kayak became pinned in a class II rapid on the Coosawattee River
against a huge mossy rock in what impressed me as the most violent
rush of water that day . I sat there quite awhile wondering what to
do — intensely alarmed at first. I’d heard so many bad things about
this type of situation. (One thing that I experienced as I drifted
off to sleep that night was the deafening noise from the roar of the
river; I actually heard it and had a flashback of possibly going for
a swim.) Still pinned sideways by the never ending torrent, at one
point the boat shockingly snap rolled up stream threatening to fill
with water. Who knows what would be next for me. Like a terrified
actor in the grip of Godzilla, I squirmed up to the high side and
some how kept her on the rock and from windmilling into the river,
keeping it precariously on it’s side. What a mess, and it seemed to
keep getting worse!

amazing how calm I became after the initial pinning . . . I had been
talking with God the whole day. I just asked Him what I needed to do
to help me out of this. River mates, Kelly and, I think, Richard
(sporting a beard and in the black kayak) were on the shore
attempting to throw me a rescue rope, but no one came close. Tilted,
I attempted to scoot forward off the rock using body English (was I
crazy?) which got me wedged into another rock which wasn’t visible
before (maybe I was crazy). I asked, “Give me a break and help
me out again, God.”

thought if I was freed at that point into the chute of water that I’d
be “swimming” — violently bumping and dragging upside down
on the granite bottom. Not a motivating prospect. Then something
happened. I had nothing to do with it, trust me. My dangerously
heeled and pinned 14.5 foot sea kayak righted itself, but was still
pinned from the non-stoppable river. Whew. I thought I was headed
into the drink. Now I saw my chance to get out of this mess. I
scooted forward to see what my new situation was. I was free to
scoot. God was giving me a break.

I did, right into the wild chute. The rock I was stuck on helped me
pivot into the rush and I was able to somehow get through. I’ll never
know how God did it, but thanks, Sir. You are the Master of my life.
I paddled into the eddy to wait for my fellow river mates to get back
in their boats so I could thank them. Geeze . . . they each indicated
nonchalantly ‘no problem. ‘I was not the only paddler in the group to
go for a swim that Saturday, but somebody was always there to help
them out.

am eternally grateful for the assistance I received from those people
dedicated and devoted to each other on the river — the paddlers of
the Georgia Canoeing Association. They are a noble and decent clan.
And they enjoy every minute of the rivers and of their friends. I am
proud to be among them.

Howard Hall
The Eddy Line, July 200

For more information on this river see:
Ellijay to Carters Lake