December 26, 2012


I know I'm a geek, but The Avengers movie totally missed the chance for a great line.   When Stark pokes Banner with the "pointy thing" and Cap't America calls Stark out on it, Banner says, "It's alright; I wouldn't have come above if I couldn't handle pointy things".  And when I see that scene I say, "A prick or two!  A prick or two!"  Come on, it would totally have rocked.

In addition, enjoy this.  Happy New Year btw!

December 25, 2012

Fun Stuff 2012

Below Powell Falls 
Jan 1 2012 Middle Tellico. Level 1.7, air temps upper 50's. In the Riot Magnum. With Ryland and folks from Knoxville.
Jan 7 Upper Locust ("Wagon Wheel" section). Level 3.5ish? air temps upper 60s. In the Riot Magnum. With Paul E and Rundell. Jan 8 went to Mulberry putin, level 6ft and rising and a storm coming, so I declined.

Jan 21 Duck River.
Air temps 60s though it went down to upper fifties as the afternoon progressed - not in weather forecast either. In the Riot Magnum. Level low (no gauge). The Duck is slated to be dammed after which the whitewater section will be flooded, perhaps under a lake. With Silent Jim, Vander and Mark G. Pics HERE.

Jan 15 Locust. Level 4 ft or so. air temps 50's. In the Riot Magnum. With Ben and Austin. Got a combat roll without nose plugs after flipping in the rapid above Ender Hole.

Sweet Ben and my Warrior Dash Horns
Jan 22 Calvert Prong. Air temps upper 60s. In the Riot Magnum. Level low, Locust at 6 ft. With Spelunkologists and K1chik. Pics HERE and HERE.

Jan 28 Upper Mulberry and Mill/Murphy Creek. With Team V, Joan S, Chuck N. In the WS Project X for Upper Mulberry and in Joy's WS Diesel for Mill/Murphy Creek. Mulberry level 3 feet on the bridge, air temps in the upper 50's.
The Slot, South Sauty Creek

Jan 29 South Sauty Creek. In the Riot Magnum. Level approx 20 inches, Town approx 750. With Dane W., Andy and Lynn, Silent Jim. Air temps in the lower to mid 50's. Ran The Slot, sneaked Bonecrusher, dry hair day.

                                                                                     Feb 2-5 Ski at Sugar Mtn. on Friday, Hike and hang  out in Asheville on Saturday, Hike and Paddle at NOC Slow Joe Wave on Sunday.

Feb 11 5kBR Race. 30:57. Then Graves' Cave with Randall and Karen.

 Feb 18-19 Grotto Getaway. At Paint Rock Valley Lodge. Pics HERE.
Feb 24-26 NPFF. Pics HERE.

March 3 - Upper Mulberry. Level around 5 feet. In Mary's Dagger Crossfire. Slalom races were post-poned due to level. With Joan S. and Mary M. Waited for Mary to complete downriver race. We started late and took off just before dark. Banquet and Halo Effect movie, campfire and sleeping in my car... air temps in 50's with cold wind, night it got into mid-30s.

March 4- Mulberry. After watching some of the slalom races. Level on bridge was just under 2.5 feet. In WS ProjectX 56. With Joan S., Rundell C.; saw Halie and Tara TNT on the river. Air temps in 60's, sunny gorgeous day. Island at Training Wheels was under water, and Lunchstop looked bigger than I remember for this level. I am curious if the bridge correlation has changed.
Me, Rundell, Joan
March 10. ALF. Greenbrier with the Lost Tribe. Level 1.98 when we put on, 1.8 when we took off.
March 11. ALF. Tellico. With TeleDave. Level was 576 cfs in the morning, which on boating beta was listed as 2.3, and on wrww was correlated at 2.7 (my guess). Great level.
March 14-18 ACA Kayak Instructor training/certification with Kent Ford. Mulberry, level around 1 foot, in the Magnum. I was certified Sunday as a Level 4 instructor. I am very proud of this as it was one of the most challenging things I have ever undertaken.
March 24-25 Locust Fork race.
I was a spectator Saturday. Joan, Julie and I practiced rolls and strokes below the finish line at the course. Sunday I raced K1 womens cruising and placed third. Air temps 70's.
April 1 Ocoee. In the Hyside Paddle Cat with Wendy. Then a second lap in a demo Jackson Fun Runner 60 with Ben. Saw Kenny and Shirley as well. Air temps 70's.
New Fozzie
April 6 Tellico. Middle Tellico 1.7, in the Riot Magnum. With Andy and Lynn, Bill D., Nancy C., Christine B. and Kathy from Nashville. 2 combat rolls sans noseplugs. Then late lunch/early dinner at the Crab Trap/Tellico Pavilion. Great day. Air temps upper 60's/low 70's, we wore drytops and shorts. Video:
April 11 Roll Practice.  At Joan's on Choccolocco Creek.  With Joan, Lynn, and I forget his name... Air temps 60's.
April 13 New Car/Guitar with Charlie Soul Band at Daniel Day Gallery
Me and Rick playing at Daniel Day Gallery

Chilling at the ERA Wavesport Open Party
Nanty falls in Ecuadoran mask.. I had no peripheral vision...
April 21 ERA Wavesport Nantahala Open/NOC Demo Days.  Joann brought masks from Ecuador and we paddled the falls wearing them, and won a prize at the party.  I was in the Diesel 60.  Also paddled the new WS prototype creeker, the new WS crossover boat, and demoed a Pyranha Loki at the Slow-Joe wave. Air temps upper 60's
April 22. Ocoee.   In Jenni's Mamba 7.6.   With Ry and Jenni in the Demo Dynamic Duo.  Air temps mid 50's... brrr.
April 29 Ocoee.  In the Riot Magnum 72.  Lesson with Juliet from ERA.   Great day!
K1Chik and I showing off our Born To Knit tattoos from
May 3-6 SERA.  
May 10.  Anniversary of my Mom's passing.    I can't believe it was a year ago.
May 12 I Ain't Skerd Workshop.   In the Riot Magnum 72.   Level - well, the Upper was releasing for the first time this season.  With instructor Juliet K. from ERA.  With Mary M. and Juliet E.  Did Whiteface Boof and caught eddies in Tablesaw.  Great clinic!
May 19-20 Boaterchick festival.  Pics here.  Saturday, Nantahala level 3.6 in the ProjectX 56.  One roll at the Falls.   Then roll practice with Gretchen and Mary at lake Fontana, with surprise instructor Ken K. Sunday Ocoee normal release in the Magnum 72.   Rolls at Slice n Dice and below Cats Pajamas, swam at Flipper trying to do the Watauga move to the river right eddy.
May 26 Ocoee Hometown Throwdown.   At Slice n Dice. In the Project X56.  High lower 90's, water level had the Upper flow.  Woke up with a tummy ache and almost blew off going up.  Website had the event starting at 3; I got there at 2:30 and it was almost over, for some reason they had changed the time. But they let me get in and take my turns in the hole.  No warmup, no clue... Rumor has it that I actually won the 'cougar division' that Christine B. and I made up (women's masters I guess) but I'll believe it when I see it in print, as I was tired and  had just floundered around in there.  I then had the joy of swimming after my last playboating "turn", after 6 roll attempts, and watched my boat go down the left side of Moon Chute.  I sat on a rock for awhile contemplating life... maybe 10-15 minutes?  Then 3 nice gentlemen noticed me over there on my rock and 1 helped me swim to shore, where I walked down the eddies and avoided poison ivy whilst two of them went to retrieve my boat. I waited at Double Suck for Christine and her crew.  Christine said she had assumed I had left with another group when she didn't see me paddle back up after my last turn.  No worries...We had a great rest of the day.  Spent that night at River Rats with Ben and paddlers from the Nashville area, great times...  Mark N was there, and Marty, and Winston and Christine... and Chloe the Bassadach.   We had chili dogs and homemade icecream and smores, and there were fireworks, just a few and not too late, and they were very good ones..  *Update* well it was true:
May 27 Hiwassee.  In the Project X56.  High lower 90's, two generators.  With Ry and Jenni, and Rundell; also folks from the BCC and GCA.   Lots of spinning and surfing. I also found a rattlesnake crossing the road on the "back way" from River Rats to the Hi.  Pics HERE.
May 30 Roll Session at Pell City Lakeside Park.   With Larry D., Joan S. and others.   My first visit to this great site for rolling practice!
June 2 Coosa Whitewater Festival.  Level 8000 cfs., weather a nice 80's mild day, rare for summer Coosa.  With Joan.  Pics here.
June 3 Blueberries.   Went to Bear Mtn. Blueberry Farm with Juliet Ellenberger and her kids, and some of their friends.   The farm wasn't officially open yet but the blueberries are ripe early so the owner let us in anyway.  The farm officially opens in 3 weekends.   A few pics here.
June 9 Hiwassee Roll Workshop.  With Larry D., his friend on a sit-on-top whose name I forget, and Mikeyboats.   Two Generators, 80's cloudy.  We must have rolled 30 times each minimum.  Great day.
June 10 I Ain't Skered 2.  With Mary M.  Left roll at the Hiwassee... I got two combat rolls but had three swims.  We worked on Clean Spins and Broken Nose eddies.   I am going to rest today.
June 15 Early Morning Rolling Session.  7:15. At Pell City Lakeside Park.   In the ProjectX 56.  With Sue R.
June 16 Hiwassee.  With Larry and Stephanie D., Carin P., Heywood, Rebecca, and the sit-on-top guys.  Weather mid to upper 80's.  In the Project X.  Photos HERE.  Videos HERE.
June 17 Ocoee.  Demoing the new Dagger Mamba 8.6.  Mid to upper 80's.  Ran into Sue and Steve R.  Photos HERE.  Boat review HERE.
June 23 Ocoee.  In the Project X 56, with Christine, Andy and Lynn.  Air temps Hot As Hell all weekend.
June 24 Upper and Middle Ocoee.  In the Liquid Logic Remix 69 demo from Rock Creek Outfitters on the Ocoee.  When you go there say hey to Ben!  With Andy, Lynn, Helen T. and Bill L.   Andy demoed a Jackson Zen 75. Took out at Go Forth to get the demo boats back.  Boat review HERE.
June 29-July 2 Week Of Rivers.   Friday - Nantahala with Joan, Bill, Greta and Mary.  Saturday, Pigeon.  Sunday, Hyside Paddle-Cat with Julie, also Ryland and Jenni, and Nancy C.  Monday, Nanty with Hayward, Carin, and Julie.  Pics HERE.
July 3 Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band.  With my sister Kathy.  At the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater.
July 14 Coosa.  In the Project X 56.  Level 6200.   Mild weather for July, perhaps 90.  With Scott B., David an OC1 paddler, and his friend Matt in an RPM.
Bottom of Alien Boof, Upper Ocoee
July 20-22 BCC Beginning Kayak Class; I was an assistant instructor.
August 4-5 BCCSummer Slam.  Upper and Middle Ocoee both days.   Saturday in the Dagger Mamba 8.1, Flash flood made the Ocoee spike right as we put on the Middle, Go Forth Creek was going off and Joe and Jeff ran it.  Sunday in the Liquid Logic Remix 69.  Dynamic roll in the Olympic section above Callahan's earned me a gold star.  Photos here: 

Aug 11-12 Nantahala. In the Wavesport ProjectX 56.   Air temps 90 or so.   With Andy and Lynn, Ted and Helen, and the BCC canoeists.  At Turkey Creek campground.  Flipped above Surfer's and bonked my head on a rock, rolled up.

Aug 17-19 Ladies Cabin Trip, Hiwassee.   Temp 80's, 2 generators, sunshine except for rain when we put-on Sunday morning.  With Joan, Linda, Heather, Julie, and Sarah.   In the ProjectX 56.  
Aug 25 Upper/Lower Ocoee.  In the Riot Magnum.With Lynn and Andy, Robert W. and his dad.   Worked and swam at Callahans, cut my knee.   Met Larry at Matt at Lower put-in for Larry's first descent of the Ocoee.  Larry put-in at the rails and had a great day, he had 1 swim at Tablesaw after riding the whole rapid upside down and taking a hit to his helmet and head from Guide Ejector Rock.  Once we got to the take-out I drove to Cleveland ER and got three stitches in my knee.
Next day I ran shuttle for the others, hung out with Jenni H. at the Olympic section while Ry and Andy ran the Upper, then watched them all descend Broken Nose and Double Suck, then drove home.
Sept 1-2.  Ocoee.  In the Riot Magnum.  With Halie and Tara, Larry, Andy and Lynn, Christine and others.  Waterproof bandaid, gauze, purple duck tape, and a strategy of not flipping, not practicing rolls, and not getting out of my boat until the take-out kept my stitched up knee dry.
Sept 8 Coosa.  4000 cfs, temps in the upper 80's.  With Joan and Ashley P.
Sept 15 Ocoee.  Upper and middle, in the Riot Magnum.  Upper with Lynn, Ryland and Jim T.  Middle with Lynn, Andy, Jim T., Ryland and Jenni, Carin and Larry.
Sept 21 Lower Gauley.  With Andy, Lynn, Jim T., Bruce B., Chris K.  Photos here:
Sept 22 New River Gorge. Level 3 ft. With Andy, Lynn, a guy from Colorado, and Jim T.  Photos here: 
Sept 23 Hike to Sweet's Falls on the Upper Gauley.  Photos here:   Video here:
Sept 24 New River Gorge.  Level 1 ft.  With Andy, Lynn, and Jim T.  Camera died so no photos.
Sept 28-30 GAF.  With Joan S., Rebecca R., and Larry D.   Drove up Friday, camped at wonderful Smokey Mtn. Meadows, paddled the Nantahala Saturday, Bought A New Toy from NOC, rested and walked the Upper Nantahala road Sunday.  In the WS Project X 56.  Larry was in his new (used) Project X 56 as well.  Rebecca got a combat roll below Nanty Falls!  Level a beefy 3.1 (normal 2.6), air temps 80 or so.
Oct 6- 7 TAG Fall Cave-In.  Went up for one night.   Camera is dead so no pics.
Oct 11-16 Motion2012 Motion Graphics conference in Albuquerque.  With Liz and Maria.  Pics from my droid phone, here.
Oct 27 - Hiwassee.  With the BCC, Fall Colors Trip.  In the Liquid Logic Remix 69. High around 60.  Saw a bald eagle. 
Oct 28 - Ocoee.  With Ben, Andy and Lynn, Bill L. and Tony D.  In the Liquid Logic Remix 69.  High around 50.  brrr.
Nov 3-4.  Campout at Joan's.  With Amanda and Derek, Linda, and a lot of kids...
Nov 17. Bluff River Cave.  With Reed and Forrest, Shay Valerie and Dave H.  Photos here.
Nov 23.  Hike at Coldwater Mtn. Trail.  With Joan.  4-5 miles.
Dec 23 Mulberry.  In the LL Remix. With Mark G., Ashley and Taylor, and Aaron M.  Level on the bridge was 1 ft.  There is a new gauge to the Mulberry and it's not calibrated yet, but it read online at 5.1 ft.  Air temps 50's, cloudy.  Brief drizzle of rain at the putin.
Dec 27 Ecuador.  Left Bham around 10:30 am. for paddling trip with ERA to Ecuador.
Dec 28 Ecuador.  Landed around 1 am.  Stayed at Hotel Embassy in Quito. Went to Otovalo to see the Cascades de Peguche.  Met up with Juliet and friends that evening for dinner at The Magic Bean. 
Dec 29 Ecuador.  Tour of the Old City of Quito, then tours of the Equator sites.   Dinner at a mexican restaurant, forget the name.
Dec 30 Ecuador.  Went to Rio Quijos Lodge, paddled the Quijos river Borjas to Lodge section.
Dec 31 Ecuador.  Paddled the Quijos river Lower Quijos section.  Celebrated New Year's Eve at the Rio Quijos Lodge.
New Years Eve - 50Judy & Pepito Ecuador pictures here and here.

December 23, 2012

Cool documentary about Johnny Quest online

Me and Tone at Highland

Great times... Me and Tony cracking up at Highland Music Saturday Dec 22.

December 22, 2012

Quick Random Thoughts for Dec 22 2012

1.  Almost Christmas and my knee still hurts from my swim on the Oly section of the Ocoee.  I put up a photo of it from where I was sitting on a table at the ER waiting to get stitches, back in August.  It's rather gross so you've been warned if you click here.   All I had to do was roll up and I'd have avoided this injury.

2.  Carport Crossfit is getting new digs.  The new location is literally across the street from our old place.   Instead of a couple of mini-storage spaces it's 2000ft of indoor gym and 5000ft of outdoor yard.   It's sweet!

3.  I've been making little diagrams of lines through some rapids, and posting them occasionally on this blog.  They are all collected here, and I'll add to them as I get suitable photos over time.

4.  Everybody has flaws.  Mine include being a control freak.  It's one reason I'm so grateful to have found paddling.  There is no way to control the river, and being flung down a hill by a torrent of water can have profound effects on one's perception of how much control over things we can realistically have.   When I wrote this I was specifically thinking of Double Z rapid on the New River Gorge.  I think that Double Z, at 3 ft, is one of the few rapid's I've run that I wish I had worn a camera through, because it was such chaos going through it.  Terrifying.  Anyway.  In addition to being a control freak, I have a lot of regrets for things I've done due to that personality, uh, trait including some major bridge burnings that really, must stay burnt.  But I will say this.  I can do better.  The River teaches that too.  It's amazing, that River.  It's saved my life.

5.  Enough of that!  Enjoy this:

December 18, 2012

The Woggles

Yet ANOTHER find from The Underground Garage on XM/Sirius.  That station alone is enough reason for me to keep my XM subscription (which I've had since 2002 btw).

December 16, 2012

December 12, 2012

Great Band, Great Song

Yet ANOTHER gem from Little Steven's Underground Garage, the best radio station ever:

The Grip Weeds "Speed of Life" video from The Grip Weeds on Vimeo.