large plastic tubs with “spill collection” printed on them I have no idea what that meant.

The fishing on this trip was great for bream, but that was it. I caught all I wanted easily on fly rod and casting. I caught several bass casting, most in the monster 6-ounce size category. I only caught one catfish and that was in the Blackwater the first night. It weighed 5 pounds, but looked terrible, like Moonpie, Hee! Hee! I don’t think those blue cats like that hot water.

Speaking of fishing, somebody that fishes a lot near the Rt. 258 landing must be the sorriest caster and laziest fisherperson ever. I removed four stumpy looking plastic worms fully rigged with hooks from the trees at that location along with many yards of line. I know this person must spend a fortune on monofilament because I removed a reel full on this trip. That’s just sorry leaving those lures up in the trees like that.

I rode past the Franklin boat ramp on the second day to check on the progress of the re-decking of the pier. Man, that Lowe’s Heroes Project Team was really doing a good job. It was nice to see the City of Franklin, VDGIF and a community group like the Lowe’s team working together to benefit the boating and fishing public. Everyone that uses that pier should be thankful.

I wanted to get an aerial shot of the work being done, but Chopper 10 was in the air covering the train derailment so I did not think that was a good idea, even though I would have only been at couple hundred feet or less altitude.

Speaking of the derailment: MAN! That is so strange. I parked the boat on Monday night under the Route. 58 Bridge in Franklin to sleep in case it stormed. I have done that many times; each time I always think about what if there were a train derailment at the mill or even at Hercules (yes, I know it’s not Hercules anymore, but if I say Solenis, nobody will know where I’m talking about) when on the Nottoway.

The CSX track is only like a couple hundred yards away from the 58 bridge in Franklin.

I have always kinda in the back of my mind thought about what would happen if the train derailed and chlorine, acid or some other deadly stuff leaked out and some deadly cloud enveloped me during the night under the bridge.

So imagine how I felt the next morning when I awoke to find out there had been a DERAILMENT right there 200 yards from where I was sleeping. Luckily, there was no reported spill of anything.

I guess from now on when I tell people about my fears for camping there they won’t think I’ve gone off the rails on the crazy train, on either of the two rivers we call the Nottoway and Blackwater.

JEFF TURNER is the Blackwater/Nottoway Riverkeeper. He can be reached at blknotkpr@earthlink.net.