We
had a balmy, sunny day which encouraged us to play a great deal,
despite the cold, but clear winter water. The Hwy. 53 gauge read
.80, which I consider to be a low medium level: technical but very
ample and a level at which there are innumerable play spots, most of
which we found.

For
the past couple of years there has been a sign at the Hwy. 53 Bridge
which advises that .8 is a minimal level. The old GCA Guidebook
listed .4 as the recommended minimum. However, it was last printed
in 1981 when the flat-bottomed, Blue Hole OCA was the most common
boat on club trips. Decked boats and the rounded, highly rockered
hulls of today’s open boats draw at least an inch more than the
flat-bottomed boats, so that 0.45 or 0.5 might be a more acceptable
minimum now.

We
had an experienced, fun-loving group: former GCA Vice President David
Ashley, Barclay Fouts, Sean O’Keeffe and Rebeccah Price in kayaks and
Morgan Dicus, GCA Historian Bronwyn Fowlkes, Kevin McInturff and me
in solo open canoes. We had a great time together and no swims that
I saw.

We
leisurely lunched, visited and took in the sun on the rocks at On
Your Lap or Lap Rapid (GCA Guidebook name), which was later
christened in a Brown’s Guide article about fishing the Amicalola as
“Split Rock Rapid,” the name used in Otey and Sehlinger’s
Northern Georgia Canoeing.

We
had a great trip and stayed together until the double ledges at the
end of the class III section, where Sean, Barclay, Kevin and I stayed
behind to play and eventually take out at the Dawson County Forest
northeast line. The others paddled to the Etowah and exited at
Kelley Bridge.

by
Roger Nott
Sunday, February 16, 1997.