Will, John, Tom and Dave ran the Upper Ocmulgee at 1300 cfs. The weather was nasty with a high temp. of 60, clear skies and light wind. The three canoe paddlers received the Silver Paddle Award for proper vessls. Dave the kayaker got five demerits for substandard navigational skills.

An uneventful paddle with some good surfing at Seven Islands brought us to the creek run entrance. Tom and John looked at it. We were unsure it was clear of wood. The significant drop, Smith Shoals, was run on the sneak by Will and Dave. John and Tom opted for the Class 3 center shot. This was to me unexpectedly powerful and turbulent. I had a sloppy run. Tom aced it.

At a moderate water level, Smith Shoals can be an easy Class 2 or a more challenging intermediate run. This run deserves more attention from GCA and is in dire need of protection from streamside blight.

Big thanks to Tom, a solid boater, Will, Dave and John for making a perfect run. Immense thanks to Suzanne Welander, who wrote the book that told us about it. The most exciting portion of this trip was the take out shuttle to the top. Four boats and four idiots tied on top of a Yugo made a screaming 5 mph on the twelve mile long forty mile dirt road.

By John Holley
Sunday, February 11, 2007
From The Eddy Line, April 2007