Kayak Camping - northern Tallapoosa River- May 8-10
This weekend Hetairoi, SouthMark, and I all met up for a leisurely weekend kayaking trip on the northernmost section of the Tallapoosa River in AL (near Heflin AL). We met at TRO, where we had arranged to leave our vehicles and be shuttled up river about 23 miles to be dropped off on the river near the AL/GA border. What followed was a wonderful and leisurely weekend kayak trip.
Background - We actually had a different trip planned further south, but the recent torrential rains have left the rivers too swollen to be safe at our intended destination. So, in lieu of that we moved the trip further north. The section of river we were on was a little higher than normal, but was quite pleasant and made for easy paddling.
Friday - We all converged at the meet up location in the afternoon, loaded our boats and took the shuttle up-river to the put-in. We paddled a few scenic miles down river until we came across a nice tiered campsite just off the water so we stopped, and spent the rest of the afternoon chatting and setting up camp. Later that evening, SouthMark prepared us a wonderful dinner of Brunswick stew followed by pound cake with strawberries. After a relaxing conversation around the campfire, we all turned in, but our camp was later visited by a beaver for an impressive display of tail-slapping and cat-calling.
Saturday - A second day of easy paddling. We took our time and soaked in the beautiful scenery (slow rolling river bends, rocky bluffs, early summer foliage, an old historic mill site, and several scenic farms). The sky was intermittently overcast throughout the morning so it was pleasantly cool weather. We spent a lot of time just drifting with the current, and actually made good distance without much effort. The only drawback was with the water being a little high, many of the sandbars were submerged. About 2pm, we came across a large rock takeout at the corner of some farmland with a beautifully shaded copse of trees next to the river - a perfect campsite. We setup camp early, and spent a second relaxed afternoon enjoying the river views, chatting, and napping. All afternoon there was distant thunder to both our north and south but the sky was clear - and stayed that way until after we turned in. But not before I made pizzas for dinner, and we had another evening campfire. When the storm did hit, though, it was lively - heavy rain, thunder, lightning, and high winds. We slept safely and soundly while snug in our hammocks. :)
Sunday - More of the same easy paddling. The thunderstorm raised the river level a little, and we came across a few small sections of mild whitewater. That added a little lively fun to the end of a very relaxing trip, as we paddled the last few miles back to our vehicles. The riverbanks seemed so very clean and lush after the previous night's rain - a picturesque setting for those 'mental snapshots' that we all love to take away from these kinds of trips.
Enough of the trip report, though. Some pics!