471 Quill Drive, Dawsonville, GA
What better day than April Fools to try this tunnel!!
PLEASE READ ALL THE WAY TO THE END!!
This is a guided trip as opposed to a class. Nothing bigger than a class I rapid on this trip so it is beginner friendly but it is not for someone who HAS NEVER PADDLED BEFORE. You should be experienced enough to control your boat and negotiate small rapids.
Spray skirts are optional, HELMETS ARE REQUIRED. I will have extra helmets.
If you have your own boat the fee for the trip is $35.00. That includes the shuttle. If you need to rent a boat, the fee for the trip will be a total of $75.00. If you need a boat, just change the amount of payment from $35.00 to $75.00 when you register and pay. Rental boats will include a paddle, PFD and helmet.
If you haven't paddled through the old Gold Mine tunnel then you are in for a real treat. Normally it is a[masked] minute ride through the tunnel and this may be one of the most exciting thing you do kayaking.
Getting to the tunnel.The tunnel is located 3.5 miles below Castleberry Bridge. When we get to the tunnel the river splits. At this point you have two choices, go through or go around. There is a small ledge just past where the river splits and then it is an easy ¾ mile ride around to where the tunnel rejoins the river.
Details of the tunnel. From your kayak seat you should see a small dot of light which is the other side of the tunnel. If you cannot see this the tunnel may be blocked so I wouldn't advise going through.
The ride is absolutely thrilling. It is bumpy, noisy, dark and wet. Noisy and bumpy from the water and or your kayak bouncing on the rough bottom. As you enter the tunnel it gets darker and darker until all you can see is the dot of light at the end. Your kayak will rock and roll as you go through and take on water if you don't have a skirt. There is a drop-off inside the tunnel and part way through the downhill angle changes and the ride gets a little faster. Your paddle will be useless except for pushing yourself away from the wall.
Just before you exit there is a shaft above that leads straight up to open air.
Somewhere in the middle there is a bow in the tunnel on the right side. You probably won't but if you end up in this bow you will not slow down but the light at the end of the tunnel will disappear for a second or two. These seconds will seem like eternity and your blood pressure will soar. Don't worry. You will be in the water flow and will keep going and the light will re-appear. It just scares the h---out of you so you have been fore-warned.
Bring a lunch and we'll find a place to eat.
If you are going to join me on this trip you will be expected to wear your PFD AT ALL TIMES. If you plan on running the tunnel a Helmet is REQUIRED. Spray skirts are optional.
This paddle is open to anything you feel comfortable paddling!
We will meet at The Outside World at 9:30 and organize equipment and Our shuttle.
This is rain dependent. IF TOO LOW, we may cancel or move to the Dawson Forest section. IF TOO HIGH FOR THE TUNNEL, we will change to the Water Falls section of the Etowah.
Questions to John Miller at[masked] or email at [masked]
Learning how to enjoy the river
My name is Jan and I am looking forward to learning more and getting out on the water.
Never been an outdoorsy kind of person but learning new things.
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