After traveling for 90 minutes against the flow of UGA football fans going to the game with USC, Allyson and I arrived at the Broad River Outpost put-in. The weather was warm and dry; the river was wet and low. In all, seventeen paddlers braved the late summer heat and low water (approx. 2.54 on the Carlton gauge) for a very nice trip down the Broad River. Paddlers were: Shirley Tharp, Allyson Davis, Marilyn and John Curtis, Stephen McKinnon, Lisa Haskell, Jeff Engel, Leif Haugg, Jeremy and Samantha Thompson, Betty G. Rose, Chris Lahowitch, Wilj Sturkey, Corey Lambie and his three boys Conner, John, and Alex.

Those of us who ran shuttle saw a tall, leafless tree with many vultures roosting in the high branches. If it had been October, the scene would have fit right in with thoughts of witches and vampires. It was actually pretty cool looking in a spooky kind of way.

Once everyone was on the water the fun began. Marilyn had a couple of water guns and I think Betty brought a few too. The boys had a good time squirting each other and a few of the adults. Thanks go out to those who were willing to be squirted. The boys looked like they were having fun!

The first ledge was pretty technical due to the low water level. We had the first swim of the trip here but all was well after collecting the gear and getting the boat emptied. The slide had one little tongue of water but was still runnable. Half of the group went river left instead of running the slide. I think they might have had more fun than those of us running the slide had. Betty, Lisa, and Jeff then hung out by the waterfall on river right. All smiles there! A little further down the river, Lunch-stop rapid had its own lunch by tipping three of our group. The rapid also tried to eat Betty’s paddle, but John waded out to the middle of the rapid and knocked it loose. Yeah! Rooster Tail rapid was easily run. All of us went straight through without incident. The three boys, Marilyn, and Allyson went back and slid down Rooster Tail on their butts. Looked like fun! Finally, Hippo rapid was calling us after a great day of sun, surfing, ferry and eddy practice, and lots of fun. Most of us patted the hippo as we passed by; all of us hoping for good river karma in the future.

Thank you to everyone who showed up for the trip. Even though the water was pretty low, I think I can safely speak for everyone and say: it was another great day on the river!

Shirley Tharp
September 11, 2010