October
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).

A
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.

At
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!

While
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.

Enjoying
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!

by
Bronwyn Fowlkes

From
The Eddy Line, December 1995


Our Columbus Day
explorers and work shirkers included first-year kayaker Mike Hoyle
and solo open canoe paddlers Morgan Dicus, Warren Piper, Charlie
Pirkle on his first time on Chattooga Section IV, and myself.

Mike,
in his second run on IV, ran all the rapids cleanly, though the
blorts dumped him once climbing into his Frankenstein. Charlie also
discovered a few of the wrong lines through the usual dowsers.

The
downstream Hwy. 76 gauge read 1.16 (.88 on the bridge). Though this
is comparatively very low and technically demanding, there is still
plenty of water nearly everywhere to stay off the rocks. At this
level there are some surprises. Just upstream of Deliverance Rock
there is a river-right keeper which some of us have been calling
Forte’s Hole since Forte Rabb spent an afternoon there almost twenty
years ago. Miraculously he side-surfed his OCA canoe for about 15
minutes, bailing as he needed to, until I was able to get a rope to
him and haul him out, upright! Since then I have stayed out of
there. Explorers Morgan and Warren decided to test the hole: Forte’s
Hole 2, paddlers zero! At higher water this spot is fairly
innocuous.

Morgan
had a superb run of Sock ’em Dog. He and Warren, who was paddling
below Camp Creek for the first time, had great runs at Five Falls.
We all surfed at every opportunity and took out just before dark.

We
all shared pizzas and good fellowship at the Pizza Hut in Clayton and
felt grateful for an earlier errant boater named Cristoforo.

by
Roger Nott
Monday, October 13, 1997.