This was my first trip down a river in my kayak. I recently purchased a Splash II (tandem) from Crescent Kayaks and had used it on the beach but was looking forward to a river trip. My 9 year old son, Kyle and I shared our trip with a friend of mine, Barry and his 9 year old son Joseph. Barry and Joseph used a 17' aluminum canoe of mine. After reading about many Kayak/Canoe trips on the web I decided on what sounded like a good trip for beginners.
We set off late morning to Whitesburg to put in at highway 16/alt 27 boat ramp. We unloaded our equipment to a beautiful morning with other adventurers. I had arranged for another friend to meet me at Chattahoochee Bend State park after I dropped the others off at the starting point. He brought me back to the boat ramp after leaving my truck at the take out point. Thanks Doug for your help.
As we left out we went under the Hwy 16 overpass. I started fishing right away because I knew Kyle's enthusiasm to paddle wouldn't last for the whole day. We caught several small bass, but nothing to get excited about. Kyle enjoyed seeing the railroad tracks above our head as we went under. Barry showed us how pulling in the eddy behind the bridge column you can sit and fish without being pulled down stream.
Kyle had lots of questions about the power plant we saw. How do they use the water? If they were to blow up the stacks, which way do you think they would fall? The things boys think about are never predictable. As we went passed we came to our first rapids. I made sure everything was strapped down and watched as another kayaker went down. He made it look simple. Barry and Joseph was next in the canoe. It looked like they had made it until all the sudden they spilled out the side. Kyle and I headed down to face our fate to try to help our friends floating in the water. We made it down and helped gather the floating items in the river. We went to shore to regroup in what had to be the muddiest spot on the whole Chattahoochee. When I got out I sank in about 1 1/2 feet of mud. Joseph lost one of his shoes forever to the mud. We up righted the canoe and set back out on the river.
About a 1/2 mile down we came to some nice rocks to get the rest of the mud and water out of our friends' canoe. A few fishing poles and one shoe lost, could have been worst. We ate lunch and laughed about all that had happened in the short amount of time we had been on the water.
At times the wind was blowing us back up the river, but it did feel good. We stopped several more times to stretch our legs and let the boys throw rocks and be boys. The rest of the shoals we passed were fun and uneventful. When we arrived at McIntosh Park we saw others getting out to end there day and I wondered if I had made the right decision about going all the way to the Chattahoochee Bend. It didnt matter though that was where the truck was and that was where we had to get to. The river slowed down after that. It seemed slower than any places we had been earlier. I am sure it was no slower, I was just tired.
You have time to think when you are out in nature. I thought how great God is and how beautiful His creations are. Thankful for the sacrifice Christ made to restore a relationship between us and God. Its hard for me not to think about my personal relationship with Christ in such a setting.
We saw no one else the rest of the trip until we reached the park. It excited me to hear voices. The park is pretty big and my GPS was still showing we had a little ways to go. We pressed on toward our goal and the sighting of the ramp reenergized me for the finished. Kyle was excited too and he wanted to do the rest of the paddling. The GPS said it was 10.7 mile trip and it took us 5 hours and 6 minutes. Once everything was loaded back in the truck Barry and I realized how tired we were.
This was a great trip and would recommend it. I want to do it again and add the next section to Franklin after a night of camping. Thanks again to Doug for the help dropping off the truck. Barry, I had a great time and look forward to the next time
We put in at boat ramp at the Hwy 16 bridge in Whitesburg, and took out at Chattahoochee Bend State Park boat ramp. We left our truck at the state park.
$5 fee at Chattahoochee Bend State Park
Hwy 16/ Alt 27 Whitesburg