Section II is my
13 year-old son John’s favorite river trip, not because of the fun
class I-II rapids, fantastic scenery and excellent water quality, but
because of its great rope swings and safe opportunities to body surf.
We had a warm, sunny day and spent more time intentionally in the
river than in the canoes and kayaks.

We
spent over an hour at the large rope swing near the put-in. Someone
had attached bicycle handle bars to its rope, so that it was easy to
hold on ’til its final ten-foot plunge into a deep pool. We lingered
for equal periods body surfing and exploring underwater air pockets
at Big Shoals and at Earl’s Ford. The swing at the mouth of War
Woman Creek was a little trickier to handle safely, so most of our
youngsters opted for swimming and trying out Mark’s kayaks at the
take-out after we had lugged the canoes the quarter mile to the
parking lot.

The
four adults finally begged and cajoled sufficiently to get all the
kids back to the cars at about 7 p.m. to find the battery to one of
my cars dead. Thus our bonding experiences continued long enough for
us all to push my station wagon three or four times around the lot to
no avail. Finally one of the hundreds of tubers with a large, That’s
Jake-like four-by-four boosted my battery enough to crank the car.

Club
members paddling were Mark and Lauren Albitz in kayaks, the tandem
open canoe team of John and Jim Watson, and John Lucas, solo open
canoe. Additionally my guests included Chris Moore, Tanner Brown,
and Matt Graham from Troop 16 in Gainesville, who were completing
their white water merit badges, and troop members Dale Graham, Adam
Stevenson and John Nott, who already had earned this badge. The
scouts and I paddled in 4 opens canoes and frequently traded partners
and boats, paddling both solo and tandem. None of the scouts
flipped all day, and each earned his badge. Thanks particularly to
John Lucas, who helped me train the scouts and provided first-aid
support, which fortunately we did not use.

After
a long, fun-filled day on the river we all visited together and
pigged out at the Pizza Hut in Clayton to complete a great day.

by
Roger Nott
Saturday, July 19, 1997.