January 20, 2020

creekboats, etc.

Some meanderings about boats, creeks, history, etc. from a conversation I had with a newish paddler on FB messenger, and decided to archive here.  

Creeks by their nature are A. narrower B. steeper C. more technical D. shallower.   The current will be fast because of more gradient, there will be little eddies to catch and break up the rapids, but not a lot of big pools to rest and recover - the term used is "continuous".    In contrast, the Mulberry Fork, Locust Fork, Ocoee, Hiwassee, and Nantahala are all pool drop rivers - a pool of flatwater, then a rapid, then a pool again.  Continuous runs don't have long pauses between the action.  Sometimes it's Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Wonka's Chocolate Factory, or Turtles All The Way Down, depending on your skill and attitude for the day.

Creekboats are built to run into and ramp over rocks, aka boofing; they are designed like tanks to take hits without compromising the hull integrity.  They are heavier and sort of cigar shaped, with bows and sterns that are rockered and bulbous so they are less likely to catch or pin, bow decks often peaked in some fashion so they resurface quickly after going under water.  They have plenty of leg room, and the hulls tend to be rounded and not have edges, because edges can catch against rocks instead of sliding over them.  They have pillars (the foam or plastic between the paddler's legs) and seats made out of sturdier materials to prevent the boat from caving in and trapping the paddler. Rotomolded seats are an upgrade on some boats, for instance the 'creeker outfitting' on Dagger Mambas.  Rotomolding  parts like the seat results in stronger construction but adds weight.  A plastic step-out pillar, meaning you can use the pillar as a step to get out of the boat in a pin, is a big safety advantage.
Leg room helps the boat be easier to escape in an emergency.  Creeks are places with increased potential for dangerous scenarios like pins, and creek boats are designed for maximum safety.

Creekboats have steel bars, in many places on the deck of the hull, to use to attach carabiners and ropes to pull the boat out of a pin.  
LL Stomper, my creekboat

Creekboats are designed to spin and turn quickly, which can make them more of a pain than an asset in big water, because they are harder to paddle in a straight line.   They have lot of rocker (banana shape) to facilitate turning.  They are also designed to be stable when they are upright, and to roll easily when they are upside down.  Being upside down in a creek is not good.

Boat design history came to a crossroads with a distinction: planing hull vs. displacement hull.  In the mid-90's, all hulls were displacement hulls. think round, like the back of a spoon.  Then some designers came out with planing hulls on playboats.  Flat on the bottom, think of the side of a butter knife. The planing hulls were a big innovation.  Add edges on the sides (chines they are called) and the boats could do new tricks.  The planing hulls and chines made the hulls easier to paddle in many ways.  The chines cut into the water like edges on a ski.
There are soft chines and hard chines.  The harder the chine is, the sharper the edge.  Those boats can really cut hard on the water.  eddylines etc.
The RPM was a very popular 90's era displacement hull playboat and it remains popular today.  But it is sort of the pinnacle of the old school playboats.  Planing hull boats like the Inazone, the Disco, and the EZ became the new playboat standards.  It's funny to call designs that came out in the late 90's and early 2000's "new school" but it's still kinda true.
Creekboats use rocks to control momentum, and chines catch on the rocks.  If a chine catches on a rock it can flip you or slow you down when you need that speed.  Like walking and tripping on a sidewalk crack.
The confusing thing is some creekboats do have edges, it's kind of a new thing with the race creekboats.  Like the 9r which the  Ripper is based off of.  Or the Nirvana. The edges help them go fast in a straight line.  But they are designed to race steep creeks. On a tight, manky creek, they may go faster than you want to.  Also these race boats are longer hulls, 9 feet or more, again to go fast.  Some people love them.  I tend to want to go slower and find my way.

Anyway, planing hulls are great for playboats.  But not for creeking.  Because of another thing - boofing.
Boofing is a technique used for getting your bow up, for instance charging up pour-over rocks to launch over.  Instead of going between rocks in little chutes, which can be very chaotic places, creek boaters ramp up and over the rocks themselves, and clear any hole that may be on the downstream side.  Also boofing feels like the best icecream you've ever had.
You can boof waves, holes, all kinds of things.  Canoeists have to boof (get the bow up) a lot so the boat doesn't fill with water pouring in.

Alien Boof on the Ocoee, 2012, in my Riot Magnum 72 creekboat

Here's a concept a wise boater told me years ago that clicked with me:  Boofing Is Creeking.  So to learn to creek, boof everything.

Why isn't a planing hull ok for boofing?  Well here are two reasons.  One is the flat hull smears against the rock slowing you down.  And two, most important, when you land flat, on a planing hull, it can really hurt your back.  A planing hull is going to hit really flat and hard even on smaller drops.  I have not tested this myself, and I have no intention of doing so, but I trust the experiences of skilled boaters who tell their stories.
Ironically, my Stomper creekboat was marketed as a "flat hull creeker".  It might have a bit of flat hull under the seat, but it is still very much a displacement hull boat. 

Boofing is an essential skill to learn, but it has hazards too.  Boofing onto green water can break a back.  Boofing a tall waterfall can do the same.  I would not boof off of a height onto green water.  Like landing flat off of something onto lake water could result in a trip to the ER, or worse.

Even a 12-13' waterfall, like Baby Falls or Graves Creek falls, can hurt if you boof too far out and land flat.  Andy Lee tweaked his back boofing graves' falls the last time we were there.
Some people do a thing called Stomping the boof.  It's what my boat the Stomper is named after.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQrc4eUl0X0
But these days I've heard of some people saying not to do the stomp anymore.  I don't know if it's still considered a good technique or not.    The thing the cool kids are doing now is an ear dip/edge to boof, aka. the lean boof, in a carving arc.
I have no intention.  Ever.  Of doing a lean boof.   It seems like a way to set myself up to eat it.
Fortunately for me, my Stomper boofs itself.  I can boof the #@% outta rocks in that boat.  I really don't know what I'll replace it with.  Eventually I'll have to, the hull will wear thin or it will crack, or both.  I love my boat. 

All of the above are the thoughts and opinions of the author, who is a gear head with a middle aged memory who paddles class III and occasional IV, and who loves the minutiae of boat design and history thereof,  and this posted information may not be correct, or complete; or perhaps it is merely an amalgam of either, or neither.  See you on the river.

January 11, 2020

Kelly Creek correllations

1/11/2020 - streambeam = 1.06, bridge = 3.5 ft.

January 10, 2020

January 7, 2020

House Wave

House Wave, on the Upper Mulberry, is a really big wave, and its size is not captured in this video!  We were on the river January 4th, the level was 4.5 feet on the bridge and 5.3 on the streambeam gauge.  I took some video with my Olympus Tough camera, and made this in Sony Vegas: 

January 3, 2020

Surf Alabama

Here's a little something I put together in Sony Vegas this morning.  I videoed several of my friends surfing Lunchstop Wave on the Mulberry Fork on New Year's Day 2020! 
People might not be aware of this but the Mulberry has some of the best surfing waves in the Southeast in my opinion... and they're all class II at sane levels! 

Surf_Alabama from Dangerjudy on Vimeo.

January 2, 2020

Fun Stuff 2020

January 1st  BCC Annual Feast on the Beach.  Mulberry Fork.  Level 2.5 on the old bridge.  In the LL Stomper 80.  Water temps chilly, air temps upper 50's-lower 60's.  Photos here. 
Another great start to the new year, paddling on the Mulberry Fork
January 4th  Upper and Lower Mulberry.  Level 4.5 on the bridge, 5.3 on Streambeam.  With many friends.  In the LL Stomper 80.  Air temps lower 60's, water temps chilly, windy.  Some of the others went for a second lap on the lower, and those of us remaining tried and failed to build a campfire at the takeout, even with our cars right there... I bought four bic lighters on the way home and stashed them in my ridgewalk pack, my drybag, and my car...
At the Upper Mulberry putin, 1-4-2020
Me making my challenge fire

January 5th  Ridgewalk and Fire Building challenge.  Confirmed a qualifier which I am proposing be named Tyr's Lair.  Then some of us had a fire building challenge at the BCC beach property on the Mulberry.  We were given 3 minutes to gather tinder, and we had to use just the items we would have had in our boats the previous day.  I was allowed to use one of my new bic lighters lol, otherwise I would have had nothing.  Then we tested other firestarters and tinder options.  We also had brats/hot dogs, and smores, cooked over our main campfire.

January 12.  Ridgewalking.  More ridgewalking in an area not far from B'ham, with the Howells.  We didn't find any qualifiers. 
January 19 Mulberry.  In the Jackson Antix M.  Air temps around 40-45f, sunny bright day, low wind, water temps cold.  The level on Streambeam was just under 2 ft, and on the bridge was 2.5 feet, but the level didn't match my observations on the water. The first wave river left above Glen Clark, that we always warm up on, was blasting my stern and wasn't all that wide or friendly.  Training Wheels was not there at all, and Eddyhop seemed high with fewer eddies.  wtf
Afterwards we had another picnic on the beach with campfire roasted hot dogs on skewers, s'mores, and hot chocolate.  We also practiced more firemaking skills.

December 31, 2019

Fun Stuff 2019

Jan 1 Mulberry Upper and Lower.  LL Stomper 80.  BCC Feast On The Beach.  Air and water temps mild. Much nicer conditions than last year.   Level on Streambeam was 4.5 but bridge gauge was 3.5 feet.  I have a new resolution for 2019: no more dry hair days!  Rolling practice mandatory!
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.  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 6 Cahaba Lovick. LL Stomper 80.   Warm day in low 60's, bright blue skies.  Water temps brisk.  With Vander H., Joseph and Emma W., and Kent M.  Level approx. 875.  Class II, no wood, all drops went without bony spots.  Trip took us approx. 3 hours, perhaps less.  And that was with a lot of lazy flatwater paddling.
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 30 Locust Fork.  2.2 ft.  In the ProjectX 56.  With James H., Peggy R., Vander H. and Ming S.   Low but very pleasant, water temps mild and weather around 70F.  We took out at Swann.
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 30Lower 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 1Nantahala.  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.
Wednesday July 3:  Nantahala.  In the Jackson Antix.  Demoed it, bought it.  lol

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 4th  Ocoee.   In the Jackson Antix M.   With Andy and Lynn, and new friend James.  I took out at GoForth.   What a great day!  I am smitten with The Antix.  If there is  better boat design for the Ocoee, I haven't paddled it.

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.

Sept- 13-14 Ocoee River Championships.  I did not paddle; I was a gate judge volunteer.

Sept 27-29 GAF.  Friday the lower Nanty with Janice, Joel, many others, in the Jackson Nirvana M.  Great day. Dinner at the Italian place in Bryson City, then back to camp with the B'ham Canoe Club at Turkey Creek Campground.

Saturday Upper Nanty in the Jackson Nirvana M.  With Hayward W. Not so great day, I swam Troll Hole then was in a pin in Mank.  Switched to the Antix for the lower and promptly flipped in the curler at Patton's and swam again.  I had a newbie flanking me on my right side, in a perfect position to feed me into the curler, and I watched a canoe flip in front of me prior to my own adventure.  I add those details so I remember it years later; I own the swim, I should have rolled.  Decided my mind wasn't in the game so I took out at Surfer's.
Sunday went to roll practice with Mary Mills at the Ocoee take-out, she said I had no flex in my back whatsoever.  Decided not to paddle.  My back had been out for a couple of weeks but I had taken Aleve and said F-it.  Stupid move.  I did stretches on hardwood floors when I got home and my back was immediately improved.  I started a 20 push up and 1 minute plank challenge on Oct 1 and made it a thread on a whitewater ladies fb forum so I have accountability partners.

October 5 Hiwassee.  In the Jackson Antix M.  With new boaters Fergus T. and Stacy W., along with Peggy R., Deborah W, others.  Back still tweaky but seemed better.

October 6 Ocoee roll practice.   In the WS EZG-50 at the takeout.  Not feeling it.

October 12 Coosa.  In the Jackson Antix M.  With Heyward W., Tim R., others.  My back hurt the entire time.  Wtf.  It usually doesn't hurt when I'm seated in the boat.  A few hip snaps confirmed for me that this was just going to be one of those days.  Was nice to visit with Lonnie and Karen at COC.
October 23  Ridgewalk at Rickwood Caverns state park.  With the Birmingham Grotto.  A few good leads, unfortunately my back didn't fare well with a day pack.
Nov 3 Ridgewalk at Rickwood Caverns state park.  With the Birmingham Grotto.  No qualifiers but wow so many leads... my back is better too, finally!
Nov 3 Mulberry.  In the Jackson Antix M.  Level 8 inches.  Local water is back!  With Joel and Janice, Peggy, Michael C., Russell B., 13 of us total.  We surfed until we were all worn out.  Let no one tell you that the Mulberry is no fun below a foot.  We had a blast!

Peggy Robertson took this great photo of me with Emma and Riley on Lunchstop wave.  

Nov 10 Mushroom Foray.  With the Alabama Mushroom Society.  At Swann Bridge.  No blueits or oysters this year, but we did find lion's mane, purple corts, and tons of honey mushrooms.

Nov 16 Ridgewalk near Rickwood.  With Dave H.  Found a qualifier; Dave found a nice vertical lead.

Nov 17 Graves Cave.  With James H., Kevin aka Shiny, Matthew K.   Nice trip back to the dig, then thru the water passage.  

Nov 29 Locust Fork.  In the Jackson Antix M.  Level 2.35, low.  To Swann.  Then I met Dave Howell and mapped my qualifier from Nov 16.  I've dubbed it Loki's Lair, my newest addition to the ACS.
Dave checking his notes during the survey of Loki's Lair

Nov 30 Mulberry Fork.   In the Jackson Antix M.  Level 1.35 IIRC. With Joel and Janice, Peggy, Fergus, others.  Great surfing day.  The Mulberry Fork is a gem.

December 8 Tumbling Rock Cave.  With members of the B'ham Grotto, some paddlers who had visited before, and a couple of newbies:  Peggy R. and D. Habanero.  Photos HERE.

December 15 Ridgewalk.  With Dave H., Matthew K., Shiny and others.  Hytop area. Nothing found on this walk except a known cave.  

December 21 Ridgewalk.  With Dave H.  In the vicinity of Loki's lair, we checked on Dave's vertical climb-down lead (it didn't go) and I have a new lead with a nuisance drop entrance that we were unable to enter without rope.

December 26 Locust Fork.  Level 4 ft, air temps in mid-60's, water temps mild.  In the Jackson Antix M. With Fergus T., Joel and Janice, Peggy, Scott C, Mark E., Michael C., David and his son, and Vander H.  Took out at Swann. 
Bad tree in Bullard Shoals. Went to visit my sister Kathy and she hugged me so hard and told me she loved me over and over.

December 27 Hike of Line Creek.  Hiking and scouting class III/IV Line Creek in Attalla.  Photos here.  Description of Line Creek here: 


December 28 Locust Fork. Level 3.5 ft, air temps mid-60's, grey skies, water temps mild. In the Antix M.  With Joel and Janice, Peggy, Hayward, Rebecca, others.  Took out at Swann.

December 29 Mulberry Fork.  Level 2 ft, air temps upper 60's grey skies, water temps mild. In the Antix M. With Joel and Janice, Riley, Chad D. and his son, Ryan S.

December 31 Locust Fork.  Level 3.5 ft, air temps lower 60's with wind, blue skies, water temps cold.  In the Stomper 80.  With Joel and Janice, Riley, Bo, others.  Took out at Swann. Bad tree still in Bullard Shoals.