I was the first to arrive at the Highway 42 bridge over the Towaliga River. I was a little worried, as that I had forgotten to bring the email with me that told where we were meeting. The access road was very muddy and steep and the thought that I might be in the wrong place and possibly stuck did cross my mind. Fortunately, my memory was good and before long, my rivermates showed up.
After hiding under the bridge to escape a brief shower, we unloaded the canoes and our camping gear, and then shuttled the vehicles to Juliette...our take-out point on the Ocmulgee River.
Due to the recent rain, the river was up a bit, which helped greatly as that the Towaliga is usually shallow and a challenge to get through in a loaded canoe. What was not so welcome was the half hour of cold, soaking rain that hit about 20 minutes into our trip. We all got chilled and damp.
We got to our campsite and quickly unloaded the boats in hope of drying things out before nightfall. Fortunately, there was a nice breeze that helped to do this. Niki pointed out that it did look a bit like a shanty town...but it was home sweet home for the night.
Here is a picture of me, trying to force a smile in the rain. Actually, I was just wishing that I had put my rain pants on before the cold rain started!
The night slowly came upon us with a a break in the thick clouds, which exposed a beautiful pink sky. It cast an eerie rose glow over everything for a few minutes before fading to gray. We lit up the fire and enjoyed a night of varied conversation around it.
The next morning, I paddled down the Towaliga alone...leaving a bit before everyone else did.
Paddling alone is something that I really enjoy. On a whitewater river, this is way too dangerous, but the flatwater of the Towaliga made it a joy. Without the noise of a group, I did get to see a lot more wildlife. Of course, I did not have my good camera with me....just the underwater point and shoot camera (water safe), so I couldn't get the quality of nature shots that I wished for.
The river had risen about a foot overnight, so it was an easy paddle down the river past the railroad tracks, and then into the Ocmulgee River, and down to the town of Juliette where my truck was awaiting me. Thanks go out to all who participated: Bud, Niki, Garland, Sue, John, and Chris