In 2004 we put in at Goochie Ford which was a low-water bridge. The locals called it "The Slab." Zoom in on the map in Mullowney's hand at our Brown's Diner planning session and you can see all the notes for that trip.
Apparently we paddled 13 miles to the big gravel bar island campsite. And since that was our first (and last) one-nighter, that means we also drove from Nashville and ran the shuttle that day. Adult sized serving!
We are older and wiser now and will probably do our river miles something like 5-10-5, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.
Since 2004 , there have been two interesting developments that make it likely we will put in about a mile upstream from Goochie Ford at Readyville (pronounced REEDY-ville).
First reason: The Slab at Goochie Ford is not a slab anymore. It's actually a low bridge now, which is different from a low-water bridge. The former you can paddle under (appealing), the latter you portage over or around (less appealing, and probably why we put in there last time).
New Goochie Ford Bridge
The second positive development is the mill at Readyville. https://www.readyvillemill.com/
Click on history. Since we were there last it was purchased, restored, and reopened as an operating grist mill. Just like the glory days of Rat McFerrin. They open at 9:00 am on Saturdays so we can buy our dry goods that morning.
Bonus fact from the history of the mill: the Stones River did not get its name from the stones in the river, or from The Stones, but from Uriah Stone. Uriah did have some big stones though. He was not afraid of creditors or Indians: http://vagenweb.org/lee/UriahStoneMA.html
Actually maybe he was afraid of Indians: https://www.dnj.com/story/news/local/2014/11/15/harbers-history-lesson-river-carries-stones-legacy/19104745/
Bonus reasons for putting in at the mill: they have given us actual permission to launch there, and we don't have to clamber over all that rip-rap at Goochie Ford with our heavy canoes and cast iron. Really the only reason we won't is if the water is too high to get the canoes under the bridge at Goochie Ford.
Either way our first night will be somewhere after the confluence with McKnight Branch (traveling right to left on this map):
I'll preview the second half of the trip next week.