After being excited for a few weeks, I finally got to do a challenging hike with a whole series of river crossings. There were 18-19 river crossings in all, along with a good 30 or so smaller stream/creek/waterfall crossings. It was a rugged environment, complete with boulders, mud, rivers, dirt, and sludge. My kind of trail!
It had rained recently and so some of the river crossings were as high as our thigh. One guy found a deep spot and was up to his waist in water. Wet pants and underwear... ack. The shallower sections were about ankle-high.
The hike itself was an absolute blast. Over 10 miles at the Betty Gap Loop through the Conasauga River. The exact location of this photo is shown here.
I loved going from land to water so rapidly, though I gotta admit that having a small towel to dry the frigid water off was nice when necessary. Some of the currents were pretty strong, especially as they whooshed around boulders. Thank goodness for trekking poles and shoes with great traction!! I brought two pairs of shoes: one pair of trailrunners (like hiking sneakers) for the boulder fields and general out of water hiking, as well as a pair of chacos sandals for waterhiking. I wore the chacos for the vast majority of the hike as they're good all-around hiking shoes. I'm still breaking them in and so my feet started to chafe and blister towards the end so I switched back to the trailrunners. Gotta take care of those feet!
There were 14 of us in total. Pretty cool crowd.
In this photo, the woman towards the bottom is actually reaching towards her dog. I think she was joking that her dog would save her. heh
Sometimes the group would split up as people chose different routes to cross the river. Either head directly towards the trail or veer slightly away to avoid obstacles and take an easier path. After a while, with one quick glance you can determine the route you wanted based on boulder size, water depth, water speed, and so on. The people in the foreground of this pic chose a more challenging route by following me while the people in the background chose a more calm route.