Wednesday, February 28, 2007

New Camera + 0.7" of Rain = New LRC Pics!

Well I finally bit the bullet and invested in a digital camera. When it began to rain Saturday night after a month of dry weather I was almost as exceited to get to use my camera as I was about the rising water. Since it was just the two of us, Joey got to be my subjet all day as we paddled Little River Canyon from the Suicide section down to Powell Trail. He was very understanding as I continued to ask him to let me hop out and get a picture of various things all day... starting as we put on at -2".
In addition to the classics I also wanted to get some pictures of the lesser known rapids in the canyon. This series of ledges is just after the put-in.

After the ledge series comes the first more constricted drop, commonly called "Are You Ready?"

After another small ledge series comes a riverwide 6 footer, Blue Hole. Here Joey boofs off the river left side which is the only route at lower levels.
Around the bend from Blue Hole is Mammoth Rock which is the bigest rapid on the canyon that you never hear about or see pictures of... at least I hadn't heard of it until my first trip down Suicide.

Just past the pool after Mammoth comes Terminal Eddy, a tight line near some real hazards at lower levels. Its amazing how easier and less dangerous this rapid becomes at higher water.

Between Avalanche and Cable Falls are some fun rapids including this one commonly called "The Mushroom Boof".

The (low water) line at Cable Falls is one of the coolest and most unique lines in LRC. Here is Joey on the first drop as seen from above.

Here is a sequence of Joey on the main drop of Pinball, the classic LRC rapid.

After Pinball we stopped less, but I did hop out to take this pic of Humpty Dumpty from downstream.

From Humpty to Powell Trail we just enjoyed the river only stoping once for this pic of an unnamed boof part way down Upper Two.

And that concludes my first day with the new camera. I'm looking forward to learning to use it, trying out new angles, and to getting a good zoom lens soon. Looks like more rain on the way for this weekend so hopefully I'll get the chance.

Until Next Time...


Monday, February 19, 2007

Desperate times call for desperate measures...

Low water continues to prevail in north AL as well as the rest of the Southeast, but again this weekend we managed to find a little and get in our boats. My family was visiting, but it was my birthday weekend and I was determined to get some boating in. Friday my parents, Shannon and I drove over to Sand Mountian mid morning as the temp hovered at 31 degrees to run the Mill Slide on Town Creek and then to make a detailed scout of High Falls for a future huck. Town Creek was running a wopping 103 CFS, but the slide was still fun and we ran it over; enjoying speeding down its 150' length and off the 3' kicker at the end. I was enjoying being in a short playboat and often found myself able to over boof it and land stern first. It really made me look forward to the release of the Large Ammo so I can have a super short and playful creeker.

We were all smiles, despite the cold, at getting out and enjoying some boating no mater how breif.

After departing the Mill Slide we drove down to the regular Town Creek put-in to scout the massive 35' tall High Falls. In this picture you can see all three of the lines on this drop... the more verticle line is on the left, the middle line is barely wet at this level, and the cascade line is on the right.

For anyone who has never been to High Falls the most unique feature is the huge stone arch in front of the river right side of the falls. Here are some pics from the river right lip.

Saturday Joey and I headed down the middle section of LRC at the lowest level we have ever done it and I won't do it again. The bridge gauge was reading about -9.5" and we put on at Upper Two and paddled down to Powell Trail in playboats. Having found it fairly fun and runnable the previous week at -8.5" we couldn't beleive the difference and how much lower the water actually felt. The previous weekend we had found runnable channels, fun boofs, splats, and even some holes for spins and cartwheels, but not this weekend. Anyway, at least we know and I've finally established my personal minimum level for every section of LRC: Powell to Canyon Mouth down to 3", Suicide down to -5", and Upper Two to Powell down to -8.5". Good to go.
Until Next Time...


Thursday, February 1, 2007

Johnnies Creek "Pick Up and Throw Down" a success!

Anyone who has paddled Johnnies Creek(or any AL creek) knows how trashed the put-in has been in the past. This has always been a real shame because Johnnies is a fun and beautiful run that has been tainted by the thoughtless acts of a few locals. In fact, the situation was so bad that last winter one boater slipped near the put in and was badly cut by a broken beer bottle. However, the run itself is certainly the inspiration for the clean up, so here is a picture of Dustin Bunch enjoying the falls at the put in. After an extremely dry summer the falls looked quite different on this day.
On a warm Friday evening in mid September a boaters and non boaters alike met at the put-in. Unfortunately I didn't realize that I had picked one of the worst possible days for the event. It was the same evening as a HCC cookout, during Gauley release season, and the same weekend as a big freestyle event at Rock Island. These combination of factors ruled out many would be participants, but we decided to go ahead none-the-less.

The small, but cheerful group meet at 5:00 pm Friday afternoon and spent the next couple of hours bagging trash from the parking area and both sides of the falls at the put-in. The turn out was light, but so was the mood and a good time was had by all.

Once we finished combing the area for trash we headed back to Mentone to grill some burgers, relax around the campfire, and tip back a few (too many) beers. A big thanks to Alabama Small Boats ( and everyone involved! I promise to pick a better weekend next year so more folks can attend.

Until Next Time...