Thanks to all the kayakers ritualistically doing rain dances, prayers, and checking the radar. The blessed rain returned to defeat the evil drought that gripped the Southeast so tightly in its grasp. The parched earth took a mighty drink from the frequent yet minor showers that hit during November and helped establish the water tables that were close to extinction. These minor showers weren't enough to get the mighty Bear to rise from its deep slumber. It wasn't until the leaves had reached their final resting place in December that the big guns rolled in and dropped the blessed bombs of liquid pleasure that would fill the earths gutters enough for the Bear to come out of hibernation.
The Chattanooga Chargers were not caught off guard. The Legends of Team Jib rallied at headquarters to decide when and where we would make our move. One look at Lookout Creek gauge and the decision was clear that the Bear was ready for a visit. Upon arrival, we found a steady yet stout level of 22'', and casually geared up for what would be a day of ultimate Charging. Stairway to Heaven was travelled at great and blinding speed as the whitewater highway would pose no speed-limit or hinder freestyle. A new log in Big Bang made more than a few contemplate the throw and go option, seeing as portaging is not an option here, but Bear master Bryce would lead the calvary to freedom with a smooth line despite the wood. Not everyone would make it through the infamous Boulder Gardens unscathed. A section, which at 22'', proves to be a perfect training course for the legendary Middle Kings. A booty beer for me would please the river gods and allow safe passage for the upcoming downpours of the beginning of 2009.
The Gulf of Mexico brewed up the perfect storm to start 2009 with a torrential downpour unseen in the most recent past. Finding every single local creek breaching its banks, I decided to look at a supposedly un-run 30'er on Daniel Creek, a major tributary to the Bear found in Cloudland Canyon. One look at the entrance and it was quite clear why this waterfall remains a virgin to white-water boat riders. Feeling humbled by what turned out to be a 50'er on Daniel, and with the Bear raging at 27'' and dropping slowly, I decided to go and try to tame a different animal. Little Possum beholds one of the cleanest 28'ers around Chattanooga. So, we rallied up JC Sprayer, and found the Possum to be an admirable waterway. Of course, after the Burly runs loose their juice, our local Suck holds well and allows the Chattanooga Chargers to continue get their Boof on days after the animals have receded. Until the next rain arrives, we will give the playboats some action at the mighty Rock Island, seeing as its lake is still rather full.
I captured much of the Charging on film and want to share a glimpse into some of the gems we possess in the greater Chatt-town area. Little River Canyon, South Suck, and Johnnies can also be found in the video. Hope ya'll have been getting wet also. Charge on...
Chattanooga Chargers from Will Pruett on Vimeo.