Sunday, March 25, 2007

Little River in the Smokeys 20 laps total for the weekend

When we arrived Sat morning we found that team Juggernauts were already there and putting there gear on. I really didn't think anyone else would want to run the little at such low levels but that's what TVF does for you. We could have gone to WV where the water was which i really wanted to do but the rest of the team couldn't justify all that driving for paddling for two day. When i lived in WI the closest whitewater was about 3 hr. away and it wasn't unheard of to drive 5 hr one way in one day to paddle Piers Gorge. But in any case we ended up at the little.
Warning!!! there is wood in the sinks and its nasty. It looks like a spear sticking back up out of the water. Sun morning we tyred to ex track it with a pulley system but the only thing we were able to do was hurt ourselves in the proses. Goat took a hit to the leg when the rope snapped back and i fell in trying to laso the log. A few of us still did run the drop but it wasn't worth the danger factor.

Our best part of the weekend was watching two locals trying to run the river on sit on top kayaks. They were swimming everywhere. I'm glad they didn't run the elbow, cuz someone would have gotten hurt for sure. I did have a really bad line my last run through the elbow. I caught this really heady eddy just above the last drop that was hard to peal out of and ended upside down for the last part of the drop. It reminded me of the Birthday Eddy above the Notch on the Green but on a class 4 level. We got it on film and it looks alot worse than how it felt. Carnage is always fun to watch. I really looking forward to the end of TVF, I'm getting sick of LOW water runs just to get points. On our way out Sunday we looked at Treemont and can't wait to come back when there's good water to run it. It looks very continuous with a couple of good drops.

NOTE: I still need to work on correct paddle placement and timing, I feel better but it still needs work. I need to take strokes to get me somewhere not just to keep me moving.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Just another day at the office...


Mark H. lended me his camcorder, and I set it up on the bank.
Only myself and one other person were out there today.

So this isn't my best and i have alot i want to work on.

EJ has me beat for sure!!

But this is what I enjoy.

In between TVF weekends, I squeeze in all the Rock Island I can. I've been paddling 5 day a week for the past 3 weekes.

Enjoy the video here!

Monday, March 19, 2007

The BIG weekend 12,444 feet 16 laps Citico 31 laps Tellico

Mar 16, 10:10pm
Tomorrow is going to be a day that will never be forgotten. We are currently heading to the tellico river to do what no Kayaker has done before, 40 to 50 laps in one day. Mark and I worked till 9am, so the rest of the crew got an early start and is probably arriving there now. The anticipation is Killing me, I can't wait to put on the rive. The rain gods are in our favor, the stars are out and the river is thumping from last nights rain. It spiked somewhere around 4.40 feet today at around 3 pm. By the time we put on a 12:01am it should be down to about 3 feet. I have a good feeling about this and feel prepared. Went to Wall Mart today and sent 31$ on waterproof lights and glowsticks. We also have spotlights and lanterns that will be used to light up the river. Everyone is pumped and ready to stomp the competition. I know this wont be easy but wining never is. It takes hart and the will to do whatever it takes to reach your goal. Brad told me at work this week that he hasn't been in a comp since High school and wants this more than anything. I remember back in school the Kids would wear t-shirts that said "Pain is temporary, Pride is Forever." I can't think of anything that is more true for wining or being the best at anything. Tomorrow is going to be painful and I know it, and can't wait to fell the burn. "Pain without love, Pain can't get enough" A song from Three Days Grace. Anyways I’m going to try to get some sleep on the ride out. I'll need to put in 200% to make this work.

Mar 17 sometime around 3am Eastern time.
I just crawled into bed. How depressing :( When we arrived no one wanted to run the river at the level it was at. Yeah it was high and someone would have probably been beaten down at baby falls, but I wanted to get on anyways. Oh well. Sounds like Citico is in mind for tomorrow and then back to tellico Sunday at 12:01 to start the Big day. I'm really tired and have to get up at 6:00am tomorrow so I’m out.

Mar 17 8:31am Eastern
THIS SUCKS!!! Woke up this morning thinking we were going to run citico. Well most of the guys went into town to get Hardies. How fun. Mark and I disappointed with how the day is starting discussed to go look at a low and scrappy citico. Now what. I guess suck it up to discussion making and start running laps on the tellico. Oh and by the way, there’s a another TVF team already on the river at tellico. Great way to start off what could have been a great weekend. Tellico is now somewhere around 2.5 feet and dropping. It will be interesting to see what the rest of the team wants to do... Surprising enough we just passed each other on the road and gave the Great news to Brad and Owen. Owen is wanting to do it True TVF style and bang down at a low level today at Citico and bang down tellico tomorrow at a level we all know by hart, LOW!!! Well the discussion was just made. Citico it is. Mark and I will be making the first lap with Brad as shuttle while Owen goes back to camp to get his boat and gear which he left for some reason. Also he will be waking up our only team member still asleep, Goat. Its now 8:54am and were driving back to the put in for Citico. I knew this weekend was going to be interesting but nothing like this. I need to get my gear on so see ya at the bottom. later.

Mar 17 3:42pm Eastern
Mark and I just did lap 11. The river isn't as low as I thought it was when we started, but I would consider it a minimal. Its has been dropping fast, I’d say its about 3 to 4 inches lower than when we started. Were averaging about 30 min a lap with shuttle. Adam Kamptner is running shuttle for us. I feel that this was the right discussion coming here for the most feet this weekend. Tonight is going to be the big night and everyone can't wait to get back to tellico. Owen and I are up next for lap 13 so gotta go and get back in the water.
P.S. Owen forgot the food back at camp so were all a bit hungry.

Mar 18, sometime around 5am Eastern
Tonight started at 11:20 when the alarm went off. Goat, Adam and I got up and started to get ready to start the night off. We had decided that dividing the morning into 2 shifts would be best. 12:30am, Goat and I finally pushed off hoping that all our equipment would work. With glowsticks on our boats and helmets and waterproof headlamps on our heads we started to paddle into the darkness. After about 5 mins on the river I was having doubts about what we were doing but pushed on anyways. We had a goal and nothing would stop us. That first lap was by far my run ever done on tellico. We hit more rocks than I thought was possible. Adam lit up Baby falls with a spotlight and the water proof lights were put to the test and passed. Without that spotlight I don't think this would have been possible to see what was going on at most of the major drops. Our 2nd run went much better and we started to learn the lines again real fast. By the 5th lap fatigue started to set in, lack of sleep and a poor diet was not helping. Between lap 5 and 6 we woke up Brad, Owen, and Mark to start getting ready. Running this river at night was something else and not easy. Things happened quick and bad lines costed time and energy. This is something I never want to have to do again but it will be remembered. Well I tired and falling asleep writhing this so I out. This day has just started and isn't going to be easy by any means.

Mar 19, Monday 12:34pm Central
I 'm sore everywhere and feel like a bus ran me over yesterday. All the Redbull is gone and I and I have to be to work soon. I was too tired to enter anything into my log yesterday after paddling so I’m doing it now. We had about 9 laps in before the sun ever came up. I remember what Brad and Mark said after completing there first lap in the dark, "This is stupid and I’ll never do it again after tonight" with a very disappointed look on there face. This really tested all of our friendships with one another. I know Owen blew up on at least everyone once thought out the day, But we worked thought it and pushed to reach a goal that look like it would never be reached. By about lap 27 most everyone looked like they had been beaten up by Mike Tyson. Goats face was wind burned, Brad had huge bags under his eyes, and Owen went back to bed and was start to act delirious. Mark was this fire tender trying keep everyone warm and I yelling at people to get back on the river. Thinking back now I remember looking a the temp in the car around 4am and it read ICE, about 32 degrees. Standing around outside even during the day was the worst part of the day. I looked forward to paddling to stay warm. All in all we didn't get our 40 laps like we wanted but we did put in a lot of work to end up with 31 laps. Which is a new record for tellico so I guess I can't complain.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Day 5 Mar11 Russell Fork 5 laps total for the weekend

Great weekend!!! It was Brad, Goat, and Owen's first time down and they styled it. We couldn't have asked for a better weekend. We did witness the worest at Fist. Someone that was very familur with the run did swim at Fist. He said he got flushed under the rock and got a breath of air in the cave underneath and then flushed out the other side. It put in perspective the unforgiving power of mother nature. Mark and I still fired up the main line at Fist even after the incident. All in all, the Jackson 5 had one of those weekends that wont be forgotten... Good Job guys....
Putin to the Russell Fork Gorge
Brad and I sporting the new Jackson Kayak Rockers, what a great boat
Me running the meat on 1st drop
Me running the center on El Horendo
Brad making the Box Move
Owen getting read to Fire up the Gnar
Team Jackson 5 after running El Horendo. (Top to bottom, left to right)Goat, Brad, Owen, Mark, John.

Owen running Tower
1 nasty swim, a pinned boat, a lost paddle and a long hike out :(
Mararet in front of the undercut rock in Maze

Sunday, March 4, 2007

March4 Day#4 Caney Fork, Rock Island State Park

Brad, Mark, Owen and I woke up this morning checking gages and looking to run sometime. We had a tip that Richland Creek would be running so we packed up and went out to find it low and scrapy.

So we packed up and went back home to find Great Falls releasing at 7,400cfs which made triple drop and auto boof runnable and alot of fun. Owen, Jase, Owen's friend and I ran both drops

Jase and I did it two times

March 3rd Day#3 Tellico 3,640ft

The whole team was out there today, Brad, Goat, Mark, Owen and I did 14 laps on Tellico with one run ending in complete darkness. All in all it was a fun day at the Classic Southeast run.

March 2nd Day#2 Tiney Piney 450ft

Got up early today to run the Tiney Piney with mark this morning. Beautiful river, and great play at almost every rapid. We did run into two river wide stainer's at the top but it was great after that. Baby Chimp was a fun rapid by the time you get to Whites Creek the river doubles from all the side rivers and makes surf city awesome. Great day and all before work that night.

Mark on Stairstep

John in Baby Chimp

March1 Day#1 Spring Creek

March 1st starts the first day of TVF (Total Vertical Feet) which started with me running Waterloo, a 30 footer. Day#1 Spring Creek. Owen and ran spring creek with Tom and Adam before work. The water was starting to flash up when we put on, it made for a good morning before work.