In August 2013, a friend a I paddled 130 miles of the Etowah River. We had to skip nearly 30 miles of the river because of canoe failure.
Day 1 I lost my glasses, our craigslist canoe cracked down the middle, our dry bags turned out not to be so 'dry', and experienced a little of our own trail magic. My full report, pictures, and video montage can be found by clicking on the following link:
Moderators may want to duplicate this trip report in the section on kayaking/canoeing. Not sure the river-trip folks would look in the backpack section for a river trip.
I have canoed and camped a bit, but would like to do more. There are so many places, particularly where underbrush is thick, where boating is the best way to get into the wilderness. Thanks for the great trip report.
Canoeing/Kayaking definitely allows you to see trekking a whole new way. I the two biggest draw backs is the crazy amount of bugs that live on the water and no great overlooks. It was nice just getting to cruise along the river or swim to cool off. I am working towards an UL backpacking trip from Chattanooga to Nasvhille that I will be posting to my blog along the way.
The one several night canoe trip I have taken was way back in 1970, from Lander Wyo to Thermopolis, deleting some of the rapids in Wind River Canyon. It was at high water in late spring. At one place a farmer put a cable across the river. I saw the cable and tried to scoot under it, but it caught my lifejacket, and I swamped the canoe! My sleeping bag got partially wet. Cold, cold cold! I remember picking wild asparagus too. Snowmelt right off the mountains. We then paddled across a large reservoir, pulled out to get around the outlet rapids below the dam, and then put in for a wild ride down the last part of the canyon. On the reservoir, we caught fish using a string attached to an arrow and shot a bow! The fish were carp - no season or permit needed!
That sounds like an amazing trip! The river just carrying you forward is great when you are tired and need a break because you can still go forward, but when you underestimate an obstruction it can really backfire haha.