When you live in northeast Georgia, there’s always time for a quick paddle on Sunday afternoon. The Tugaloo River is perfect for this but only when there is not a dam release.

The depth of the river is controlled by the Corp of Engineers and the amount of water that is released from the Yonah Dam. It’s a Georgia Power dam, which means it is used to generate electricity.

We’ve only been caught up in a water release once. That was on a Sunday around 5 pm. This is when all the dams in the chain of lakes used to generate power, release water. It’s really not that unsafe. The water level rises and the river moves, which is fun until you want to paddle back up river to where you have parked your car at the Walker Creek boat ramp. Then the adventure becomes next to impossible to complete.

This area is so beautiful. You don’t realize how wild it is until you see the photos and then you suddenly become aware that we are tiny in light of God’s creation.

We picked up lots of smooth river rocks and looked for Indian pottery pieces. I spotted a very large hawk feather and actually got out of my boat to retrieve it.

River rocks that have been polished by water, soil, and time.

And rocks in the river bottom that provide great places for Rainbow Trout to hang out.

Even trees caught up in the river’s erosion process are captivating.

I imagined them as perfect subjects for black and white photography.