Thursday, May 8, 2008

Easter in Tennessee

Having spent last easter in Tennessee creekin' on the Tellico River, I could think of nothing better than heading back there again in Easter 2008. After picking Justing up at 6:00 am, we made our way to Tennessee stopping briefly to paddle the Little River before heading to Tellico Plains.

Put-in for the Little River

Justin and I decided to put on the Little River at Metcalf Bottoms. I had been wanting to run this river for some time and wanted to get as much in as possible. After unloading all our gear, I drove down to a pull off below Elbow and started thumbing for a ride. Eventually, I got back to the top and we put on. There was some fun class II/III for the first couple of miles below Metcalf. Then came the good stuff....the Screaming Meanies followed by the Sinks.

Kevin dropping into the first Meanie

Justin driving through the Screaming Meanies

Plunging into the Sinks

Unfortunately, after throwing my Pelican box to Justin in the runout of the Sinks, my camera did not want to work anymore. We weren't able to take any more photos on the Little that day, but it didn't take away from any of the fun. The Little has some awesome creekin' action with continuous class III all the way down to the Elbow. This is one river I look forward to getting back on. However, that night, we still had to make it to Tellico Plains to meet up with fellow paddlers from the SRVCC and get ready to hit the Tellico the following day.

SRVCC paddlers discussing game plan for Tellico

Loaded up and ready to go paddling!!!

After camping out with the SRVCC group and eating a hardy breakfast at the Hole in the Wall, we were ready to go paddling. We devised a game plan after breakfast in which part of the group would put on above the Ledges and the other half would meet up with us on the Middle Tellico.

James & Justin putting on @ the Ledges

John Hall dropping the first of the Ledges

Justin boofing Baby Falls

Randy cleaning the Diaper

Richard at the bottom of Jared's Knee

After finishing the upper section of the Tellico, we continued down with the rest of the group. Had a great group to paddle with on Saturday. Lots of boats and lots of fun. I had some interesting moments during the latter part of the run. The first incident consisted of a submerged log or undercut rock that was not readily visible. After broaching against this obstruction, I tried numerous times to shift the boat but could not. Eventually, I had to pop the skirt, exit the boat, and dislodge my 80 gallon, water-filled creeker from the obstruction. The other incident involved me breaking my paddle yet again and running the last mile or so with a single blade. Actually, turned out to be a lot of fun and I'm now in the market for a C-1.

James entering Fat-Man Squeeze on Middle Tellico

David Mabe Squeezing Thru

Mike Mabe displaying true paddling finesse

Richard in the Meat

At the take-out Justin caught a ride back home to North Carolina. Part of the group was planning on running the Nolichucky the next day. I had come prepared with my playboat strapped to the top of my vehicle. We enjoyed another night of camping in Tellico Plains and then headed to Erwin, TN on Sunday morning.

Loaded up for the Chucky

The Nolichucky was a great river with lots of play. Though it was a little cold during April.....looking forward to hitting this one again during the warm Summer months. Jaws was an awesome playspot. I could've spent hours surfing it up if we didn't have another 6 or more miles to paddle and then the drive home. After reaching the take-out and having another fun-filled Easter paddling in Tennessee, I headed back east on I-40 until my next adventure takes me back to those mountains.

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