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Georgia Wilderness Society
Ocmulgee River

GWS June 4-5, 2011Ocmulgee Canoe Trip with Niki and Bud Queen

Trip report by Niki Queen

Although the prediction was 100 plus temperatures fourteen GWS members and friends braved the heat to do the two-day 14-mile Ocmulgee River paddle from Wise Creek to Juliette, GA.

The current was swift enough to lazily drift down the narrow green corridor of overhanging trees the first day. The canopy kept us nearly in perpetual shade.

To cool off after lunch we floated to a second sandy beach around a bend in the river. We then hiked back to our original beach along a tree lined sandy horse trail. It was fun to watch a number of horses wade in the water with their owners to beat the heat.

We set up camp on a large sandbar downriver that shrank to half it's size when water from the Jackson Lake Dam was released. To play it safe Wayne relocated his tent to higher ground. Kerry Colburn decided to gamble and stayed put when the river swelled within a few feet of his tent. We all breathed a sigh of relief when the river crested and began to drop after dark.

Sunday's five-mile paddle was more challenging. There was little shade or current as the dam at Juliette backs up the water.

Trip participants were Rob Apsley, Kerry Colburn, Wayne Etheredge, John Houser, Paula Hall, Basil Youman, Debbie Nelson, Sheryl Houston, Kurt Cole, Joe Scott and her grandchildren Alicia Scott and Taylor Santaloci and trip leaders Niki and Bud Queen.