December 20, 2014

December 10, 2014

December 8, 2014

November 29, 2014

November 28, 2014

November 27, 2014

November 16, 2014

Fun Stuff 2014

Wavesport XXX's and fro's in the house

Jan 1.  Cartecay Chili Run.  In Ellijay, Ga.  In the Wave Sport XXX.   With Christine B. (or was it her cousin Foxxy?) in her new red XXX.  Level 1.9?  Air temps 40's-low 50's.  Some sun, cloudy.  Bear meat chili and Apple Pie were some of the more interesting items served at the chili feast after paddling.   I discovered it's ridiculously hard to roll with a green fro wig duck taped to my helmet.
here.  Video here.

Jan 12.  Mulberry Fork.  In the Blackfly Option canoe.  Level 2.5 ft., air tems around 60.  With Andy and Lynn, Larry, Sue and Steve, Tamara.  Photos here.  Video here.

Jan 17-18 Ski Cataloochee.  With Margaret W. and Joane F.  Temps chilly and windy, good sking weather even with the wind.  Friday night and Saturday.   Tried 160's K2 rentals.  Forgot my camera.

Jan 31-Feb 5  Ski Snowmass, Aspen Colorado.    Rossi Experience RTL 158's. With Joan, Julie L-G, Eva, Ahna, and Patty.  Incredible snow.  Photos here.

Top of Elk Camp Lift at Snowmass, view of Maroon Bells peaks behind me.

March 2 Mulberry Fork.  With Sabrina R. and Larry D.  In the Hyside Paddlecat.  During the Mulberry Fork Races. Level under 1 foot, started out cloudy and low 60's, went to mid 70's by the time we got to the race course. The racing was on a break so we were able to head thru the course.  Photos here.

Me and 'Brina in the Hyside Paddlecat

March 8-10 ALF 2014.  In the Blackfly Option canoe. Clear Creek on Saturday, level 450ish, Middle Tellico from Turkey Creek to Wonder Woman on Sunday, level 1.4ish (Low).  Photos here.

March 15 Horseskull and Jack's Hole caves.    With the B'ham Grotto.  Mild spring temps.  Photos here.

March 22-23 Locust Fork Race.  Didn't race, just did some flatwater bits in the Blackfly Option, after Steve and Sue tweaked the outfitting.   Felt under the weather.   Nice temps Sat, chilly Sun.

March 29 Horse and Adcock Caves.  Found them this time... with Gregory B., and his nephew K who is 9.
March 30 Mulberry.  In the Blackfly Option.  With Mark G. and Vander.  Level perhaps 1 ft.   Tried out newly tweaked outfitting, good day, warm temps upper 60's, blue skies.

April 5 NSS Pavilion Roofing.  With the B'ham Grotto.  First time I've been on the roof of a building like that.

April 12 NSS Pavilion Roofing.  We finished! In half the time we had allotted!
April 13 Entrancing With Andy, Moe and Jason.   We meant to visit Pass and Crump caves, but the landowners weren't home.  Instead we went to a cool old cemetery, drove over a couple covered bridges, went to the Calvert Prong and Blackburn whitewater put-ins, and sat on Moe and Jason's porch eating grapes and watching hummingbirds.  Photos here.
April 19 Section 6 (flatwater) of the Locust Fork, as listed in the classic Foshee book 'Alabama Canoe Rides and Float Trips'.  With Jason and Moe, Eric, Dave H., and Ray from the B'ham Grotto. Level reported 2.7-2.9, air temps in the 70's and sunny. Trip took 6 hours from put-in to having boats on cars at take-out.  Nice class I shoals in two places, no dragging the boats or portaging required.   Map of put-in and take-out locations here.  Photos here.
April 19 Mecca Fest.  At the Daniel Day Gallery, I sat in on bass with the Charlie Soul Band.  Fun times!

April 26-27 Nantahala, ERA Wave Sport Open. In the BlackFly Option. With Joan S., Linda D., Rebecca R., Mark G., Helent T., David and Ken A.  Warm water due to Cascades release, was not releasing thru the dam so water was late. Levels were juicy.  First time in the Option after Steve and Sue tweaked the outfitting, wonderful.  For the Wave Sport Open, I wore leis, a Mardi Gras mask, tiara and spangly things on my helmet, ran a Wave Sport Ethos thru the falls, and swam.  Won two t-shirts.  Temps 80ish, perfect weather. Photos here.

May 4 Big Canoe Creek.  In the Sevlor Pointer K1.  Level 217 on USGS gauge. With the Birmingham Grotto.  Wonderful Day.  Photos here.  Map here.
May 18 The Nick.  Mats Memorial.  Played a song with Ed.  Saw many old friends.
Ed and me

May 24 Hiwassee.  In the Wave Sport ProjectX 56.  With Larry and Steph D., David A.  
May 25 Ocoee takeout.  In the PS Composites Urge.  Christine let me demo it.  It was brief and painful. Video below.  The part after "this is terrible Christine" is Christine herself in my gear.  Which you can easily tell by the fact that, unlike me, she is not sinking the stern of the boat just by sitting in it:

Ryland and I in my Hyside Paddlecat.
May 31 Pigeon River.  In the Hyside Paddlecat and Star Slice. Level approx. 1800cfs.    With Wendy A., Ryland and Jenni, and the Lost Tribe.

June 8 Cahaba Lilies Trip.  Hargrove Shoals section.  Low (yellow on the gauge) but no dragging.  With Joel, Dave and Val, and Allen B., in the Sevlor IK.  Photos HERE.

June 14.  Mulberry.  In the Blackfly Option.  Level 1 ft.  Hot.  With Mark G., Brent W. and Ryan P.  Got my first 180 in the little spot above Glen Clark, tried to get onto Lunchstop.  Photos here. 

June 28- July 3.  Carolina Canoe Club Week of Rivers 2014.  In the Blackfly Option, Wave Sport ProjectX 56, and Liquid Logic Stomper 80.
June 28 Tuckaseegee, 500cfs release, with Joan, Patty, Linda D.,Julie, Joy, Denise, and Agata from Poland.  In the Blackfly Option.  Got to try out Linda's Probe 11 thru the rapid with the camera, it eddied me out, so I ran the meat backwards and thankfully upright.
June 29 NOC Canoe Club Challenge races.  I started the downriver races as a volunteer, then ran the slalom race in the Blackfly Option.
June 30 Nantahala.  In the Project X 56.  With Joan, David A. possibly Sue?
July 1 Nantahala.  In the Liquid Logic Stomper.  First time to paddle the stomper this year, wanted to get some seat town before Upper Nanty the next day.  With Joan, Sue, Tim R.
July 2 Tuck in Town with Joan, afterward we had lunch at Cork and Bean, toured the museum, and drove up to the Road to Nowhere and walked thru the tunne.  Then Upper Nantahala for a 4pm release in the Liquid Logic Stomper. With Gretchen, Lisa H., Curtis/Clayton (forget name) and others.  Upper release with natural flow was the lowest I've run it, 350ish cfs.  One roll at PBJ as usual.
WOR photos HERE.
July 14-18 NSS Convention in Huntsville, Al.  With the Birmingham Grotto and 1000+ other cavers from around the world.
July 15-  Caves of Huntsville field trip.  With Tom W, Lin G, Dave H., and others.
July 16- Lectures about world caving at Lee High School
July 17- Bounced Drake Mtn. Dome pit, then more world caving presentations at Lee High School, then the NSS photo salon run-through at Von Braun center, then Korean food with Moe, Andy Z., Donna and Danny C.
July 18- Lectures about southeastern cave paleo-archeology, specifically mud glyphs, at Lee High School, then helping break down the vendors/put back desks and chairs in the classrooms upstairs, then the Convention Awards Banquet at Von Braun center.
NSS Convention photos HERE.
July 26 Ocoee.  With Christine and Allie.  In the Liquidlogic Remix 69.  First time on the ocoee this season, we went thru the sneaks.
Aug 8-9 Camp's Gulf Cave/Fall Creek Falls state park.  With the Birmingham Grotto.  Saturday went to Camp's Gulf with Allen and Cassie, Jason and Moe, Andy Zerbe, Gregory, Mark, Finn and Leigh.  Nice trip. Sunday did a solo tour of Fall Creek Falls trail to the Nature Center and back.  Do not camp on the primitive sites at campground C.  'Primitive' means sloped, unmowed hill with barely enough flat ground for one tent, and a slippery rock trail down to the car perfect for someone in PT for her knee to bust her tail in the rain.  no I didn't fall.  Photos HERE.
august 14.  not fun stuff.  Tessa kitty was hit by a car and I had to put her down.  heartbroken.
August 30 Sewanee Mtn. Grotto CaveFest.  no pics, but was fun.
August 31 Ocoee, Upper and Middle.  In the Hyside Paddlecat. With Purple Hair Sally.   Accompanied by Steve and Sue, Steve and Neil from the Lost Tribe, Kelly Daniel and Blake from the River Dogs.  Photos HERE.
Sept 6-7 Nantahala in the Blackfly Option/Ocoee in the Remix 69.  With Sue and Steve, and the Lost Tribe on Saturday,  Sue and Steve, Eva, Mary on Sunday.  Photos HERE.
Sept 19-20 Hiwassee and Ocoee in the Wavesport Project X56.  With Christine on Saturday, Lost Tribe on Sunday.  didn't bring camera.
Sept 25-28 GAF 2014.  Nantahala Outdoor Center Guest Appreciation Festival 2014.  Thursday night at Harrod's Casino in Cherokee, NC.  Played Roulette and lost.  Friday day the Nantahala in the Blackfly Option canoe.  Saturday Upper Nantahala in the Liquidlogic Stomper 80, then relaxing at the festival. Sunday Upper Nantahala in the Blackfly Octane 92 with Steve I, accompanied by Matthew T in the Blackfly Option.  Photos HERE.
Joy, Roy, Judy at GAF 2014

Oct 9-12 TAG Fall Cave-In 2014.  Warm, wet weather this year. Photos here.
Oct 18 Middle Tellico with Christine B and Leslie.   In the LL Remix 69.  
Oct 19 Howard's Waterfall cave.  With members of the B'ham grotto.   Photos for the weekend here.
Oct 28 Coosa river, 4000cfs.  Last warm weather/water trip of the year.  With Joan S., and David S-G.  Photos on FB, here.

Nov 1 Cave Gating project with the Birmingham Grotto.  First work on a gating of Bryant Mtn. Cave.  Photos here.
Nov 8 Neversink.  With members of the Sewanee Mountain Grotto.  Photos here.
Rare photo of me on rope.  I'm on the left. photo cred Purple-Hair Sally.
Nov 22 Blue Spring Cave.  With the Birmingham Grotto.  A return to one of the most gorgeous caves I've ever been to.  It is the longest cave in TN.  We did a candlelit moment of silence in honor of our friend Jason Wall who recently passed away.   Our destination was the MegaJunction but some of us routed in the crawl.  The 'short trip' group was in the cave 8 hours, the 'long trip' group pressed on for a couple more hours.  Photos here.

Candlelit Memorial for Jason

Nov 30 Mrs. Miller's Cave.   A revisit for me to Mrs. Miller's Cave, a beautiful cave near Huntsville. With Bruce S., Ray M., Mark O, Tim H, and Juan F.  Photos here.
Dec 7 Bryant Mtn. Gating Workday 3.  I missed the second workday, but was able to make this one.  The gate was finished except for some concrete mop-up work which Dave Caudle and Gary Barnes completed on Monday.   Proud of my grotto!
Dec 12-14 Ski Sugar Mtn.  First trip in my very own skis, 2009 Rossi Attraxion 8s, no more rental gear.  With Joan S and Charlotte ?, Ryland and Jenni came up Saturday and had their first ski lesson.  On the way home Sunday, Joan and  I stopped for lunch at River's End on the Nantahala and drove up to see Amicalola Falls.
Dec 20 Ranelli Christmas Party.  Much fun as always.  Played keyboards again, and bass.  No not simultaneously.

Dec 26 Crooked Fork.  With Christine B., Teledave, and some of his friends.  In the LL Stomper80. Level 3.9, Emory was at 5000cfs at Oakdale gauge.  forgot my camera.
Dec 27 Tellico.  With The Lost Tribe.  In the Blackfly Octane 92.  Level was 1.7.

November 6, 2014

October 23, 2014

September 28, 2014


tons of wisdom.

September 8, 2014

August 25, 2014

August 21, 2014


Here's a throwback Thursday photo of me below Powell Falls on the Locust Fork in the Winter of 1999-2000.   In my blue (ordered purple from Marsha and blue is what I got) Grateful Heads double layup kevlar helmet, Lightning paddle from Steve, crappy non-breathable blue Stohlquist drytop from Sierra Trading Post that lasted about half a season, purple and black RPM kayak from Panda that I wish I still had, and black Lotus Lola PFD I bought from my departed friend Shane, with the high country patch (still) sewn on the back.

August 15, 2014

August 7, 2014

August 1, 2014

July 30, 2014

July 28, 2014

July 25, 2014

July 23, 2014

July 22, 2014

July 12, 2014

July 7, 2014

Prijon Hyperform

I saw an ad for a Prijon Hyperform 15' kevlar kayak from the 1970s on boatertalk... had not heard of the boat before.

Brad sent me this about the Hyperform - an ad for another one *with* the original receipt and Hyperform catalogue of that era, in pristine condition.  Awesome piece of history!

July 5, 2014

June 27, 2014

June 20, 2014

Attention New Whitewater Paddlers

It's been awhile since I gave a little plug for my wiki.   Please have a look at the wiki Steve and I have created for new whitewater paddlers at  I keep it updated with new stuff as I find it online, also new equipment and so forth.

June 18, 2014

June 17, 2014

June 7, 2014


Damn. Didn't realize new episodes would all come out in a batch.  This is because I only recently watched the 1st series.  What an opportunity to binge.  And then, such a great line:  "It's great to see you evolving, Chapman.  And getting past the whole 'I'm the star of my own movie and everyone else's, too' complex."

June 2, 2014

June 1, 2014

Probing the mystical realm aka squirt boating

Here is a wonderful new video of some squirt boating.   A bit of info about what squirt boating is: with one correction - there's a flat hull  on the bottom not hole.   "there’s no deviation to the hull, so it’s just really flat and slick."   A boat with a "hole" in the bottom is not a boat.  

Worlds from Difficult E on Vimeo.

May 26, 2014

Love love love love love this.   My grandmother and her family were Geordie, would like to have heard a bit of that.

The Great Vowel Shift

Yes, like Mellotrons, sometimes I geek over The Great Vowel Shift.

Some of the best things ever

Two of the all-time best things I've ever seen on the Internet.  I'm blogging them so I have them handy:


May 22, 2014

Women are from Mars

I have been both characters in this article:

I've been the toxic (melodramatic, flamboyant, furious) friend that had to be jettisoned into the night. Certainly.  Alternately, I've had to cut off a toxic friend or two.  One I remember as I simply, in the middle of a conversation she peppered with little bits of viciousness, came to the aha! realisation that I didn't enjoy her company, her conversation, nor did I find any interest, in any aspect, of her life.  Why was I staying around? Ain't nobody got time for that!

But I can't help as I read this article pointing out that the men I know do not have these friendship implosions.  Now my sample in the study is admittedly a small number of guys but seriously, they just don't.  Many of them have friends they know from being little, little kids.   And they still get along.  And they always will.  They just *do*.  Sometimes I envy that.

May 19, 2014

Such a nice night

It was so nice to be at The Nick and see old friends again for the first time in years. We were all there yesterday for the Memorial for Mats Roden. Great feeling being on the stage again with Ed Reynolds as well.
The Lawson sisters and I went to Pam Stallings and told her we had an idea - for the Sunday before Memorial Day weekend to become an annual reunion day at the Nick for folks from the old days... hopefully that can become a tradition because it was lots of fun. I also think Mats would approve.
 — at The Nick Rocks.
Ed and me

Locust Fork Gauge Correlation

Scot Donald has created this helpful correlation between the Locust Fork gauges, to give paddlers an accurate prediction of what the water levels will be based on the Sayre gauge. Remember that the Sayre gage is a ways downstream from Cleveland and a spike in Cleveland may not show up on Sayre for several hours. Be sure to check a 24 hour precipitation map against a watershed map in case of recent rain.

May 18, 2014

Saw this last night

I'm not a movie buff, so I hadn't heard of this director or of this project before.  I have read Dune a zillion times so I was familiar with that... anyway, this was the sort of documentary that will take days for my brain to process:


My good friend Jody told me, after my mother died, that my mom would want us kids to live.  "Live!" he said. "That's what your mom would want.  That's what she would tell you.  Don't stay in sadness.".
It's been three years since she passed, but for some reason I felt that posting what Jody said to me would help someone, somewhere, today, so I'm posting it.
Today I am going to two memorials of friends that have recently died.  A bunch of my friends from my band days seem to be passing these days; it's scary and sad.
I try not to ponder my regrets very much, because it doesn't do any good.   What did someone tell me... 'don't look behind you because that's not the direction you're heading'.  I believe that is good advice. And really, as much as I miss some people who I don't communicate with now, there are others that I don't miss at all.  It's weird; I was around some old friends I hadn't seen in years yesterday and it struck me how different I am from the last time I talked to them.  That would have been before I started doing outdoor sports, back when I was a band member.  We really have little in common now.  But when someone from the Southside scene dies, especially someone as talented and accomplished as Mats, and as sweet and cool as Barry, I am reminded that I will always be part of that group of people, and we are all saddened by his loss.
T Regarding my letter, I am sorry, but not regretful, about what I wrote, because I was telling the truth, just in the most vicious way I could express; that I am sorry for.  People have to treat each other with respect or they deserve to get served.  We're not put on this Earth to hurt each other or take abuse. Ain't nobody got time for that.  Life is hard, damn it is hard!  Don't make it harder for each other. Everybody remember what you're making that pile of money for. What you spend the majority of your time awake doing - remember why.  If you don't know why you're doing what you do, find out.  If you think this post was rambling, you're right.  Now I gotta go to the memorials.  In the meantime read this:


This is an excellent Yes concert from 1999 in the House of Blues.  It doesn't have Wakeman on keyboards but it does have Jon Anderson... anyway it's really great:

May 17, 2014