Thursday, August 22, 2013

Rivers...rain and complacency

Toccoa River Canoe Trail

 No doubt we live in an age of complacency!...Folks live more comfortably now than any other time in the past. Everything seems to get bigger, faster and just mo-better in general by the week.  I feel like I lead a pretty modest life...we are a single income family, I burn wood for heat, have old cars and trucks that are paid for, I have to repair my washer and dryer about once every three months....don't get me wrong, I'm not poor mouthing, this is the life we choose to live. I could go out and finance a new and improve, front loading hi-efficiency, does everything, save the world kinda washer and dryer (this thing is worth more than my truck)....but why would I? I could just buy propane for the central heat in our home, not fool with the hard work of splitting wood for the stove...but why would I? ...hard work and hard times build character right? all that being said, before you click the X in the top right corner of your screen because you think I'm being a touch holier than thou, I'll have confess, I am not immune to the magnificent things modern society has to offer.
 Big ol flat screen...yeah, I got could I  watch them DAWGS play if It wasnt in HD?!!! lawnmower is self propelled, I do indeed have a smart phone in my hey...Im not a total neanderthal here....Reckon I took the long way around to say this...I like a challenge....sometimes I take the hard way just because...and I do not like complacency. Unfortunately it sneaks its way into  life from time to time unrecognized until booom!...out of nowhere it rears its ugly ol head...speaking of heads.. ..this thing is growin a head of its own here, so lets get on with about some pics.

 Toccoa River Canoe Trail....about a 14 mile trip down the Toccoa river, from Deep Hole Campground to Sandy Bottoms Recreation Area. This trip has been on the agenda for quite awhile now...a few of us at work have studied on doing this 3 or 4 times, even pinning down a date only to have it fall thru. Thinkin we may just stop along the way....pitch our hammocks and finish the trip the next day, we decided to just paddle it out and camp there at Sandy Bottoms where we would have chairs to sit in and a pick-nick table to eat at.
 Loading up the old trusty stead with the kayaks, dutch oven, firewood and a few dry bags, we fueled up and headed toward Dial to set up camp and meet ol Hugh.

3 things you can count on..Taxes, dying, and this old truck
                After all the shuffling about we arrived at Deep Hole and shoved off down the river.

Deep Hole just ask,  +Jason Byers

This is a great river for beginners or people who like the majority of their trip slow and steady. A few sections have some class 2 rapids, and maybe a class 3, but for the most part is was easily negotiated and allowed for plenty of relaxing and even some fishing.

Hugh murderin worms
Best I can recall there were about three blow we just stepped over another we were able to pass under and the third was the worst of em, we had to jump out and carry our boats about 50 feet along the bank, no big deal tho.

only place we had to exit the river
gettin back in the water wasnt to difficult
after meanderin for quite a while we found a great spot to have lunch and relax, not to far ahead we had some pretty decent rapids to negotiate.

Hugh the kayak guru and +Jason Byers the river rat
The Benton Mackaye trail winds thru this part of the country, hopefully we'll get a chance to thru hike it sometime next summer. BMT crosses the Toccoa on a high swingin type bridge, and there seemed to be quite a crowd growing to watch folks shoot the rapids just beyond this bridge.

Benton Mackaye Trail
 Making it thru the biggest rapids of the day unscathed, I had to take a few min to sponge the water out of my boat, not having a spray skirt I took on a little water in this section. For the next few miles the water got deeper and slower. From here the river would wind thru private land, public land, and some pastures...plenty of great scenery.

Old Dial Bridge

 It got pretty wet from here on out....the last hour or so of our trip a steady rain started, and by the time we reach the takeout at Sandy Bottoms we had paddled in a full on down pour for about 45 min, it was a great time tho, all said and done we had been at it for about 6 hours.

I shuttled Hugh back to Deep hole to get his van, when I got back to Sandy Bottoms we decided to load everything up in the rain and head back to the house...being wet and cold, the thought of a warm shower and a dry couch trumped a damp hammock and cooking in the rain. Yet again complacency has robbed me of another night sleeping in the woods..just like I figured, when my belly was full and I was good and warm, I got to thinkin how I wish we woulda just stayed. ...I think I may be getting use to the comforts of home, reckon I'll have to do something about that.

Next time you get a chance to step out of your "comfort zone", I hope you dive in and paddle your way to a little bit of adventure...don't be complacent...I know I wont!!

-saw em


  1. That's one heck of an adventure. Fro. The looks of it you all had lots of fun :) love the pictures of the old bridges.

  2. Hey Jason, it's Kevin Davis. I've done the River Trail 3 times and we leave a car with all the camp stuff at the Swinging Bridge and camp overnite. The shuttling is a pain in the butt, though.

    If you want another hiker on your BMT trip next year, let me know. I've been wanting to do it.

  3. Hey D.D....we were thinkin about hitting this up again in October, were always up for more company. Hopefully we get to the BMT early summer, you'er always welcome on any of our trips. shoot me an email with your contact information.