It was sunny and warm when six Georgia Wilderness Society (GWS) members canoed the 6-mile upper Ocmulgee River section from Lake Jackson to Wise Creek.
This historic seven island area was once a major trading hub for the Native American Creek Tribe.
The low water made the narrow drops and standing waves of the rapids more challenging. We had to concentrate to move rapidly from left to right among the funneling rock ledges, boiling currents and tree limbs. The biggest thrill was paddling down the center of large standing waves.
The choice at the Lamar Mill Class III rapid is a huge five-foot drop in fast moving currents or navigating through a series of smaller cascading rapids. We chose the “stair steps” with large pillowed rocks and tiny tongues that dropped swiftly into small reversal waves. Many of us entered the rapids wide-eyed. Some of us held our breath during the white-water maneuvers, and at the end, hooped and hollered in relief.
An osprey called from a tree top as a bald eagle swooped in front of our boats it's tail white against the blue sky.
The Wise Creek take-out looked like Miami Beach. Families lined the the Ocmulgee's pink beaches, large boulders and rocks. Children floated in the current on colorful red, blue and yellow inflatable tubes. A couple of families grilled hamburger's and hot dogs near the parking lot.
Everyone had a great time including the person who took a spill in one of the rapids when his kayak hit a tree limb.