Jan 1st - BCC Feast At The Beach. In the LL Stomper 80. 6 of us paddled the Mulberry at 1/2 a foot. Weather freezin-azz cold, maybe 20F? Alex S. got a great roll at Lunchstop. Then we had chili around a nice bonfire at the takeout. Photos here.
Jan 5 - Locust. Level 2.1. In the LL Stomper 80. To Swann. Sunny and in the low 30's. Icicles on the rocks, and iced over eddies. With Norma L. and Josh H. Josh let me try his new medium Pyranha Ripper from Double Trouble to the beach across from Austin Creek. Sweet boat! Photos here.
|Icicles on the Locust Fork|
Then I drove to Mary M's house, and had dinner with her at the Hoppy Trout in Andrews.
Jan 21 - Demo medium Ripper, Nantahala, thanks to NOC for the demo!
Jan 22 - Aimee Mann at the Lyric Theater. Great show! My first visit to the Lyric. Fantastic venue.
Feb 3-4 - Locust Fork Races. I did not race. I did spectate. Sunday the river had come up so the set of gates below the last hole were very entertaining. Most racers flipped there. Most rolled, too. Some flipped and rolled a few times. I wish I had taken video.
Dry weather spell... then... RAIN
Feb 10 - Mulberry take-out. In the Dagger Axiom 8.5. With William who let me demo his Axiom. Weather forecast had a flash flood watch so we just goofed around at 5-0 instead of running the river.
Feb 11 - Graves Creek and Calvert Prong. In the LL Stomper. With Andy, James, Riley, and others on Graves. Andy, James, Matthew and others on Calvert. We had a bad strainer incident. Graves is a cool little creek that needs wood cut out. Portages, carnage. I swam at the strainer. Calvert is clear of wood and delightful as always. Level on the Locust high, 7-8 ft. Locust portion of Graves was tall wave trains.
Feb 16-18 Grotto Getaway. At Maranatha camp. Really nice place for our SERA! I stayed in a hogan with the Howells, Andy and Gary. Ridgewalk on Saturday in the mist and rain, I found a blowing lead high in elevation that we are excited about returning to.
Feb 18 Locust Fork. In the LL Stomper. With Clayton and Kahyee, Lynn. Many folks on the river. Level in the 3.5 range, which is a good filled in medium. Weather in the low to mid- 60's, sunny at first, then cloudy. I was happy to wear the drysuit.
Feb 24 Mulberry. In the LL Stomper. What a change 5 days of warm temps makes. Can't believe it's real. Mulberry today at 1.5 ft. In February. No drysuit. No drytop. I was in a shortsleeve top, and IR shorts. It rained some on us. The rain and the river water were both mild.temps. Unbelievable, wonderful day. With Clayton V. and William C.
March 3-4 Mulberry Fork Races. I was gate judge coordinator, so I didn't paddle. The level was in the 2.5-3 ft. range on Saturday, closer to 1.5 on Sunday IIRC. It was very cold both nights and I found out my 20 degree bag isn't even a 40 degree bag anymore. It was sunny both days and the gate judges did their jobs well. I'm impressed with how much hard work it takes to put on this event every year, and it's been going on since 1980.
March 9 - 12 ALF. With the Lost Tribe. Drove up Friday afternoon. Middle Tellico K1 Saturday at 1.8, sunny, 50's during the day. Middle Tellico OC2 Sunday at 1.7, sunny, low 60's. Mulberry Fork K1 Monday at 3.5. It was snowing and cold at the Tellico on Monday so I drove south to find sunny skies and 50's in Alabama. I didn't take photos this ALF.
March 18 Locust Fork. In the LL Stomper. Level 3.1. With Ross Jacobs, Jason Hardy for his first trip on whitewater in his Dagger Katana, Shahn and others. Weather mild.
March 24 Mulberry. In the WS Project X 56. Level 1.5. This was correlated to both bridge gauges and new digital gauge. Weather chillier than predicted and water temps chilly as well. I wore my shortie top and shorts and was underdressed for the occasion. We surfed our tails off. With Andy L, Joan S, Clint (new boater).
March 30 Tellico. In the LL Stomper. Level 2.3. Weather and water temps mild. Predicted 100% chance of rain, instead we had blue skies and puffy clouds. I am convinced that it's impossible to predict weather in the Smoky mountains and their kin. This was a quick day trip to get wire from Mary Mills for our SERA. Chattanooga traffic going home made it a longer day than I wanted. Still worth it. Always.
March 31 Mulberry. In the LL Stomper. Level 1.5, same as last Saturday. Weather warmer, water still chilly, glad to have my drysuit on. Surfed a bunch again. With Andy and Lynn, Joan S., Clint, Josh H., others. Great day.
April 7 Paddlefest. Chilly, upper 40's, windy. The event was a bust. I felt terrible for the event organizers, but Mother Nature had other plans for us. I didn't paddle.
April 8 Mulberry. In the ProjectX 56. In the drysuit which means big shoes for the drysuit socks. ugh. my feet! Nice weather though. Still chilly but sunny. Afterwards I visited the Caudles.
April 14 SERA workday. HUGE rainstorm that night led to:
April 15 Upper Mulberry, Calvert Prong. Trip report here: http://dangerjudy.blogspot.com/2018/04/april-15-2018-upper-mulberry-calvert.html
Weather overcast, some sun, it got to 60. Mulberry was at 5 feet when we got to the stick gauge. Locust at 7 feet. Calvert needs better correlation. A bridge gauge hopefully.
April 28 Endless River Adventures Nantahala Open 2018 A great time taking pool floats over Nantahala Falls, then a fun after-party at ERA. Full video here. Yep that's me going over the handlebars on the unicorn float, in the top hole at Nantahala Falls.
April 29 Murphy Riverwalk. I went with my friend Mary Mills and we walked her two dogs at the Murphy Riverwalk. I was very impressed by this set of walking trails at the confluence of Valley River and the Hiwassee River.
May 25-27 Memorial Day weekend.
- May 25 Hello to the Hiwassee. In the Necky Chronic. Warm, gorgeous day with no rain though rain was predicted all day. Solo trip, went to Webb's to buy a shuttle and was spotted by various TVCC folks who insisted I catch a ride with them. So nice to have zen time on the Hiwassee *and* also paddle with TVCC.
- May 26 Tellico Ice Cream Run. In the LL Stomper 80. With Christine and various other River Dogs. Ice Cream Run (Oosterneck to the Ice Cream shop in Tellico Plains) was harder in spots than I anticipated. There were 6 of us in our group, and we put on at a 3.5 level which we agreed would be minimum. There are a couple of technical rapids, a lot of stairstep ledges, and the last set of ledges right after the bridge was, um, interesting. Christine and I got ahead of the others and went on beta we were given that the cleanest line would be far right. Well, it is steep and manky over there. We banged down over the top drop and headed to the middle for the rest of the rapid. We were able to signal the others not to take the route we started down. Maybe with more than minimum flow it's better on the right.
- May 27 Ocoee to Go Forth. In the LL Stomper 80. 1800, nice fluffy level. Lots of people were out which surprised me as I expected everyone would go to Tellico, which was 2.5. I was tempted by Tellico but I wanted a quick run and a shorter drive home.
June 3 Sipsey River. In the Dagger Axis 10.5. With members of Huntsville Canoe Club and others. Level 1000ish cfs, low but everything went. Beautiful run with an awful take-out that needs work. Photos HERE.
June 9 Lesson with Kirk from Ace Kayaking. In the LL Stomper 80, on the Ocoee. Great lesson on forward strokes, arm and wrist paddle positions, eddy turns, and a visit to the creek above Double Suck. That evening I went to the dinner and auction for Chota school, at OAR.
June 10 Hiwassee. In the LL Stomper 80. With a class from the Chota school.
June 17 Hiwassee. In the LL Stomper 80. With cavers. Kind of impromptu class.