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Archive for May, 2009

Doc Stephens and Vincent Payne navigate a ledge near the mouth of Mountaintown Creek.

Doc Stephens and Vincent Payne navigate a ledge near the mouth of Mountaintown Creek.

Today, we once again tackled the Upper Coosawattee and Day 1 of Paddle Georgia, scouting the best routes through the rapids and the most important places to station safety boats. For those of you who have already read your Paddler Info Packet, you’ll remember this as the section with Class II rapids that will have everyone wearing helmets in accordance with American Canoe Association insurance requirements.

My 10-year-old daughter Ramsey joined us for this trip–her first real whitewater experience–so she’s the guest blogger today. Take it away Ramsey.

Ramsey finds a seat in a riverside waterfall.

Ramsey finds a seat in a riverside waterfall.

So my dad just explained what I did for my day. Whitewater paddling! Just so you know it is probably the scariest thing that you could do on the river but that’s what makes it fun. The awesome thing is that you think that you are going to flip. In the end you don’t ….. most of the time. If you flip there will be people that can help you get out of the water and save all of your stuff from floating downstream. If you’re wondering if we flipped, my dad and I almost did, but we didn’t! 

You’ll also probably see lots of snakes, but they aren’t venomous. We saw lots today, and if you scroll down you can see a photo of one. Some other cool things that you can find are balls–all kinds of balls. Soccer balls, basketballs, tennis balls…. my point is that you can use them because they’re still in good condition. One time my dad even found a football that was perfect.  Today, we found a perfect soccer ball.

Ramsey with her quarry--a still growing turtle--on Carters Lake.

Ramsey with her quarry--a still growing turtle--on Carters Lake.

Around the end of the trip there’s an awesome waterfall that you can sit on or slide down….. not from the very top though! In the last few miles I saw lots of different things.  One of those things was a baby turtle that we were able to catch and look at for a few minutes. The last three miles are on Carters Lake. It’s really relaxing because there aren’t any rapids or sounds with the exception of a few motorboats. The motorboats send off waves that make your boat rock back and fourth.

Anyways my conclusion is that it is the most fun paddle trip I’ve been on. My first paddle trip was when I was one-year-old so you can imagine how many I’ve been on. IT WAS AWESOME IN EVERY WAY THAT YOU CAN THINK OF.

Ramsey Cook, May 24, 2009

Indeed, Ramsey had a swell time today on the river, as did the rest of the gang: April Ingle, Peter Morgan, Vincent Payne, Doc Stephens, Larry Castillo and Bob Beaullieu.

The river was running at 1.8 feet which, to my way of thinking, would be about the ideal level for Paddle Georgia, so we’ll keep out fingers crossed for steady rain between now and June 20. And, as Ramsey apdtly put it, this is an awesome run. Experienced paddlers will have fun in the Coosawattee’s rapids; novices will to, but don’t be surprised if you take some swims.

A snake elicits a reaction from April Ingle.

A snake elicits a reaction from April Ingle.

The good news is that the largest rapid in the first six miles of the trip (a Class II that we’ve dubbed “American Flag Rapid”) is easily portaged. And,  for those that wish to bypass the more challenging rapids further downstream, we are offering a six-mile take out that provides an abbreviated, but just as enjoyable first day’s paddle.

Paddle Georgia is now less than a month away. We’re sold out, geared up and raring to go. See you in Ellijay next month!

Joe Cook

May 24, 2009

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