Arriving
at the first 360 spot we noted that the water was so low that you
could actually see the rock ledge that created the feature. We all
took a few spins there doing the best
we could to make things happen. Afterwards we paddled downstream to
the tip of the island and back upstream allowing us to still play in
the first significant rapid of the run. It’s an S turn to the left
with a fun little “boof” rock in the middle of the rapid.
The rock was too exposed for boofing, but Tom did a cool little splat
move on it as he dropped into the eddy behind it. We goofed off here
a while enjoying the opportunity to slide across the first real
current of the day.

About
this time the sun came out and we paddled on down to the Mulberry’s
signature side-surfing hole, Training Wheel. We all had good rides
despite the low water. At just below a foot I can tell you that this
makes for some interesting roll practice here should you get flipped.
We played here a good bit and moved on down to Lunch Stop rapid. As
luck would have it we ran into the Bham folks here. I had recruited
Norma and Mark from Huntsville to join us for the trip and was happy
to see that they were having a great time on the river.

Lunch
Stop is a really neat place. A gorgeous 40-foot rock overhang on
river right marks the entrance. I like to catch the eddy behind the
first huge boulder on river right. From there you can see the 2 foot
drop that creates the surfing wave below. Dropping out of the eddy
and catching the very next eddy on river right is a nice way to set
up for surfing the Lunch Stop wave. It’s shady here so people usually
grab lunch on the beach just downstream on river left. Again, great
convenience and easy to get back to the wave and play after catching
some rays.

Just
downstream is Eddy Hop rapid. A variety of lines were run here and
everyone seemed to enjoy finding their own way. Tom started from the
river left eddy at the top and dropped down to the next eddy for some
play in the hole below. Just downstream we found another great 360
spot on river right. This actually turned out to be our favorite 360
spot. Sarah got her first 360 here on her first attempt. Talk about a
natural!

Finally,
it was time to move on down to our last rapid, Five O, which is
conveniently located at the take-out. Lots to do here, but most of us
picked our way down river right so that we could end up in the final
river right eddy for the Five-O wave. I would say that this is the
signature play spot on the river. It lived up to its name and
provided everyone with lots of good surfing. Heather and Sarah got
everyone’s attention with an impromptu tandem surf. Way to go girls!

I
plan to lead another trip on the Mulberry this

Spring.
Hope you can join me!

by
Joan Steed

12/10/05.

From
The Eddy Line, 2006