Kayaks and Hammocks - southern Tallapoosa/Coosa/Alabama Rivers - May 30-June 1
This weekend Hetairoi and I decided to meet up and take a long weekend kayaking trip. We chose a ~70 mile river route from Tallasee AL to Montgomery AL that was composed of the last ~50 miles of the Tallapoosa River to it's junction with the Coosa River (there they combine to form the Alabama River) and then continued south another ~20 miles into Montgomery AL. This river section is very slow moving, with lots of slack/flatwater, but is quite scenic and largely remote and uninhabited. It was a wonderfully quiet journey.
Background - We actually had paddled the first portion of this trip once before, but wanted a longer voyage this time. So, when looking at the map it was a no-brainer to just extend the trip further south to Montgomery (which worked nicely for a number of logistical reasons).
Friday - I made the drive down to Montgomery and met up with Hetairoi. We had a leisurely dinner and spent the evening chatting and catching up.
Saturday - Hetairoi's girlfriend shuttled us to Tallasee AL. We launched into the Tallapoosa River below Thurlow Dam just above the last rapid in the dam's tailwater section. We spent the day paddling steadily but leisurely, enjoying the beautiful scenery, observing and listening to the waterfowl (herons, cranes, hawks, bluejays, etc) go about their lively river routine. Late in the afternoon we came across a large rock that sloped into the water beside a high bank with a row of spanish-moss covered trees...an obvious camping spot. So, we slid our kayaks onto the rock, climbed up and made camp just in time to get a nap before having dinner while watching a lovely and colorful sunset. Mileage for the day was about 20.
Sunday - We woke relatively early, and took our time striking camp and beginning the day's journey. Not long after setting out, I had a nice-sized bass jump briefly into my kayak, which very amusingly caught me off-guard. He flopped back into the water as quickly as he came, though, so all I could do was laugh and be amazed. So, we paddled on steadily for the rest of the day, again enjoying the quiet calm, the birds, and the views of the river. Late in the afternoon we came to the junction of the Tallapoosa/Coosa Rivers, where there are a a number of islands. We paddled down the river a short distance before finding a nice little beach on one of the islands with a grove of shade trees behind it. We camped there for the evening, again getting a nap before having dinner while watching the sunset. We covered about 30 miles for the day.
Monday - We woke a little late, but weren't in a rush. We again took our time setting out, and paddled steadily through the morning, despite a couple of brief stops to explore interesting places along the bank. Late in the morning we came across a striking old swing-span railroad bridge, and were enjoying the view when Hetairoi noted the sound of a train in the distance. So, we paused for a few minutes and enjoyed watching the train roll over the dilapidated old span. After that, we continued paddling on. The temperature really started to heat up during the middle of the day, but luckily we were just paddling the last stretch into the marina in Montgomery. So, we took out at the marina and loaded our gear just in time to have a late lunch on the deck at the marina's restaurant before calling the trip complete.
Enough report...on to a few pics..