September 2, 2019
|Folks at BCC Feast On The Beach 2019|
Jan 2 Upper and Lower Mulberry. LL Stomper 80. Trip report I posted that evening: "Mulberry was a nice float today, raining, streambeam gauge was 3.2, gauge on the old bridge was just under 3, and new painted gauge on the newer bridge was 2.5.
It was a bit higher than I prefer, as most of the features I goof around in were either not in at all, or munchier than I wanted to mess with.
There was nothing at Glen Clark Memorial, no wave at Training Wheels, Lunchstop was pretty big and dynamic, and 5-0 was a green wave and hard to catch.
There is a tree with branches hanging down on the river right side of the surf wave on the other side of the island from Glen Clark. Andy Lee and Lynn had cut out some of the branches last year, and the ones there now may not be in play at lower levels. At the level today, they made it impossible to get in the only surfing spot.
A blue Perception Blast sit-in rec kayak is river left on the shore below Lunchstop. We had seen it pinned in some trees there a couple days ago at the level of 4.5 on the streambeam gauge. It was mostly submerged in the eddy when we arrived, and Joel pulled it out of the water and drained it. We stashed it where it *might* not get taken downstream again unless there's another flood stage. It has a big hole in the side and a small hole in the hull; it could be repaired."
Jan 3 Ridgewalk above Skyline.
Jan 5 Upper and Lower Mulberry. A blue Perception Blast sit-in rec kayak is river left on the shore below Lunchstop. We had seen it pinned in some trees there a couple days ago at the level of 4.5 on the streambeam gauge. It was mostly submerged in the eddy when we arrived, and Joel pulled it out of the water and drained it. We stashed it where it *might* not get taken downstream again unless there's another flood stage. It has a big hole in the side and a small hole in the hull; it could be repaired."
Jan 3 Ridgewalk above Skyline. With Dave H., his daughter Shay, and her boyfriend Kristopher. Mild temps, very productive ridgewalk, several great leads! Then a visit to Unclaimed Baggage where I miraculously didn't buy anything (too tired to shop).
Jan 5 Upper and Lower Mulberry. LL Stomper 80.Level was just under 4ft. on the old bridge gauge, which I believe was accurate for the conditions observed. Warm day, mild water temps, 22 people in our group and there was another group meeting a hour later! Unfortunately a car was broken into at the Upper Mulberry putin (CR 10). My car was at the BCC beach parking and was spared.
Jan 12 Mulberry. LL Stomper 80. 1.5 on gauges. Warm, wonderful day soul surfing. Joel and Janice, Kent, OC1-Kanubi and his friend visiting, Riley in the triple X.
Jan 19 Mulberry. LL Stomper 80. Warm day, around 60. 1.5 on gauges. Tomorrow supposed to be very cold. With Andy and Lynn, Joel and Janice, Riley, and Bill.
Jan 24 High Museum Atlanta, Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirrors Exhibit. With Josh, Li, and Donna. Photos here.
Jan 27 Archery. At Hoover tactical, with my new bow, with James and Shahn.
|James made a string and silencers for me|
Feb 2 Stephen's Gap. Several friends celebrating February birthdays together. I got to visit with Joy C. as well. Pics here.
Feb 3 Tellico 1.8. In the LL Stomper 80. Weather temps mild; water temps cold! With Steve I. and Wendy A. Turkey Creek to Pylon. There is a tree blocking the bridge rapid putin.
Feb 4 Walls of Jericho ridgewalk. With Dave H. We found some interesting leads, including a sink with two leads that I checked online later to find they were already reported on the survey.
Feb 15-17 Grotto Getaway. At Camp Maranatha. Ridgewalk on Saturday was the least productive I've ever been on. Not a lead, sink, doline, or IKF. Well, now we know.
Feb 23 Ridgewalk. With David H. and Matthew K. We dug open a blowing lead I found the previous year, but no luck. Had some fun in briars and brambles afterwards.
Feb 23 Kelly Creek. In the LL Stomper 80. One lap with Ming, Lynn, and Barry. Level 2.5.
March 2-3 Mulberry Fork Canoe and Kayak Races. I was the Gate Judge coordinator for the second year. We had a mud waller... level Saturday was in the 3.5 foot range and Sunday 3 foot.
March 9 Greenbriar 1.4. With The Lost Tribe. In the LL Stomper 80. We drove there from a cabin in Tellico Plains, with the belief that 1.5 was the minimum, but it was 1.4 when we got there. We went anyway. Great time in one of my favorite runs. No flips on my part but a few of the canoeists had some swims. I agree that 1.5 is a minimum. Pics HERE.
This weekend is Ain't Louie Fest but unlike past years I only got to paddle one day. Tellico is blown out 4 + feet, Whites was 5.5 ft. this morning.
March 23 Tellico 1.8 ft. In the Jackson Nirvana. I demoed this 9 ft. creeker and found it much different than any other boat I have ever paddled. So... I bought it.
March 31 Tumbling Rock Cave Preserve. With Dave H., Matthew K., Jeff H., Tawnya and Lee. To the Christmas Tree.
April 6 - 7 Locust Fork Canoe and Kayak Races. I was a spectator.
|My beautiful new RivrStyx paddle, and Necky Chronic playboat, photo cred Peggy Robertson|
April 13 Mulberry Fork. Level 1.3. In the Necky Chronic. Excellent surfing day. With Joel and Janice, Peggy, Joseph, Emma, Wendy and Russell.
|Peggy Robertson's great shot showing the joy of paddling, as a bunch of us try to surf a wave together|
April 14 Locust Fork. Level 2.7 climbing to 3.06. In the Necky Chronic. Warm weather and water, windy. With Hayward, Rebecca, Carin, others.
April 20 Calvert Prong. In the Jackson Nirvana M. Warm weather, kinda high level (I forgot to make note of USGS Locust level). With Joel and Janice, Andy and Lynn, Mark E.
April 27 Mulberry and Locust-to-Swann. In the yellow Necky Chronic. Mulberry was 1.18, Locust was 2.9. Great day, lots of surfing. Too low for 5-0 but Training Wheels and Lunchstop were sweet. With Joel and Janice; when we got to the Locust we met up with Russell B., Hayward and Rebecca.
April 28 Mulberry. In the yellow Necky Chronic. Level was .88 on the Streambeam gauge. With Andy and Lynn, Russell B. Training Wheels and Lunchstop still good, nothing at 5-0 to surf but the little ledge below was surprisingly good. I keep forgetting to bring a camera.
May 3-5 SERA 2019. With the Birmingham Grotto. At the Lazy G Wedding Chapel in Union Grove. Pics here.
May 11 Paddling 101 class. At Oak Mtn. Swimming Lake. 9 students. cloudy but didn't rain on us. Nice day.
May 12 Locust to Swann... then Calvert Prong. In the Jackson Nirvana M. Locust was approx. 4 ft, Calvert was up a bit more than preferable for surfing. On Locust there is a sweet wave that forms river right downstream of Whoop-te-do/Riley's Rapid. With Joel and Janice, Vander, Peggy. Awesome day.
May 18 Paint Rock River Float With the Birmingham Grotto. Level was low, but floatable; in a couple of spots we had to drag boats, and Moe's sit-on-top kayak was cracked so we had to stop periodically and dump the water from inside the hull. Lovely, long day. From Estill Fork church putin to County Road 507 crossing. We went under two bridges, after the second bridge the run was slackwater and a bit of a chore. Pics here.
May 25 Hiwassee. With the TVCC. In the yellow Necky Chronic. Said Hello to the Hiwassee on it's first official release date of the season. Sunday I went on a hike from Thunder Rock to the Whitewater center with Kathy K.
May 27 Memorial Day West Blocton Coke Ovens and Cahaba Lilies. With Susan and Donna. Pics here.
June 1 Ocoee. In the Jackson Nirvana M. With members of the Lost Tribe. Great day.
TVCC paddle school auction and party that night at AU. I camped near Pat C.'s family.
June 2 Ocoee. In the Jackson Nirvana M. With Mary Mills. Had two moments of carnage, took out at Go Forth. A very different experience from the day before, I must admit.
June 9 Mulberry. In the blue Wave Sport EZG - 50, my latest addition to the $100-$250 slicy boat fleet. Summer rainstorms brought up the Mulberry and it was 1 foot on the bridge, but at the playspots the level seemed more like 6 inches. Displacement from all the plants in the river? With Tim R., Carin B, Hayward W. and Chuck N. The EZG-50 is a really fun design.
June 17 - 22 NSS Convention. In Cookeville, Tn. Photos Here:
June 29 - July 4 Week of Rivers 2019. At Smoky Mtn. Meadows campground in Bryson City, N.C. With the Carolina Canoe Club. Amazingly no rain on the campground! Photos Here:
Sunday June 30: Lower Nolichucky, class II with one -III. In the Wave Sport EZG-50. My first descent. Scenic, peaceful paddle. With Lisa H. as trip leader, Linda D. in her open boat, many others.
Monday July 1: Nantahala. In the Jackson Nirvana. I thought I would be bored in the big boat, but my hip tendonitis was bugging me from being in the playboat, so I chose the Nirvana. Good choice - it boofs like crazy! With Joan S., Tim R. and Chuck N., others.
|My big BOOF on the Nanty in the Jackson Nirvana. Photo credit Chuck Neese|
Tuesday July 2: Tuckaseegee. In the Wave Sport EZG-50. Nice day but my hip bugged me again. Getting old ain't for sissies.
|Team "J" members Judy Joan and Jade|
|This photo captures how much fun kayaking is! Spin spot on the Nanty, left of Pyramid Rock. Photo by Chuck Neese.|
I didn't go to the river again until August 3rd and 4th. My sister Kathy is very ill and I am her primary caregiver.
I did go on a couple of mushroom forays with the Alabama Mushroom Society. We went a few miles north of B'ham, in Remlap and then another time in Cleveland Al. Its pretty dry so we didn't find much, but we had a nice day hike each time.
August 3rd Hiwassee. In the Bell Ocoee Canoe. At Adult Canoe School with The Lost Tribe. Wonderful day.
|Me on the Hiwassee in the Bell Ocoee. Photo by Neil Garland Stanton.|
August 11 Mushroom Foray. At Buck Island, TVA property on Lake Guntersville. With members of the Alabama Mushroom Society. We found some oysters and a few other things. My feet are covered in chigger bites. Yay me.
August 17-18 Hiwassee. In the Jackson Antix M. With the B'ham Canoe Club, annual Old Timers trip. We stayed at Reliance Fly n Tackle and had their excellent bbq ribs for dinner. Great weekend. Pics here.
August 31-Sept 1 Hiwassee. Saturday in the Jackson Antix M, Sunday in Emma W.'s Zen S., great weekend, photos here.
August 29, 2019
...from a great river book:
“There is an inherent, humbling cruelty to learning how to run white water. In most other so-called "adrenaline" sports—skiing, surfing and rock climbing come to mind—one attains mastery, or the illusion of it, only after long apprenticeship, after enduring falls and tumbles, the fatigue of training previously unused muscles, the discipline of developing a new and initially awkward set of skills.
Running white water is fundamentally different. With a little luck one is immediately able to travel long distances, often at great speeds, with only a rudimentary command of the sport's essential skills and about as much physical stamina as it takes to ride a bicycle downhill. At the beginning, at least, white-water adrenaline comes cheap.
It's the river doing the work, of course, but like a teenager with a hot car, one forgets what the true power source is. Arrogance reigns. The river seems all smoke and mirrors, lots of bark (you hear it chortling away beneath you, crunching boulders), but not much bite. You think: Let's get on with it! Let's run this damn river!
And then maybe the raft hits a drop in the river— say, a short, hidden waterfall. Or maybe a wave reaches up and flicks the boat on its side as easily as a horse swatting flies with its tail. Maybe you're thrown suddenly into the center of the raft, and the floor bounces back and punts you overboard. Maybe you just fall right off the side of the raft so fast you don't realize what's happening.
It doesn't matter. The results are the same.
The world goes dark. The river— the word hardly does justice to the churning mess enveloping you— the river tumbles you like so much laundry. It punches the air from your lungs. You're helpless. Swimming is a joke. You know for a fact that you are drowning. For the first time you understand the strength of the insouciant monster that has swallowed you.
Maybe you travel a hundred feet before you surface (the current is moving that fast). And another hundred feet—just short of a truly fearsome plunge, one that will surely kill you— before you see the rescue lines. You're hauled to shore wearing a sheepish grin and a look in your eye that is equal parts confusion, respect, and raw fear.
That is River Lesson Number One. Everyone suffers it. And every time you get the least bit cocky, every time you think you have finally figured out what the river is all about, you suffer it all over again.”
― Joe Kane, Running the Amazon