Sat, May 8 2004 - Chatooga River trail, swimming hole and waterfall (View Original Event Details)

Trip Leader(s): Bruce
Participants:Bruce, Jennifer Stacy, Chad Carlson, Jim K, Don Norton (Chicken Feathers), , Chad Culbertson, Denine Rowley, Tim Lewis, Michael Aubertine, , Jennifer Clifford, Kelly Spillman, Caitlin Stark, Michelle Halley, Radha Bezwada, James M Storey, Teela James, Bryan Hausner, Geoff Mueller

Write Up:
For the second event in a row several no shows joined a large list or pre-cancelled people (for many reasons), and we were unfortunately left with half our original list number, with one late addition to aid with that number. It was to be a glorious day weather and temperature wise for a swimming and dipping in cool water event that the swimming hole at the end of the trail provided. After waiting 20 minutes at the park and ride lot, we all gave up on waiting, and divvied up into three vehicles for the trip north. After stopping briefly at McDonalds in Clayton for a restroom break, we continued on the winding (and more winding) Warwoman road some 14 miles until its end at Highway 28. Then we turned south, travelling several miles to our parking spot at the Russell Bridge (which crosses the Chattooga River), on the Georgia side. We walked the ‘super highway’ wide road which takes up the first mile and a half with dashes of poison ivy here and there (hopefully most avoided it all day) until the wide roadbed turned down into the woods. This gave way to the smaller and increasingly overgrown, face slapping, body bushwhacking adventure that keeps this trail rather isolated from large groups (except for scattered trout fisherman). After about ¾’s of a mile we came to our cold water crossing of Reed Creek, took off our hiking shoes and socks and crossed bare footed through the shallow, but cold waters with slippery rocks; and all arrived nicely chilled and slightly wet on the other side safely. After re-shoeing, we returned to the trail, which was overgrown with body slapping reeds and many and various weeds (including many peoples’s personal friend-poison ivy plants). After increasingly tortuous bushwhacking and hard to see trail, many were becoming hungry and ready for the lunch; and I promised only five minutes more of torture to the beach and lunch spot. We arrived after maybe seven to ten minutes at the beach and welcome waterhole on the Chattooga, across from lower ‘Licklog’ Falls to recreate in the water, swim to the falls on the South Carolina side and clean any ivy residue off of our legs. We all enjoyed swimming, dipping, and laying out in the sun on the small beach there for a while before returning to the trail shortly before four o’clock. We made short work of the trail back, enjoyed socializing on the trail during the walk (as we did on the way in); and upon returning decided on returning to Atlanta to eat a Lupitas (and good Margaritas)- a welcome culinary suggestion by K.C. Thyne. Before returning two of three cars stopped for quick snacks at Burger King and Dairy Queen in Clayton. Guided by map masters Geoff and Chad, K.C. and Jennifer’s carload had a brief adventure to North Carolina, by travelling north on Highway 28, past the turn to Clayton, forsaking the easy way back, and making our days adventure extend into three states in a day! --(Congratulations team!). Needless to say the two cars stopping briefly in Clayton, arrived back in Atlanta and Lupitas restaurant, close by the park and ride, shortly before the adventurous team did. Nonetheless, we were all happy to see them and hear of their extra trip, and shared laughs about that and many subjects. This was aided by ingestion of margaritas and mass consumption of good food (most commendably large pile of chicken by K.C. and rabbit food by Jennifer- good job ladies! -- and all others cleaned their plates of slightly smaller amounts of various Mexican foods). I thanked the group for being part of a great and day of adventure, fun and good company; and they thanked me for organizing and leading the event—We all toasted each other’s company. I assure your it is a pure pleasure to lead with a marvelous crowd we had this day, and another good day on the trail (and consumption adventure after).
Written By: Bruce Aldridge
Photos From: none currently