What
a gorgeous day we had. The skies were clear, the temperature warm,
and the water cold and clear. The bridge gauge was at 1.8. I had
forgotten how long this trip is, especially with a lot of players.
Patty and Jim must have had a competition for the most play time. I
don’t know who won, but they both gave a good accounting.

I
had thought about putting in at Sandy Ford, but since several of our
group had never seen the top section, we put in at Earle’s and
paddled the whole thing. We were on the river 7.5 hours!

We
scouted Dick’s Creek ledge, and watched as another group ran down the
middle just to the right of the middle eddy. A few of our group ran
this route, but most of us ran the old way by driving to the middle
eddy, and then turning left at the bottom. This move proved a little
difficult for some, and we had at least 3 boats wash over the ledge
to the left of the exposed rock in the middle. No swims though.

The
channel to the left of the island above Sandy is still clogged with
trees, so we had to take the rather bony ledges out in the middle.
We boat scouted the Narrows, and of course, Patty and Jim found
several more waves to play.

Second
Ledge was interesting, as we played follow the leader, using verbal
instructions without scouting. It’s really fun to watch an
apprehensive paddler approach the ledge and begin to paddle
frantically, and then disappear to much applause.

The
spectacular event of the day goes to Knox Worde, who did a complete
ender at Eye of the Needle. He said that it happened so fast that he
didn’t really enjoy it, but we did. Many others tried, but only one
trophy.

Bull
Sluice is always impressive. Six of our group had successful runs,
Patty and Jim had great runs of the double drop, and Mike had some
trouble, but no swim, Clay, Dave and I took the single slide to the
left of Decap. Dave, making his first attempt at the Bull, was last
seen soaring over the 76 bridge.

Paddlers
were Jim Moore, Dereck Hunter, Knox Worde, Linda Klein, Rhett Smith,
Patty Skinner, Dennis Hamack, Mike Weems, and me in kayaks, Clay
Noble in C-1, and Dave Bookstaver in an open canoe.

by
Jack Weems
April 27, 1996