Friday, May 15, 2009

10 Reasons why the Raven Fork is a worthy paddling destination.

1. Hiking through the through the Cherokee Indian Reservation and paddling 2.6 miles of class 5 is enough to humble anyone.

Typical Scene on the Raven Fork, Western North Carolina.

2. The rapids on the Raven Fork pack enough excitment to get even the top paddlers heart rate going.

David Cohen entering Big boy.
3. No matter what there is usaully a story to tell by the time you get to the bottom.

David Cohen Styling Big Boy.
Photo Baker Davenport.
4. If Anaconda doesent warm you up "I cant help you."

David Cohen fired up after Big boy.
5. You will probably either end up running Big Boy yourself or watching someone run it, which is probably one of the more serious drops in the south east.

Looking Down the gorge at Baker Davenport setting safety at Big Boy.

6. You will probably end up running into some friends that you havent seen a while.

Myself in the boogie after Razorback.

7. Getting punched out at Mike Tysons is something every kayaker should experience.

Myself at Wet Willie.

8. Caveman boof has to be one of the best boofs in the world.

Myself at Mike Tysons.

9. Drinking a bud light with Emanual at the take out garuntees some good laughs.

Lane Rankin at Wet Willie.

10. The Raven Fork holds the style of rapids and the incredible scenery that makes it worth living in western North Carolina.

David Cohen entering Jedi Mind Training.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Heavy Rains In East Tennessee

I was sitting at work last Saturday when I recieved word that the Bear was running but little did I know that it would run most of the next 4-5 days. Needing to be at work by noon the next day I met up with Matthew Horton around 7:30 am Sunday morning with high hopes of running the bear. Putting on about 8:30 we had a perfect 15 inches, and when we got to the bottom we caught word that it was 20 and rising. Bear creek is with out a doubt in my top 5 places to go kayaking. It runs through Cloudland Canyon in North Georgia, its one of the only places in the southeast that has big waterfalls, big slides, and even bigger boulder rapids, and is only about 25 minutes from downtown Chattanooga. Each journey in to the bear garuntees a story to tell and carnage is likely. The next morning I met Matt Wallace, Chris McCoy, and Warren for some more laps on Bear Creek, Chris and Warren were first timers which kept things interesting down in the boulder garden since they were going on my beta and it was only my fifth or sixth lap.
Stairway to Heaven, Bear Creek

The rains kept coming, and I met up with Matt Wallace, Clay Wright, Nate Taylor, Chris McCoy, and Warren to run Rock Creek(Lula Lake). There has been alot of talk of this run this winter so I was excited to get on it. The run started off with an awesome 25 footer down into a pool above an unrunable 100 footer. I was a little hesitant to run it, since it looks like most of the water lands on rock but after seeing Matt's line Clay and I decided to give it ago. After portaging the 100 footer, Rock creek holds multiple quality drops. The water was a little bit low but everything went and good lines were had by all.

Matt Wallace on the Falls at Rock Creek
Photo Clay Wright

Myself Just after my run on the falls.
Photo Clay Wright

Nate Taylor
Photo Clay Wright

On Thursday I met up with Matt Wallace, Clay Wright, and Nate Rozell to make the journey into Middle Creek. I had heard alot about this creek from Ben Friberg and since its the closest creek to downtown Chattanooga I had to see what it was all about. We heard from some other paddlers that the best/fastest way to get in there would be to park at the Rainbow Lake recreation area and bush wack our way down the mountain and the put in just below the 40 footer. This may be true in the winter time, but when the foliage is thick I would recomend taking the trail, the poison ivy and briars are very think as I learned the hard way. Middle Creek holds some steep drops with narrow lines. A few of the rapids have some pretty serious consequences if you took a wrong slot or wrong line. If you like remote, tight, class 5 gorges this is the place for you. We had a bit of carnage at "shoot you in the face with a 9" which made for a big day of class 5 kayaking.
Dodson scouting Superman
Photo Clay Wright
Matt doing some mid creek boat repairs.
Photo Clay Wright