Sweet Satilla

May 01, 2017  •  37 Comments

Camp 2Camp 2

Broad white sandbars greeted us at most bends in the river.  Those bars are like beacons for river campers, so when Steve saw them on Google Earth when scouting a new river for our men's group to paddle, he circled and starred it. In January, the month of our annual trip, with water levels just right, we headed to SE Georgia's Satilla River for a fine long weekend of camaraderie and wilderness camping.  Ron Easton, who owns a nice spot on the river called Deep Bend Landing, was our "insider connection"- a veritable fountain of knowledge about this place where he'd spent his whole life, and he provided us with shuttle service from our take-out back to our vehicles at his place.

Satilla PanoSatilla Pano

So here's your opportunity to take the trip, vicariously, through my snapshots along the way.  But I'd recommend making your own journey too. It's a long scenic river with multiple paddling/camping options.

Tree BurstTree Burst

Tree Burst

Let's start out with my favorite shot.  Jacques had wandered into this willow thicket across the river, entering through a small channel, just before we stopped to camp the first night. When he told me about it a little later, the sun was getting low with lovely light.  I paddled over and was blown away by the fantastic vignettes I saw in every direction.  Wow!

Thicket in ReflectionThicket in Reflection Thicket Light B&WThicket Light B&W Reflections on Satilla PanoReflections on Satilla Pano

Willow Thicket, from Camp.

Our first day was calm, glassy calm... reflections galore!

Reflections on SatillaReflections on Satilla Reflections on Satilla 2Reflections on Satilla 2 Reflected Abstraction B&WReflected Abstraction B&W

We always leave plenty of room in the evening and morning for camp-time.  Sandbar camping out of kayaks and canoes is a pretty luxurious affair.  We eat, drink, lounge, and sleep in fine accomodations.  Truly.  

Camp 1Camp 1

And while comfy, we have the backdrop of pure nature, away from the noise and light and hub-bub of human habitation. (A lofty notion, except that we campers bring some with us... I guess the wildlife there would take exception to this imagined "escape into pure wilderness".)

Satilla Pano 2Satilla Pano 2 Satilla SunsetSatilla Sunset


Paddling the SatillaPaddling the Satilla

Moving on downstream...


Bram Canter


Geoff Brown


David Johnson


Glen Gifford


Jacques Depart


Steve Mills


There's me, through Geoff's lens.

Sadly, Mark Canter was unable to make the trip this year.  Our eightsome has been gathering regularly and camping annually for 15 years.  It's been a privilege to be a part and an honor to know these great guys.

Satilla MenSatilla Men

Paddlers 2Paddlers 2 AFter the Rain 2AFter the Rain 2

We had a brief rain the middle of Day 2, which resulted in a lovely mist floating on the river for the remainder of the day... YES! Good for shooting photos.

AFter the Rain 3AFter the Rain 3 Nature PhotographerNature Photographer

The next afternoon, we set up camp at a mysterious underwater sand formation (well, not all that mysterious to anyone who knows the South. And knows that rivers rise and fall.)

Spiral MysterySpiral Mystery Camp 4Camp 4 Campfire RoundupCampfire Roundup Camp 3Camp 3 Satilla B&WSatilla B&W    Web of NightWeb of Night

satilla Vistasatilla Vista Satilla B&W 2Satilla B&W 2 Satilla Sunrise 2Satilla Sunrise 2

Goodbye sweet Satilla for now. 

Satilla Pano 3Satilla Pano 3

Hope you've enjoyed the journey.  If so, please share this link with anyone you think might enjoy it as well. And every comment you leave here helps others find their way to my blog... so, even if just a word, your comments are very welcome.  Thanks.  I'll be back with more in a month.


Larkin K.(non-registered)
It looks like a beautiful trip on the Satilla River. I absolutely love the way the sunsets make the clouds look. Amazing shots as always David.
Trudy Thompson(non-registered)
Wonderful, David! You're so good at transporting us there. I really enjoyed it.
Your photos are so beautiful - I never tire of looking at them.
What a magical place to share on your annual trip!
Betty Hudson(non-registered)
There's nothing better than maintaining traditions like you guys are doing by getting together every year on theses paddling trips. Many of us thoroughly enjoy sharing these experiences through your photographs. Outstading!
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