The Paddler Tattler
When ten paddlers come together to learn new skills, teach those skills, have lots of fun on a perfect weather day, on a great river to do all this, you have Cartecay trip number 2. Dennis, David, Evan, Kent, and Wilson joined Christy, Dan, John, Matt, and Nick to make a fun trip down a low water Cartecay River. Trip leader John was last on the Cartecay six or seven years ago. So he reached out for help to his paddling group and Dan and Matt signed on. John asked Nick at the Harrison Bay roll practice three days before and he said yes and came with Christie in a fun yak. Matt knew the river really well and took the lead to explain each rapid we came to. So glad to have so many paddling friends. Give a shout out to Matt, Dan, and Nick.
We all met up at Woody’s shuttle service, known as Cartecay River Experience if you want to find it on the internet. They do a gang buster business sending tubers down the river. We paddlers were a teeny minority. Bet there were a thousand tubers to about 20 hard boaters. Tubers as far as the eye could see up and down the river.
We met up at Woody’s right at the put in ready to go. After a short safety talk we put on at a little after one. Our priorities were safety first, fun second, and learning third. Matt was our top teacher as he is ACA level 4 certified. I learned from him. One thing right off Matt showed was just what core rotation looks like and how to demonstrate it. Ready, aim, core rotate. Ask Matt to show you.
The river gives you time to warm up. First the flat water, then small rapids, then several fun surfing rapids, and then the big three – S-turn, Whirlpool, and Blackberry Falls. The first few times back a long time ago I thought its nickname should be death falls. But it is a fun slide on the left and a nice drop on the right. Everybody ran all three with style and dry hair. I should mention that Nick gave lessons in side surfing at Surfing Rapid. At this level he just got out of his boat and stood in the side surf hole to help all who wanted to give it a go.
After almost five hours on the river we took out at the bridge below Blackberry Falls and loaded up for the shuttle back to Woody’s. Boats in the back of a monumental cage trailer and all of us in the bed of a pickup truck. Then we waited. And we waited. Well probably only 15 or 20 minutes. Had to load up 5 or 6 tubes. Guess the tubers rode back in style in the van. Once back at Woody’s we said our goodbye’s and headed for home. One had a 7 hour drive, ugh. Five of us stopped for Mexican in Elijay first. All in all one great day.
Trip participants are – Dennis Currin, David Garner, Evan Lewis, B Wilson, Kent Hisle, Nick, Christie, Matt Henry, Dan Petulla, and John Hubbard
For the first time ever the whole N, S, and W Chickamauga Creeks are cleared for the whole length that has enough water to paddle. We are all volunteers using our own equipment and it has taken us 8 years and over 1,900 creek manhours.
On the N it’s from Thrasher Pike to the TN River (18 miles), on the S it’s from the Ringgold Water Company to the TN River (34 miles), and on the W from the Chickamauga, GA Mill to where it runs into the S Chick at Camp Jordan (21 miles).
We also clear sections on the Conasauga and Sequatchie so about 100 miles total.
These are all Class 1 paddles (current and obstacles but not whitewater). Of course new blockages can happen at any time from driftwood and trees falling in from bank erosion and storms.
A HUGE SHOUT OUT and THANK YOU to everyone who has helped over the past 8 years.
Nickajack Bat Cave
The weather was perfect as a group of 14 paddlers gathered for a potluck dinner and paddle to the Nickajack Bat cave. It felt good after the last couple of years of restrictions, to reinstate our covered dish picnic prior to the paddle. We were all well fed. It was a nice paddle, although a little windy, across the open water to the bat cave. We watched as the bats emerged at dusk, in big swarms, for feeding. Another large kayak group was there, along with a few power boats.
The bats are a popular event. Based on a recommendation from a member’s daughter, we moved the trip up to earlier in the season. It did not disappoint. There were many more bats for viewing than last year. Apparently, by later in the summer, many of the females have already migrated. It was a clear night for our paddle back across the water, and the lights on everyone’s boats looked like floating lanterns in the dark.
July Flatwater Schedule:
W Chickamauga Creek, Chickamauga Mill to O’Charley’s FT Oglethorpe, GA
This is full Class 1. We’ll meet at 10 am on Sat 7/9 at the put in, run shuttle, and put on.
It’s a 10 mile 4 hour trip counting a break.
We’ll be going to O’Charley’s afterwards for anyone who wants to join us.
If interested REGISTER by 4 pm on Thurs (7/7). Details will be sent to those who register.
Contact Susan for questions.
Tennessee River, Chickamauga Dam to Harrison Marina, Chattanooga, TN
We will meet at 9:00 am on 7/17. This is a faster flatwater paddle, for the longer boats and stronger paddlers who want to do an open water paddle. It will be 9 miles, and approximately 3 hours. The trip will be led by Eric Burnett. We will run shuttle prior to putting on. Directions will be emailed by Friday night to those who sign up. This is a Sunday paddle.
Hiwassee River Candies Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Calhoun, TN
This is another first time ever club trip here. We’ll be meeting at the put-in at 10 am on Sat 7/23.
The creek meanders through a wildlife management area, with no buildings nearby. We will pass by old-growth trees and high river banks carved by flooding, and paddle through a cypress grove. This is a round trip paddle of approx 8 miles. Buck Meyer will be the trip leader.
If interested, register by 4 pm on Thurs (7/21). Details will be sent to those who register.
We’ll be going to Jordan’s BBQ in Cleveland afterwards for anyone who wants to join us.
Contact Susan for questions.
For all flatwater trips, sign-up is through the TVCC website event page.
NC Rivers and Lakes Weekend: Aug 11-14
We will be car camping at Turkey Creek Campground. Call 828 488-8966 and talk to Rick, the owner. He will be glad to make a reservation for you. The campground has been sold to Rick, so if you made reservations previously you should probably call him and make them again since I don’t think they were transferred over to this new owner. If this campground fills up, there’s another just down the road near the put-in for the Hazel Creek paddle.
Day 1 (Thursday) (Optional). We will meet Thursday night around 7 PM and see how many people are paddling what type of water. We can set up our campsites, and relax around a campfire. If everyone could bring a couple of compressed wood logs from the grocery store, we would have plenty of firewood that can be transported legally.
Day 2 (Friday)
We will all paddle across Fontana Lake and hike up to the town ruins of Hazel Creek. Ben and Eric will lead this.
Day 3 (Saturday)
*WW paddling on Tuckaseegee River Class II, led by Ben Johnson.
*Eric Burnett will lead a flatwater trip to Lake Santeetlah, NC. Insider Magzaine listed Santeetlah Lake as #1. It has this to say about Lake Santeetlah. “One TripAdvisor user proclaims that Santeetlah Lake is “possibly the most beautiful lake in North America.” Given that this manmade lake features 76 miles of shoreline and 200 miles of hiking trails, the review is far from unfounded.” This lake is about a 40 minute drive from Turkey Creek Campground.
Day 4 (Sunday)
*Ben will lead the trip on the Little TN River WW Class II but technical. You will get a work out.
*Eric Burnett will lead a trip to Caulderwood Lake, NC, one of the “Fingerlakes of the South” and close to the “Dragons Tail”. This lake has no development along its shores. Joyce Kilmer Forest is adjacent to this lake.. This lake put-in is about 45 minutes from Turkey Creek Campground. If you have any questions about the flatwater group for this trip, please contact Eric