Earls Ford to
Sandy Ford

C-1
paddler Bill Pennington, kayaker Alex Edl, and open canoe paddlers
John Browner and I met at the Highway 76 Chattooga parking lot at
11:00 a.m., thinking our scheduled Abrams Creek trip was moving to
the Chauga Gorge. However, after a further powwow, we decided to run
Warwoman Creek down to Sandy Ford on the Chattooga, where we took out
on the Georgia side.

It
had rained about four and a half inches since Wednesday and we had a
wonderful level, 2.7 on the USGS gauge at Highway 76. At this level
Mattress was a Class 4 and most of the rocks were generously covered.
We had a partly sunny day in the low 50’s and winds gusting to 20
mph. Though we were seldom aware of the wind till we got to Earl’s
Ford, on the Chattooga it challenged us a good deal at times.

Warwoman
was delightful this day. The water quality was very good and for most
of the time the pace was relaxed. We had plenty of time to enjoy the
most beautiful forest, thankfully replete with many still flourishing
hemlocks.

There
were many delightful Class 1 and 2 rapids and four Class 3-4’s
which definitely heightened our adrenaline levels, as did the
powerful rapids on Section 3, including the Class 4 water at Dicks
Creek Ledge and just upstream of Sandy Ford. We had a couple of rolls
and one swim, but the recoveries were quick.

John
Holley and friends were also paddling Warwoman this afternoon, and we
saw many GCA friends on the Chattooga, including Tom and Suzanne
Welander, Milt Aitkin, and David Asbell. Our wonderful trip and
fellowship continued that evening with the addition of Tee Brower and
the delicious food of La Pachanga’s Mexican Restaurant in
Clayton.

by Roger
Nott
Sunday, March 29
From The Eddy Line, May 2009