First things first, I would like to thank Barney and Sherry Spurr, along with Gwen Bergen and Robin Vaughn, who gave me a huge hand in getting this first timers trip down Section IV. The first timers that played with us on this hot day were: Jim Maier, John Turk, Nathan Costerian and Marvin Mayo. We got off to an early start Saturday morning, meeting at the S.C. side parking lot at 9:30.

Everyone was on time, even Barney. We took care of the introductions and ran shuttle. The water level was 1.48 on the bridge gauge — that made for a perfect level for a first timer’s trip. Myself, Barney, Marvin, Jim and Nathan put in at Bull Sluice and the others met up at the bridge. No problems at the Bull until Jim Maier, and he didn’t really have a problem. He was just scouting Decap from the bottom side.

We all moved on to Surfing Rapid and everyone tried their luck at enders. Most succeeded. Screaming Left Turn wasn’t a problem for these boaters, so we pressed on down the river. Rock Jumble and the sneak at Woodall were smooth, no problems at Seven Foot or Raven Rock. As we approached Entrance Rapid, I showed everyone “Dog Rock” and it was out of the water.

We set up to run Entrance and again no problems (maybe a few close calls), but everyone did fine. Next was Corkscrew — everyone did fine except Jim Maier, and he had the best upside down run I ever saw, not missing a single hole and not swimming.

“Crack In The Rock” was next. We set safety and everyone ran it except myself and Barney. We met in the eddy just above Right Crack and discussed running Middle Crack. The way I remember it was, Barney was going to watch my run then follow. Well, I believe my run scared him off. It sure gave new meaning to the word “stern ender.”

Jaw Bone was a breeze, then we were up to the “Dog”. We had a good look at the Dog as we always do, even if we don’t run it. Only had two People take the smart route; the rest were at the jaws of the Dog. Again everyone had good runs, even Gwen and her houseboat had a beautiful run. Did I say except yet? Well, except Jim Maier who had a bad line with a great run. Jim missed the launch pad completely to the left — yes I said left! While we were all gritting our teeth with one eye closed, here comes Jim out the bottom looking good and asking how his line was. We couldn’t believe what we had just witnessed. Only a first timer could get away with this.

To the lake we headed for the first timer’s first crossing and endurance test. We took our time crossing the lake and were all spread out good when we noticed one missing member of our group, Marvin Mayo, a first timer. Turk, Jim and I waited for a few minutes to see if he would come around the bend, when we saw a motor boat and heard Marvin yelling “Yahooooo” as he passed us all by. This was truly a first timer trip because these things just don’t happen on any other trip.

My congratulations to all the first timers for a great day with “0” swims and to Barney Spurr for not losing a single thing all day.

by Jim Cole
June 22, 1996
From GCA “The Eddy Line”, August 1996