29, 1995. It was just another typical day in Paradise — a
beautiful blue and gold October Sunday, clear, cool water at 1.5 (or
1.65 depending on which gauge you read), temperature in the 60’s,
no rafts, not very many other souls, and best of all, a shuttle
driver (I started to say “bunny” but I would like to remain
friends with the driver). The group was small — old friends, not
so old friends, and fairly new friends (I’m referring to the length
of the friendships, not the age of the friends).
special treat for Jack Weems and me was to paddle with Murray
Johnson. Murray was with the Forest Service in Gainesville, Georgia,
and Heflin, Alabama, in the 1970’s and held several positions in
the Club, including that of Vice President. Murray was transferred to
Oregon after the Heflin post, and he has made Oregon his home. He
recently retired from the Forest Service and has been active in the
ACA for the Northwest. Murray was entertaining us at lunch with the
story of his travels since retirement — whenever the weather gets
bad in one place, he just goes to another.
Raven Rock we encountered a group of young (in age) paddlers I know
from REI. It was great to see them on the Chattooga instead of the
Ocoee. So many of the young, new paddlers don’t come to the
Chattooga. They are missing the best!
the paddling part of the trip was smooth, the greatest challenge came
at the take-out — how to get seven adults, six boats (2 opens and 4
kayaks), and tons of wet gear all in and on one vehicle and arrive
intact back at the 76 bridge. If only we had a picture to send to
Toyota! David Asbell’s 1987 Toyota Camry wagon and Asbell-designed
roof racks pulled off this feat with a minimum of effort and
discomfort. We arrived back at the bridge amid stares of disbelief
from other paddlers. We calculated that we had about twice the
recommended load capacity.
Paradise were Bronwyn Fowlkes and Murray Johnson in opens, David
Asbell, Jack Weems, Doug Pratt and Peter Elkon in kayaks, and
Michelle McNichols in hiking boots. Thanks, Michelle, for meeting us
at the lake!
The Eddy Line, December 1995