note Some Overflow  Creek (GA) history...
  
This account of the early days of Overflow Creek (GA) boater exploration from Robin Sayler is spot on. Robin lived for several years in Highlands, NC, and paddled often with Alan Singley. A tip of the helmet goes out to Bradley for rescuing this exchange I had with Robin several years ago (1998) on the old RBP forum, and attaching it to the AW Overflow Creek page. Bradley, for that I owe you a beer. Will a Pabst do?

Robin, or Mr. Robin as he often signs in order to avoid any gender confusion, now lives in South Georgia and paddles little. He and I (and many others) were members of a virtual subculture whose lives revolved around the Chattooga watershed during the 1970s. Robin led Joe Stubbs and me down Overflow soon after his own adventure on the creek with Alan.

                                                       *          *          *

From Robin:


”Your history is actually pretty good, for such an old geezer as yourself. Have  
you been taking some vitamins or sumthin?

I'll try to remember my version - to be possibly corrected by the actual  
victims.

Not long after you ran Big Creek, Ken, Alan Singley entered West Fork  
history. He had hiked Overflow, Holcomb, and Big Creeks a good deal by then  
- as well as the north fork Chatooga Sections 1, Zero, Double Zero, and  
Minus 1, and even Scotsman's Branch. One fine day, I believe in 1975, or maybe  
1976, he dropped his boating and camping gear off at the culvert bridge, now  
famous as the Overflow put-in, drove his truck to the West Fork bridge, and  
hiked back up to spend the night. The next afternoon, about 5 miles and 8 or  
9 portages later, Alan emerged with wondrous tales of a fantastic whitewater  
run, with the improbable name of Overflow Creek. The fact that he *soloed*  
the exploratory doesn't surprise anyone who knows Alan.

Alan's spectacular, if somewhat unbelievable, tales fascinated everyone, but  
failed to gain him a partner for another descent. Undaunted, Alan proceeded  
on another *solo* run, this time with 5 or 6 portages. Finally he convinced  
another boater to accompany him, none other than Robert Harrison, an open  
boater of some renown. Alan and Robert survived, but, alas, Robert's Old Town  
Tripper was finished, thanks to Pinball. If I recall, Robert made about 7  
portages on that trip. Should have been eight. Robert's account of that  
descent convinced everyone that Alan Singley was not only crazy, but a menace  
to society in general, and to paddlers in particular. It was truly amazing to  
watch Robert's face as he told us of the Terror That Was Overflow. This  
sufficiently warned everyone, so again Alan could find nobody to paddle  
Overflow with him. So, typically, he made the 4th descent solo, this time  
with 4 portages. This was sometime in 1977.

That year Diane and I moved to Highlands, NC, situated on top of the ridge that  
separates Overflow Creek from the Cullasaja River. I was glad to get  
re-acquainted with Alan, who previously had introduced me to the Watauga. One  
fall afternoon, Alan and I were settin' around jus' doin' nuthin' (that's how  
it is said up there), and he casually mentioned that I ought to 'take a look  
at' Overflow. Before I knew it, we were crashing through the rhododendrons  
with our boats, just downstream of the culvert. We put in on this beautiful  
little gurgling creek, in incredibly beautiful surroundings, and then Alan took  
off, with me in tow. I can't tell you how many times I followed this young  
giant, sitting up high in his C-1, down some unforgettable adventure into the  
unknown, but this was to be the most memorable of them all!

About a mile later, my head was spinning after running some of the most  
incredible rapids I had ever done. We pulled into an eddy, for the first time  
since the put-in, and Alan said "what do you think?" I was nearly speechless,  
but his next sentence struck me dumb! "We're starting to get close to the big  
drops, so stay close." "Big drops?" I stammered, "What have we been running  
for the last mile?" He said nothing, but smiled and peeled out. I got really  
nervous when he eddied out in a few yards, and said "this is a pretty good one  
- just stay right and you'll be fine". Then he took off, and disappeared  
over the edge. I thought I'd seen him for the last time. I scrambled out  
onto a rock and looked at the horizon line, expecting traces of wreckage, and  
finally saw the tip of his paddle waving. Not wanting to be left, I swallowed  
hard and . . .

It was unreal! I asked Alan how many times he had run that 15 foot falls, and  
when he said "Once - today", I knew the name of that drop immediately - Blind  
Falls.

The rest of the run was like a dream - a whitewater dream. Singley's Falls  
waited for another day, and we stayed permanently away from Gravity and the  
Great Marginal Monster.”


                                                             *            *          *

One other, not so well-known fact is that Alan made a first descent of Holcomb Creek, the other (along with Big Creek) tributary of the West Fork of the Chattooga, or at least as far down to near the point where it literally leaps off the mountain. From there he portaged down to the Three Forks and paddled out the West Fork. I recall him describing one pitch as being so narrow and walled in that he had to raise his (C-1) paddle vertically over his head in order to make it through. I'm not positive of the year but 1976 would be close. Another amazing fact is that his dog sometimes accompanied him on these adventures, somehow making it through all the dog hobble, laurel, rhododendron, and around the rock cliffs. Needless to say his dog's tongue was hanging out at the end of the run, as was usually the case for anyone who paddled with Alan.
0