Today: 22.0 miles
Trip: 1366.5 miles
I was pretty down yesterday because of of my mistake in getting out of the channel, but meeting Larry Waldrop turned that around. First thing this morning, I paddled over to the mud flat/sandbar right where he had suggested, and there was the lowest and narrowest point of the bar, as he had said it would be. In only twenty minutes, I was able to drag the loaded boat across the bar and was on my way.
Paddling was not difficult for the first few hours, with only moderate current. After lunch, though, I could clearly see that the water level and the river velocity were increasing rapidly. The last two hours that I was on the river were tougher than any I have ever endured. The two big dangers were fast-moving logs in the channel and the difficulty of staying at river’s edge where river velocity is lowest. I normally stay right at the edge of the channel, back under the trees. Quite often, velocity is zero here, allowing rapid progress upriver. This was impossible this afternoon with flood waters rising to and above the trees’ branches. Every flooded tree required a detour out into the faster moving mid-channel flow. As soon as I had passed a tree, I would cut back toward the bank, being careful not to get swept back into the tree that I had just gotten around.
Amos Tuck, with Coosa River Basin Initiative, picked me up at River Road boat ramp, and I am now comfortably housed at the Rome Days Inn.