We had planned to run Chattooga Section IV, but found that river at 2.3 and rising when we met at Highway 76, so we decided totry the Chauga Gorge. We found the gauge at Cassidy Bridge at 2 inches and, after we shuttled, at 4 inches, an ample and fun level. It had rained substantially most of the night but stopped when we finished our shuttle. The sun appeared by the time we reached Super Sock ‘em Dog and shone throughout this most pleasant day!
We had a fine group of old and new friends: Jim and Michael Ledvinka, Jim Moore, Susan Snider, and Dane White in kayaks; and Robert Mingus, Fred Stokes and I in OC1 canoes. None of our kayakers had run the gorge, but all did very well, and Michael had a clean run. Several of us enjoyed second helpings at Super Sock ‘em Dog, where only one of us flipped.
Most of us took at least one unplanned swim, but we supported each other well and suffered no mishaps. Jim had a few tense moments when he got stopped in the bottom hole of one of the class IV drops. He surfed his canoe awhile before flipping and wet exiting, and was recirculated and pulled under several times. He finally dove deep and caught a current which flushed him downstream, just as we got in position to throw him a rope.
There is still a large log wedged at the bottom of Zoom Flume (AKA Flume of Doom), and now a second but smaller one completely blocks the narrow outflow just past its overhanging rock wall. We portaged. We lunched below Broken Tooth,where, after a few swims, we lingered to enjoy the gorgeous scenery and fine fellowship.
After lunch we took a leisurely pace and surfed a good deal before exiting at the Forest Service road. Many of us feasted afterwards at Henry’s in Clayton before going home to watch Steve Avery two hit the Reds and the Braves win the National League Pennant 6-0. A memorable day!
Trip Date: Saturday,October 14, 1995
By Roger Nott
-From the Eddy Line, December 1995