Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Kakayking Ocmulgee 2nd Leg


Saturday we embarked on the 2nd leg stretch of the Ocmulgee River.  This stretch is about 8.5 miles long and starts at Wise Creek boat ramp and ends at Hwy 83 bridge.  The weather started off nice, it was overcast and coolish for this time of year and we had the forethought of loading the boats the night before.
The river was a little higher this trip that our disastrous time before.

The gauge said that the river was running at about 325 cubic feet/sec and it was about 250 the time before.  The put in at wise creek was definitely higher.  Lauren enjoyed her last trip out with us so much that she joined us again.  She and I used the Triyak sit on top (the red beast) and clay used his sit-inside.


 The is a couple of pictures from the Wise creek put in/take out.  I wish that we had these pictures before doing the 1st leg of the trip so it would be easier to identify where the 1st leg ends.  It would be easy to miss the creek because it sneaks into the river in this little cove area but the ramp made with cinder blocks would be hard to miss even from across the river.
The trip started easy enough and was uneventful (in a good way) the whole time.  We stopped a little more than an hour in an went for a swimming break.  There was a nice little sandy beach area which turned out to be part of the equestrian trail.  While Lauren and Clay were jumping of the big rock and I was warming in the sun like a turtle, several horses and their humans came up on the shore.  They took turns coming in the water and cooling off.  Several water dogs came up during our time there too and went right in,  Clay just got more and more giddy.  I can't wait for us to have our own water dog!  One very curious horse came up to us when we got back in our boats and nibble a little on the edge of the boat and on the kayak and let me pet it.  You know me, I am a sucker for an animal!  Speaking of, on the drive in that morning I think that we saw the fastest land crawling turtle ever.  I stopped to help it across the road but by the time I got out of the car and over to get it, the speedy turtle was on the grass on the other side. 

After our swimming excursion we paddled on for an hour or so until we were so hungry we couldn't stand it.  We stopped for lunch on a little rocky area near where the tornado has come through and wiped out a bunch of trees.  We set up on the rock and cooked up our MREs.  I had a tasty strawberry milkshake treat in mine!  
After we had full bellies we hit the water.  For whatever reason, Lauren though it would be fun to pull Clay in his boat so we hitched him up with a bungee and started towing.  We had to get him to pay us back so we made him play DJ and we requested songs that he sang as many of the lyrics as he could remember (like 1-2 lines)This kept us entertained.  I raced Clay paddling our big ol' boat by myself and needless to say he won, I may or may not have forfeited out of fatigue before reaching the pre-appointed finish line.  
There were maybe 2-3 very small rapids in this stretch of river and most of it was very flat almost like lake paddling due to little current.  With our 2 fairly lengthy stops it took about 6 hours total on the river.  Poor Lauren even with her rash guard and multiple re-applications of SPF 50 sunscreen still got roasted and toasted.  The take out at 83 was easy to spot since there is a bridge there and was easy to maneuver except for the large amount of people clogging up the area.  Lots of swimmers, floaters, and loungers, none of whom were very keen on moving out of the way for the boats.  Also, if you park here under the bridge, make sure that you don't pull under so far that someone will pull behind you and block you in once the bridge is full.  This happened to us.  Luckily we had about 2 inches to spare to pull Clay's truck through the hole between cars.  
All in all we had a fantastic kayaking trip this time!  

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