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I rented a canoe in Huntsville, strapped it to the rental car and drove down to the Borden Creek put-in at the end of Forest Road 208 on Friday night. Someone was dropping me off and picking me up so I didn't have to worry about a shuttle. I arrived late and decided to camp near the put-in then get an early start the next morning.
My concerns about doing the trip alone were alleviated when I saw many other solo paddlers putting in at the Borden Creek site. In fact I didn't see any other paddlers with two people to a boat. The flow was perfect. The weather was great too but it got a bit cold Friday night (35 degrees) and I only had the comforter from the hotel to keep me warm inside my backpack tent. I camped the first night with a couple of good ol' boys (actually younger than me) from Huntsville. I met one of the guys at an outdoors store while buying a map and he showed me where they were going to be and invited me down to their camp. It was fun to sit around the campfire and visit with local folks. One of my camp hosts showed me on the map where there was a 70-foot waterfall and I paddled up the river to it. Actually I could only go a little way in the boat due to a big logjam on the river. I beached the boat grabbed my pack and continued upstream on foot. The area is very popular and starting to show signs of heavy use. I saw several other hikers during my hike and paddled passed several more. Everyone was very friendly. I now know why Southerners are so famous for their hospitality.
After my hike and lunch I continued down river to the take-out at Cranal Road. This was an excellent day trip and it was a great chance to explore a river much different than what I was used to out west.
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Touring Kayak Paddles