Monday, September 22, 2008

End of Summer Runs

As the summer was winding down, I decided to head out and catch some of the last dam releases for the season. At some unholy hour in the morning, Russ drove up to my place. We packed all my gear into his trailer, strapped the 12'6" longboat I would be paddling to his roof racks, and hit the road. Luckily, we made good enough time to met up with Edgar and the other ten people he had with him to put on to the Upper Ocoee. Had a great time with the Taifun on this stretch. Plowed through every hole I could find at Mikey's Ledge, Blue Hole, Godzilla & Humungous, and the Roach Motel.

Breaking between the Upper & Middle Ocoee

The group took a lunch break at the put-in for the Middle was much deserved and needed. Since Russ had gone to retrieve his vehicle and made it back before we put on for the middle run, I decided to switch out boats and play the rest of the river with my EZG. Could definetely feel the difference once I peeled out into the meat of Grumpy's. Everyone seemed to have a good time on the Ocoee and was fired up for the Cheoah the next day. Some went back to the campsite to cook dinner and others struck out to find some Mexican. Eventually, we all made it back to Turkey Creek to sit around the campfire and get a few hours of shut-eye.

Shuttle vehicles @ Turkey Creek Campground

The following day we broke camp, ate a hearty breakfast, and headed out to the Cheoah. The group had dwindled down to about eight fairly solid paddlers.....a good thing, as the Cheoah is not the place to be chasing down boats all day. All seemed to be doing well as we made our way down to the river with only one swimmer before the Big 'Un. I was rather impressed with Edgar's ability to handle himself in the canoe having only paddled an OC-1 less than a year. Also, I tend to paddle with a lot of open boaters and the whole "out of boat experience" can be quite common. I bombed on down once we got to Bear Creek as the eddy space was limited and I wanted to get some photos anyway.

Unknown Boater firing up the Creek Line

Trevyn breaking into the eddy @ Bear Creek

Hanging out in Big 'Un

Edgar checking things out above the Falls

Boofing the OC-1 @ Bear Creek Falls

The Scene at Bear Creek Falls

After everyone got through the big one, we all headed downstream. At Tapoco, I decided to take the fun, tight, technical, and underwater line past the lodge as may often happen when paddling a 12'6" longboat on the left side of this rapid. My neck and shoulders were still sore two weeks after I took that beating, but I made it up at the end. Still, I don't think that beating compared to the horrendous haul uphill at the bridge with the Taifun. Though I enjoyed the longboat paddling, I think I'm ready to put it up for a while. However, that slender & sleek yellow boat did look rather sexy on top of the all jet black Nissan X-terra.

Heading Home

1 comment:

Ezee said...

Kevin, met your dad this weekend at the Kibler Valley River Run ... he looks familar, as does your name sounding familiar. I haven't a clue why or from where, ofcourse it is a small world, especially Martinsville area. Your dad seems really cool and I guess he and my dad know one another. I just took up kayaking a few weeks ago and I am hooked as of now, but I am sure I am far from any drops like I have seen in your pics. I am crazy enough, but have a lot of learning ahead of me. I want to jump into stuff like that but I am aware I should get more experience. So far, Smith River below the dam twice with 1 turbine - the New River between Pembroke and the Narrows once - and the Kibler run this past weekend (1st run, no trouble/46 minutes and stopped to help someone) I decided to have more fun the 2nd run and got wet twice. If you ever want to hit me up and teach me a thing or two ... give me a yell or if you just want a photographer on some of these trips, I'm sure I could learn alot. I just wanted to make contact .... sorry to use this venue for that. Please delete after/if you get contact info!