06:18:11, Georgia – Today’s paddle was up the Middle Oconee River near Winder, Ga. The last time I was here the river was so low I had to wade it in several places. However, this time she was quite full of herself from recent rains. That was good because I was looking forward to a steady deep water paddle for as much as I could stand.
I parked the car in front of a small but tidy water treatment plant, unloaded the boat and gear and slogged down a muddy road to the river’s edge. The put in was a steep drop from a high bank. I tossed Dawson into the boat then slid my butt over the edge into the back seat and proceeded up river.
The current didn’t put up much of a fight due to backup from a dam down river. The Middle Oconee is quiet and isolated here. I paddled by a few houses at first but then nothing but thick woods on both sides for miles.
It was 5.5 miles when I beached beside a cow pasture buffeted by a thin strip of trees. No cows but lots of peaceful open field packed with wild flowers gently blowing in the silent breeze. I explored the edge of the field for a bit and found a cow rib bone that made for a great back scratcher.
Put in at: 33° 59.822’N, 83° 30.411’W and paddle up river.
TIP: If you don’t feel like a reverse paddle then drift downstream a couple of miles and explore the dam. It’s pretty impressive.