MOST RECENT TRIPS AT BOTTOM OF PAGE.
11-28-05 hey guys. thought i'd start keeping a trip log again. i just moved to maryville in august so hopefully i'll be doing more stuff in the smokies. over this fall i've done two runs on the cheoah in my jefe and had a great time. one buddy had a swim at "the big one" but otherwise the trips were fun and uneventful. i don't like dodging the trees but that should improve with time. i have a link to a cheoah video on the main kayaking page.
i also had a chance to paddle the green on the day of the green race. we went through early (phil, ezra, and myself) ezra did great on his maiden voyage. phil had a nice crash at gorilla (see link on main page).
i've done two runs on the little river. one at a great water level in my superstar with thomas in my jefe. the other run was last week and i did a solo elf run in my rocker. boat seemed to do well but i need to test it at a real water level to get a true feel for the boat but so far i like it!
12-17-05 did the little river (2.54 feet-415cfs) today with two guys i just met (alex templeton-pop- and brandon hughett- huka-). paddled the sinks to the Y. i was in my rocker and had a great time. i may move my seat forward one notch. no swims. brandon had one flip and rolled up just fine while putting his new shoulder strap to the test. i ran elbow backwards...whoops.
Little river at 2.55 feet woody austin(java) and ryan moore(gus) and myself (rocker). great day on the river. met woody and ryan for the first time. river was good but the sneak at the sinks was low. woody had a flip at mousetrap but recovered well. i managed to avoid the tree in eddy out on both runs. elbow was fun (ran it forwards both times today!) i'm getting a few runs under my belt in the rocker. it's light,comfortable, dry and adjustable and boofs well but i'm still not sure if i like it more than the jefe. tough choice! lots of other folks on the river today. a great day for a double run!
tremont(trailhead to tremont)-- 2.5 feet and rising quickly--john mcwaters-jefe and shawn-huck w/ handpaddles and myself--in the rocker.
met around 2:30pm and john mentioned tremont was probably running so we ended up choosing it over the little.this was my first time down tremont and my first time meeting these guys. john and shawn showed me some great lines. i did get my paddle hung when ducking a tree which resulted in a swim....i guess i need to work on the handroll. this run was great and i think the level was good for a first-timer like myself.i can't wait to do it again. john, shawn and another guy went for a double run but i was beat plus i needed to get back in the van with my shuttle bunnies(wife, son, and daughter). this is definitely one of my new favorite runs! thanks to the guys that showed me down!
p.s.- some folks have requested details regarding my swim. the river takes a fairly blind turn to the left at somepoint. i saw john sort of scramble to river right when going around the turn. i caught an eddy on river left and waited as he went around the corner. i could have easily stepped out of my boat and scouted the move but i could just get a glimpse of a tree with fairly tight opening on far river right with a little diagonal wave pushing left just in front of the opening. i was feeling good/stupid and decided to go for it at full speed. things were cool unil i hit the diagonal that sort of moved me left about a foot. to counter i threw a duffek(spelling) stroke on the right at the last minute which worked pretty good except it caused me to catch my left paddle blade on the tree above my head then my right blade caught something then i flew through the opening with the paddle being ripped from my hands. then i flipped... then i tried a couple of pathetic hand rolls. then i swam...into one of the few pools on the river. had i re9alized i was in a pool i could have easily been bow rescued but i had not focused on anything downstream from the tree. next time i'll either portage or keep that paddle tucked! i realized later that day that i tore some tendons in my right right finger when that paddle wedged on me so now i've got a blue swollen finger (dip joint injury for you medical types).
little river (sinks to elbow) 2.23feet-283cfs-air temp in the 30's- paddled today with stuart everett-rocker, james locke-IK (me in jefe) and about 10 other local boaters. it was great getting a chance to paddle with so many folks at once. low water run that was great. i scraped down the sneak route at the sinks and it was very bumpy! some good runs of the main line by james and a few others. several of us flipped doing the rock slide at shoulder snapper. apparently there was a bad pin just above elbow by someone in a playboat (transformer). this happened just after we ran elbow. we wondered why no one else was coming through and just assumed everyone was walking it since it was so low. i guess we should have gotten out of our boats and checked it out. we didn't even think about someone being pinned. i'm still not sure exactly where the pin happened but it sounds like a bad one. i'm glad everyone ended up okay! finished the day by meeting my wife and kids and throwing rocks in the water at the Y (my son's favorite pasttime).
1-15-06////little river//2.6feet//elbow to sinks//me-rocker//stuart-phat//joe-diesel75// jed-nomad8.5
one picture of me at the elbow included.
great day on the water. much warmer than yesterday. i did see a swim at jerrico's ledge just above the sinks. someone was trying out a new boat in the meanies and missed an eddy then fell off the ledge backwards and kind of sideways. a proper beatdown followed including a dramatic window shade resulting in blow to the helmet that i could hear from my eddy down near the bridge. swim followed with the boat running the sinks while full of water. i recovered the boat after sliding down my usual sneak on river right. the paddler was okay and didn't loose his paddle. downstream there were a few flips including some at eddy out and dynamic bow ender at shoulder snapper by joe but no swims until a broach with skirt implosion in the rapid above little elbow. we all had marginal runs at elbow with joe having the coolest. he entered sort of backwards then surfed the top curler "accidentally on purpose" before dropping into the chute and flipping at the bottom into an eddy on river right against a wall but after the first roll attempt he entered the main current and rolled up. we did see a bunch of guys run the elbow and two guys styled it in open boats which was neat to see. i noticed some folks riding up on the river right wall and doing a flake boof into the chute. maybe i'll try that next time. stuart's family ran shuttle and shot some video from the mini-van. i can't wait to see it.
January 21, 2006-Little river-sinks to elbowÃ¢- level 3-3.5ft (river rose while we were on it). Kayakers me-rocker, Thomas-gradient, caleb-diesel, dave-jefe, rebekah-mutant, mike-salto,Katie-diesel.
This was a great day on the water although we had more water than expected. Gauge had shown 2.9 and dropping Friday so I was thinking 2.5 or so today which would have been perfect for RebekahÃ¢s first time down this runÃ¢Â¦Ã¢Â¦well the overnight rain shot the gauge up about 6 inches while we were on the river. Katie saw the river on the drive up and decided to opt for elkmont section which was probably a smart call. Mike watched the first run while watching his son. We put on at the first pull off above the sinks and below Metcalf bottoms. A good warm up until we hit a rapid I call left hand turn just above the meanies. I always tell folks to look at this rapid as an indicator of whether or not to do the meanies. At this level the two holes at the bottom of left hand turn are sticky and the first one kicks right dramatically into an undercut rock. Rebekah went deep here and got typewritered over to the rock then to add insult to injury caleb whacked her in the head as she was in the second hole. A short uneventful swim followed which conveniently ended at the scouting spot for the meanies. Rebekah and caleb walked and the rest of us ran. I nailed the eddy at mousetrap but then blew my ferry coming out and was pushed into the main line at jerichoÃ¢s ledge which produced a mystery and stern squirt much to the delight of mike and the other onlookers. Thomas almost flipped in the mouse trap eddy then he ran direct at jerichoÃ¢s also with better results. Dave nailed the line. We all ran sneaks at the sinks. Dave ran middle and whacked Ã¢the rockÃ¢. I ran center and did fine. Thomas went way way right and did fine. Rebekah and caleb rejoined us and we continued on down the river as the water continued to rise. Rebekah ended up catching a rock in one of the shallow rapids and was upside down and bouncing off some rocks which produced a swim I stayed with her and Thomas, caleb, and dave chased the boat/paddle. We eventually managed to get a rope from river right across to her and did a Ã¢pendulumÃ¢ to get her back to river right. Mike helped by Ã¢adding a vectorÃ¢ to finish the rescue. If you donÃ¢t know what Ã¢pendulumÃ¢ and Ã¢adding vectorsÃ¢ means then take a swiftwater rescue class! We then proceeded down to eddy out rapid which is now free of wood. Thomas and caleb portaged and dave and I had good lines. Caleb got out just above shoulder snapper and caught a ride to the takeout since he had about all the excitement he wanted that day. Little elbow and elbow were fun. I ran far right, stalled out in the curler/pseudo eddy at the top of the slot, said a few choice words, then penciled into the chute and I think I spun around backwards and I donÃ¢t really know what happened after that except it apparently entertained the spectators. Thomas was going for the boof but fell in the crease and sternsquirted his gradient, dave had a sweet line down the left line. Then we shuttled back up and mike and I bombed down for another run. It was pretty uneventful except for the higher water and the same hole at left turn that munched rebekah munched mike also. IÃ¢d suggest punching this hole hard left of center with a touch of left hand angle or if your last name is morrow just close your eyes and hope for the best! Mike ran the meanies perfect and I snuck down river right as my right forearm began cramping and turning my right hand into something I call Ã¢the clawÃ¢. Then we ran right at the sinks and bombed down to elbow where we both nailed the left line. Overall an excellent day. See some video of our trip at this link. Sorry the video quality isnÃ¢t so hot. I had my camera on the wrong setting and it was a rainy day!
FEBRUARY 25-2006 LITTLE RIVER
little river - level 2.9 feet- bill(green salto), jed(green nomad), rebekah(green mutant), andrew(green h3245),me(red rocker). short video at
day ended up being fairly warm. nice clear water. we put in at the sinks. bill and i had good boofs at mousetrap and decent lines down the right line at the sinks. there was a small stick or vine near the base of the main line that looked a little spooky. jed had a great seal launch off the bluff, i had a backwards launch that ended as most of my backwards launches do....on my head. i love seal launches! everyone did well on the upper part. rebekah did one of her first big boofs at silver diner and i wish we had it on film because it was perfect! we scouted eddy out and it looked pretty good but then again i think it always looks easier than it is. rebekah had a flip in some shallow stuff that ended up getting her hung up on some rocks in the middle of the rapid. i ferried out to roll her up but she was mid exit by the time i was pulling her up. this led to a pretty exciting swim. i yelled âswim rightâ but i think she was a little disoriented and she swam towards me. i think next time iâm with someone in the middle of a bad swim iâll yell âswim away from meâ or âswim to meâ. i know iâve had a few poundings in the past that got me pretty disoriented so i think that might be a good way to deal with this issue in the future. anyway she swam hard left trying to make the eddy above an undercut at the bottom of the rapid. i ferried back out and offered my stern and she grabbed on and then we both tried our best to get her to the eddy. unfortunately we didnât quite make it. i was in the eddy but she wasnât and she started getting sucked over the drop right where the worse part of the undercut was located. at that point i realized i was slipping out of the eddy despite paddling full speed and saw we were both going to go off the drop with me landing stern first on top of her which i think would have been a very bad thing . so i started yelling âlet goâ. this was a pretty hard sell to rebekah who is dangling a few feet above an undercut that i had told her a few minutes ago had drowned a swimmer a few years ago. i kept trying to paddle upstream while yelling âlet goâ a few more times then i finally said the magic word âplease let goâ and she released. i think i ferried a few feet laterally toward river right then took a backstroke or two and ran the drop backwards and it turned out okay for me......rebekah however managed to somehow find a way to cling to a step or boulder on river left until bill got a rope to her and pulled her away from the undercut of death. i rounded up equipment and bill and jed helped ferry her over to river right. overall a pretty scary swim for everyone. learning points for me are to 1.really warn folks about that undercut so hopefully this trip report will do that. 2. continue to paddle creekboats with good grab handles that swimmers can grab and hold easily (i almost took my playboat today but decided on the creekboat at the last second.) i think grab loops that are horizontal are much easier for folks to grab and hold than the older style loops. 3. remember to say âpleaseâ when you want a swimmer to let go of your grabloop :) the rest of the run went really well. shoulder snapper was really fun today. i did a rail grab which is the only river trick i can do. bill did a rail grab also. i had a flip at elbow which is no longer unusual. bill and andrew had good lines. jed had a flip.....and a swim! in his defense he did get a little hung up on a rock after the elbow that gave stuart a good whack on the head a while back. that rock is located in just the right spot to give you a problem if you miss your first roll attempt. in summary rebekah swam in a class four rapid and jed swam in a pool of flat water. ha!
APRIL 27, 2006
i've missed reporting several trips lately mainly because three of them were solo trips and i don't like telling folks when i paddle solo because i don't recommend it and it's really not all that fun for me. one of the main reasons i paddle is the personal interaction and i've found that i'm also pretty nervous when paddling alone. i guess that's appropriate since it's dangerous! oh well.
i did a solo trip on the little at around 2.6 feet if i remember correctly. the next weekend i did a full release cheoah trip from ohenry's down to the lake by myself although i did follow a couple of guys down from atlanta. i basically just kept my distance and used them as probes. they figured out what i was up to eventually and then we sort of joined up. i hate just inviting myself into a group but they were ok with it. i portaged "the big one" since i was alone at that point. i did get surprised down at yardsale and flipped and lost my sunglasses when rolling. otherwise a great run. the release was well over 1000 which was great. last weekend julie and i spent friday night at the tapoco lodge for our anniversary. she was sick with strep throat and we had tons of rain so i actually paddled from the lodge down to the lake by myself with a decent water level despite this being all natural runoff with no dam release. it was fun. then i paddled sunday from sinks to elbow with mark copeland(gus), mark evans(gforce6.3), john mcwaters(broken glide). i ran elbow backwards.....again. great trip with good water level. then monday after work i ran with a group from knoxville from sinks to elbow that included trey coleman, and doug klaras, and several others. had a terrible line at the elbow as usual. in summary i've been really luck to meet some new folks on the river lately and hopefully i will not be paddling solo again any time soon!
APRIL 29, 2006
did a little river run with john mcwaters and a couple from north carolina. level was 2.8feet on townsend gauge. john was in my riot air 60. and i was in my superstar for the first playboat run of the year. i snuck the ledge above the sinks by going river right since i was feeling in the playboat. i ran river right (as always) at the sinks but john did great on the main route. saw lots of other folks on the river. things were pretty uneventful until elbow which always is interesting for me. the level was a little low for a left line but i was feeling up to something new so i tried the left line in my playboat. i lost speed and sort of penciled in just upstream of the undercut. i tucked forward and apparently did a mystery move and surfaced several yards downstream upright and floating backwards down the river. cool sensation but not something i care to repeat! cheoah is releasing next weekend but looks like i have family obligations saturday in cleveland. i may do the ocoee sunday. time to get back in playboating shape.....i don't think i've ever been in playboating shape but i'll try.
MAY 07, 2006
middle ocoee down to doldrums. rode up with my father-in-law and brother-in-law. jim forgot his skirt so i ended up paddling solo in the superstar. lots of fun. warm water and did some playboating which i had not done in ages. i forgot how fun eddy lines can be. i did notice that several of the spots i used to love in longer playboats were not much fun in the "spud boats". i also found several spots that i used to skip in my x or vertigo that were now great fun in my little boat. overall a great day.
MAY 09, 2006
little river 3.1 feet. i was in the rocker. paddled with david howard, doug klaras, mary ann, aaron, and a couple other folks. met at the elbow around 6:15 or so and had a great trip. most folks ran the main line at the sinks except me with my usual line down the gutter on river right. perfect weather and water temps in my opinion. uneventful trip until elbow where i tried the river left line again and ended up scraping around the undercut on a deep upstream brace....definitely not feeling stylish at the elbow! i didn't see many of the other run but aaron did my typical line of getting spun around at the top and running backwards. overall a great day with a great group.
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