Sun, Jul 27 2014 - Kayak the Etowah - Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area (View Original Event Details)|
We had gorgeous weather for our nine mile paddle on the EtowahRiver Sunday morning. There were twenty three of us, including at least two AOC members who were very new to the group and one person who had never paddled their own kayak before.
Interestingly, before our adventure even got under way, we were greeted by the sight of a church baptism taking place in the river at the park where we were going to put in our boats. There was singing, chanting, a little speaking in tongues and lots of prayer going on as we gathered nearby and introduced ourselves to one another and reviewed basic paddling safety, etc. We all agreed that this would probably be the most “blessed” water ever to be traveled on an AOC trip.
After the church folk wrapped up their ceremonies, we were on our way. The river moved along at a very nice pace and was shaded for most of our journey. We were also fortunate enough to have a pleasant breeze, so we never suffered from the heat of the day, which is one of my favorite things about spending time on the water in GA in the summer!
This section of the Etowah is not developed, aside from the occasional, leftover remnants of the infrastructure from the nuclear facility such as skeletal metal bridge frames and concrete abutments. It is therefore very quiet, peaceful and lovely to travel through, even with a larger group such as ours. We had some little Class I rapids to navigate, which made the trip more entertaining, but overall it was a relaxing trip with beautiful scenery.
About five miles in, we stopped at a small creek and created an I-285-inspired logjam of kayaks so that everyone could hop onshore and hike about 150 yards up to BearFootFalls. This is a series of tiered waterfalls cascading down over shelves of rock with moss and small pools. Everyone made the small, challenging hike up to the base of the tallest part of the falls, and a few even continued up to the top. Two of the most adventurous actually climbed up the face of the falls to join them!
After visiting the falls, we got underway again, and it was about another four miles to the takeout. Most folks opted to head home after finishing up, but a few of us continued on to Big D’s Barbeque for a late lunch first, which was delicious.
Everyone agreed that they really enjoyed this section of river, and there have been multiple requests to do it again, so I will try to set up another event for it in the near future. In the meantime, thanks to my great co-lead Thomas, and to everyone who came out and look forward to seeing you again soon!
Thomas and Steven both took some great photos during our trip, so check out the link to some of them above