It all began with a simple posting in our local Central Georgia River Network Facebook group that Bryan Bonner is off on Tuesdays after 12 and if anyone could work in a paddle that would be good. After a few replies and messages, we decided to do the Flint River. Tony Butler stepped up as he has made several passes through the Hwy 36 to Po Biddy Road section and offered to lead. This is the section that has the Class 3 Yellow Jacket Shoals on it. I had run this section once before and it was a boney 7.5 feet and seeing that it was at 8.75 feet on yesterday was really excited to see it with water. Mark Brown lives not that far away from it and as he had never ran the section was happy with the prospect of seeing it. I called Larry Tomlinson and told him the plans knowing that he had talked about running this section, but the water was never at a good level. After hearing the level he said he would be there.
Larry met me at my business and we met Tony at his house and proceeded to Po Biddy Road, which I heard was named that after someone’s chicken was run over. We met Mark and Bryan at the Po Biddy Bridge which is being reconstructed. We had to wait for the road crew to blow out straw at the takeout but that gave us time to change and get equipment shuffled around. We drove to the put in at Hwy 36 and got everyone in the river. After a short distance we got a chance to warm up in some nice boogie water. Then we paddled down towards the right side of an island that had a significant horizon line past it. After working our way through some smaller stuff, we reached the main event. Larry, Mark and myself went farther right than Tony and Bryan. We ended up going down a rocky slide that was out of water at lower flows. The main drop looked like it had a pretty big hole at the bottom that was pretty beefy. Not knowing the exact path to get to it in the middle of the wide river prevented us from getting over to it but we saw it from the bottom and it was impressive. We also didn’t know if some wood had washed into it after the higher levels and decided to not run it. After the main drop the river has enough gradient to make for some read and run fun stuff. We came upon this one ledge that had a nice gentle looking hole to surf in, and we did. I was impressed that Larry got side surfed in that hole with an XP10 and showed us his boat handling skills as he had to work his way out. On the way to Po Biddy Bridge we did some surfing, practiced basic moves and had a great time. The rain held off till we made it off the river. Was a great “not at work” paddle.