Well, my facial paralysis started improving, and I felt like I could close my eye well enough to get in the water, and the spring was returning to my step as it was to the weather. So, Billy Etheridge and I drove up to the West Cobb Friday night roll practice. It was great to see so many friends there again. First couple of rolls felt mildly awkward, but it came back fast, and all of my no set up rolls were coming off smoothly. My offside is still very rusty. With the wood paddle, I just about had a combat worthy roll on both sides, but with the smaller paddle and the health problems the offside has taken a back seat for a while. A little bit of that chlorinated water was still getting in my eye, but not too badly. It was great to see Tyler Southern rolling like a mad man, doing all kinds of fancy kayaker tricks with his paddle and what not. Tyler still hadn’t had a combat roll, and I told him that I was sure he would on his next trip. Sure enough, he went up to Eternity Hole the next day and got his first combat roll, way to go man! I’m sure pretty soon you’ll be paddling rivers that are too hard for me! Jesse Hebden was patiently helping some newcomers learn to roll, what a nice fellow. Thanks to Adam and Francheska for organizing. Billy also had a great roll practice. Lots of not set up rolls, and hit a roll on his second try.

We headed up to the Cartecay Saturday morning. A bunch of folks from Nashville had camped at Woody’s and a few of them joined up with us, including Brandon Hammer, who I’d paddled with several times on the Ocoee over the Summer. Billy Crush, Michael,Tom, and others had joined up with us. It was a fun casual day down the river, for the most part. We had a couple of swimmers at S Turn, a couple of folks from Nashville who were in unfamiliar boats. Michael had a great roll while surfing at Sexton’s, not a fun place to roll as shallow as it is. I surfed at Whirlpool a fair bit and had two combat rolls, which I felt good about. Good enough for Ocoee Lite in one week! Billy Crush was pulling off some nice enders at Stegall Mills, I got in that hole and it made me stay there till I was huffing and puffing a little bit. Of course, Not Sit On Top Tom had to also swim Stegall Mills intentionally. He’s the only guy I know who’s swam Hell Hole on purpose……. Then we spend time heave ho’n that gigantic log that was so dangerously placed. A fun day, a nice happy go lucky group of people and good weather.

Jay Davis
Mach 11,2011