Monday, April 19, 2010
Southeast Trip...Baby I Love You!
We put on and followed Alan's lead down. We scouted and took our time just enjoying the beauty and and shooting video at all the fun drops...which were many! We came to Baby Falls... a 19 foot falls landing in a baby soft pool. For many of us this was the highest falls we had done. Everyone styled their lines! Could there ever be a better start to a trip? Brian and Lori had to reluctantly leave to go back north and the rest of us traveled in the dark to the Chattooga River.
After a breakfast at Waffle House we were joined by Art for a day on Section 3 of the Chattooga. The sun was shining and the day went very well. Ticking off the miles of rapids with smiles. More video and photos and then we realized we needed to boogie to make it to the take out before dark fell. As twilight descended Alan yelled back...it's Bull Sluice. Alan was intent to run it and Dan set video fast. The rest of us portaged trying to beat the dark. We put in below and Dave said to follow he as he could see. I couldn't see much else but I spotted some white sand on the other side and bee lined for it followed by Art. We all met up in the parking lot and headed back to town. We needed food!
We found a nice bar called Zeppelin's that stayed open just a bit longer to accommodate us. Fantastic place to eat in Clayton, GA with a hard core 60's early 70's rock theme going on. Tomorrow was Section 4 and we all agreed that it was going to be a long day and we needed to be off before dark.
I cooked breakfast at the put in parking lot. Easy start to the day. The Chattooga is an awesome immensely beautiful river! The rapids of section 4 follow much closer together and are just fun! We followed Alan as he picked the lines down. Needless to say I learned a whole lot about river scouting this trip. After paddling the Chattooga I can see how the southern boaters become such great paddlers with the long runs like this. The day was long and again we realized we needed to boogie hard to get to the end before dark. It became a paddle hard to get to the Five Falls Area. We agreed to portage there as we had no time to scout or clean up any swims. It was getting dark fast. When I came around the corner on the last riffles and saw the bass boat with it's lights on I knew there was no more whitewater. We had made it off before dark...just barely. Just two miles of lake in the dark to find a take out that had no lights. By then I was on a mission. Dan and Alan stopped to stretch and put on more layers. Art, Dave and I paddled on. Dave stopped and checked his GPS. Art and I paddled on. Art stopped to go back and find Dave...I paddled on. I was intent on finding the take out and getting off the lake. Being a Yankee I wondered about water moccasins, alligators, and yes hippos. On the water in the dark solid black of night the mind has fun freaking you out and my imagination can be a trip. I love it and I let it run and enjoy the trip. I imagined I even heard banjos. I came around the corner and caught sight of the lights of a boater pulling his boat out. Hallelujah! I marked the spot on the dark horizon and paddled hard towards it. When I arrived I flashed the lights to bring the rest of the crew in and stripped naked in the parking lot to change. After all you couldn't see two feet in that dark. I was cold and hungry and needed a beer. Back at the vehicles one of us had lost his key. After looking we concluded that it was not to be found and headed to town. Our favorite bar was just closing the doors when we arrived. Damn...being the only woman in the group I knew what had to be done. I made it to the grocery store with only a few minutes to spare. Grabbed some cheese to make nachos in the microwave and a tub of ice cream. After an intense food session we all were happy and watching the videos from the day. Next year on the list is all the rapids I didn't get to run because of the dark and also a Tallulah release.
Well it was time for a day off. Art had to get everything arraigned to have keys made for for his vehicle and it poured down rain for the most of the day. The only thing I regret on this trip is not going through all the wonderful art shops in downtown Clayton. We watched the gauges go sky high and past the unrunnable level for our group that night. We wondered what we were going to do the next day. As it turned out the Tellico had come down to the high runnable range in the morning and we drove back there as fast as we could. The features had changed a bit and I did my first rapid backwards after being spun by a sneaky rock. No problem...I styled it that way. We all ran down having a blast. Baby Falls was bigger and the landing softer. Baby I love you! I think we all do...such a great waterfall!