07:17:11, Georgia, 34° 14.892’N, 83° 10.553’W – It was a beautiful sunny day on the way to paddle a section of the Upper Broad River. I was looking forward to a good dose of vitamin D after the past 2 days of rain but counting on the weather was a mistake. When I arrived at the put in the sky was overcast and to my surprise there was a rafting outpost. Soon the river would be full of drifters. Still, the guys at the outpost, Slow Water Kayaking and Canoeing, were very nice and didn’t charge for parking.
Despite the lack of sunshine and now privacy, I paddled up the Upper Broad River for 2 miles and hit white water. On any other day I would slog around it without a second thought but I was in a funky mood with no sunshine to reboot my attitude. I turned around and headed back in search of somewhere new to paddle.
I left the Upper Broad River and ended up at Fort Yargo State Park in Winder, Georgia – 33° 57.956’N, 83° 43.522’W. They have a big lake to explore and a couple of creeks that feed it. It’s only 45 minutes from Atlanta, closer to Athens, has a great campground with Yurts, a beach and 18 miles of biking trails. It’s pretty quiet too for being in the middle of Winder. The best part of the day came on the drive out of the park when a big black rat snake crossed the road.
– Steve Tanner