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Monday Chuck R. and I drove up to Abbeville, GA. We left Chuck’s vehicle at the Wilcox county public boat ramp which is located at the end of Halfmoon Rd. off of Hwy 280. We then shuttle or boats and gear up to Hwy 96 boat ramp and started out trip. There had been considerable flooding in South GA. And the river was dropping but still high. About half of the ramp parking area was still under water. The river had been above flood stage a week earlier and was dropping rapidly. Checking the gage at Macon it appears that the three days we were on the river it dropped about two feet. This made for a very fast trip but almost no place to camp.
We were on the water by 4 PM and paddled for eight miles to find a dry camping site. It was at the end of a road that appears to be heavily used during the weekends. The fire mound was over two feet high and still burning from the weekenders. As it was a large worn down area the mosquitoes did not bother us much.
Tuesday morning we were on the river by nine and paddled twenty-nine miles. There were very few available camping sites as all of the sand bars were under water. Around four we found a sand pile that we could get two tents on and set up camp. The mosquitoes were quite bad and we were in our tents early.
Wednesday the mosquitoes were swarming so we did not bother to eat breakfast but rather got our gear in our boats and back on the water. After we were on the water the mosquitoes were gone so I made my coffee in my canoe as I was paddling down the river. As there were no camping sites and the river was moving very fast, (at time we enjoyed a 4 mph current), and mosquitoes were swarming near shore we decided to finish the trip on Wednesday covering the last twenty-eight miles.
We saw a couple of gators and a few wading birds. Our overall moving speed was 4.3 mph paddling 15 hours. The trip would have been about five miles further but with the high water we were able to paddle over land and cut out two big oxbows in the river. The temperature was perfect with daytime in the 80’s and evenings 50’s. This is a very wide river from 150’ to 400’ across which could be a problem if there was any strong wind. Another great trip on a new river.
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