The Chattooga was a river on my list of rivers to run, I just didn’t expect to run it in January! The trip began before the sun rose and ended well after it set. It was a rather warm weekend that felt more like spring than winter, and I was paddling with a group of people I hadn’t paddled with before. I was scared and excited. The group was composed of all women with the addition of one man. Lucky guy! As nature usually has it, the trip down section III of the Chattooga began at the Narrows, which was a wake up call for sure. Being loose is hard for me to do naturally, and I felt like a little Lego man going down the rapids when we first began our descent.
The Chattooga forms the western border of South Carolina. If you paddle on the right you’re in GA, if you paddle on the left, you’re in SC. It is a Wild and Scenic River, which is very fitting to describe its wild beauty and natural wonder. The river was a perfect fit for my whitewater comfort level. It challenged me, but in a way that I felt comfortable, confident and in control of my little plastic vessel. I went over my first significant ledge and succeeded and had a combat roll at Eye of the Needle, even with the shoulder pain I was experiencing. I had a blast getting to know some of the women from the paddling community in Columbia and I look forward to paddling more of the Chattooga in the future.
I’ve had a good run with adventures so far this year so bring on more adventures 2013! I’ll take them as they come, bad ones too. They often make for great stories and the great adventures make for great experiences.