Thursday, December 29, 2011

Connoisseur's Run

Cane Creek into North Chickamauga.

Well, I wouldn't have said it myself, but after hearing my Team Jib partners give it the title, I agree that Cane creek into North Chickamauga is a connoisseur's run. Actually, it was the first 'real' creek I ever paddled. I don't consider Tellico a 'real' creek run because it is roadside. Cane is decently remote once you are in there. I heard that some people recently did an unintentional over-nighter due to high water. With that being said, I greatly enjoyed an afternoon run with a huge crew of 14 people. 

Team Jib OGs- Bryce Evans, Ryan Eichorn, Jason Arnold, and Brian Knight at the put-in.

I forgot my helmet at the take-out. Luckily, a few guys from the northeast named Chris and David let me borrow their Shred Ready full-face. It felt weird. I hand paddled down the first mile because Taft Sibley said he found a Werner Shogun with pogies at the first portage on his first run. My hands almost froze during that first low-volume mile. I celebrated at the sight of a real paddle with pogies, but quickly lost stoke when I realized it was a zero degree off set. Once again, it felt weird. 

Here is David from the NE entering the Vortex.

As usual, my Team Jib buddies left me in the dust. I took a new line in the entry to Big Splat that got my heart pumping with the threat of a piton. The Nomad kept me safe, continually showing its love for me. Upon reaching the lip of Vortex, the biggest rapid on the run, I bluntly stated to my newfound NE friends that we had a long way to go, and that they needed to Charge in order to not get 'unintentionally overnighted'! They took the suggestion with great heed and quickly fired into Vortex. I was impressed with their 'Charge-ability'! 

The next rapid is called Drain Pipe, and everyone flowed through nicely. A massive overhanging ledge extends over the river called Rock House, a typical sight in the sandstone laden Chattanooga area. We made quick work of the following boogie water that leads to the confluence with North Chickamauga. Here, it picks up some more volume and develops some stellar swirls, waves, and holes. 

Nick Murphy, hot off his Chile charge, mobbed the main line of N. Chick falls.

North Chick falls is a cool rapid that gives up some pretty sweet boofs. If you run it down the meat, you might have a bit more splashy and exciting ride. The crew did laps on it, and Taft Sibley intentionally took a surf in the entrance hole, that was so strong, it blew his skirt. Luckily, Taft is a Jimi-Cup champion squirt boater, and gracefully docked his Eskimo on the bank without having to swim. A good thing on such a cold day.

Bett Adams executes a textbook boof. 

I forgot how many nice playspots there are on the run, making me wish I had brought a playboat. We moved along at a nice pace, then eddied out to watch our younger female friend Mary Katherine get beat-down in some rowdy holes. She took a few swims, but kept a great attitude and finished the run strong. We didn't want to spend the night in there, and charged through the Bowling Alley section rapidly. I remember when I used to run that section after school all the time. There are some interesting swirls in there. 

Mary Katherine driving her Nomad like a champion. 

Overall, Cane into North Chick is a really quality float with a multitude of styles of rapids, that makes you feel like you're getting a full tour de rio. We only had to portage one log at the gauge for Cane. I always enjoy a run with few portages, as I like staying in my boat. Twas a fine visit back to Chattanooga, and lucked out with the presence of rain, breathing life into the rivers of my hometown. Now, I'm stoked to be back in California. I think we're gonna do an low-flow overnighter on the Bald Rock to ring in the New Year on a beautiful river. Cheers to the New Year! 

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