We had a great crew to clean GCA’s adopted section of the Chattooga, Thrift’s Ferry to Bull Sluice. We had great weather and a good water level (1.84 on the USGS gauge). Participating were Sheila Abner, Kevin Ballard, Evelyn Hopkins, Jeff and Roxanne Lankford, Robbie Short, and Jack Weems in kayaks; Chuck Wilburn in an inflatable C-1; and I in my 16-foot Buffalo canoe. Sheila and Roxanne paddled inflatables kayaks, which transported bags of trash more easily than the kayaka. Evelyn paddled with a later group but caught up to us and filled a bag for us at a particularly messy access point.

We met at Hwy. 76 , where we checked in with the USFS Ranger, and then drove to Thrifts Ferry and scoured the banks and bed down to Bull Sluice, enjoying frequent cool dips in the clear water. We left 9 bags of trash at Hwy. 76, where Kevin, Jack and the women took out and we enjoyed a break with drinks and snacks. The rest of us then leisurely and playfully paddled to Woodall Shoals.

Our clean-up was again co-sponsored by American Rivers, as part of their National River Clean-up Program, and they also provided trash bags, tee shirts, and snacks, to go along with the club’s traditional cold beverages and good fellowship at the take-outs.

We had a great time and had a wonderful, congenial mix of old and new GCA club members. Kevin has just moved to Georgia from Pennsylvania, and Sheila is also a new GCA member. Robbie and I have paddled together on several club trips since he joined the GCA about six years ago. Evelyn, Jeff and Roxanne have been active GCA members since the early 1980’s. Evelyn was the GCA President from 1993 to 1995 and several years ago retired with her husband to Clayton. Jeff, with whom I have shared many river exploration trips, has been working for the past couple of years in Durham, NC. He is now back at home in Atlanta but may soon be accepting a post in San Francisco. I joined the GCA in 1974 but became more active in 1978 when Jack Weems, former GCA president, appointed me to the GCA Board as the club’s Exploration Chairman.

By Roger Nott
Saturday, June 19, 2010