It really is too late for another post on this previous winter/spring, but it was one of the best on record with many days on the water, not to mention how often I got little Alexander out in the wilds. Here is a collection of shots from the greatest paddling season I've seen in Tennessee in recent years. Many of these shots highlight the scores of underdeveloped runs that will be in the new Tennessee guidebook.
Getting pumped for Alexander's first run on Clear Creek.
It was chilly out. Photo by Gary Kilpatrick
Sass. Get it while it's hot.
Look Rock Tower
Here we see Craps With His Pants On in his authentic aboriginal hut.
Here is Nate Helms running one of many new runs that will be in the upcoming guidebook to TN.
Its pretty solid, and quality all the way through.
And here is Steve Krajewski posing on Cosby Creek.
It was low.
The start of an epic family off trail hike: Green Camp Gap
I love this shot. My wife can boof! French Broad below Del Rio, location of our first date.
Sporty wave-train for a beginner run.
The French Broad has some great big mountain river scenery.
Limestone bluffs near the end of the run.
The new piece.
Doing this to old people will give them a heart attack, but with kids, it's just a lot of fun.
Alexander loves him some Black Mountain.
View into Grassy Cove from Black Mountain
Whites Creek cutting through Walden Ridge and into the Valley.
Bart Bledsoe on the first C-1 of Martins Fork. Not that he cares or would make the claim. Core paddler.
Hugo Araneda below Harlan County Two Step
Clay Warren porpoising up below the big one.
A most classic scene in Tennessee paddling: The Wartburg ranger station on a Saturday at 10am.
The Obed-Emory - one of the true treasures of the Knoxville area.
Powell Valley, VA
Tim McAfee on the Guest River
Gerald DeLong - The local legend at the Russell Fork, boofing on the Guest.
Solo overnighter on Clear Creek - spiritual calibration.
After a night in this little amphitheater with a waterfall for company, I paddled downstream early in the morning and came across raccoons, muskrats, coyotes, kingfishers, great blue herons, wrens, and more. There is so much more to paddling than whitewater.
Side hike on a run that is classic only to a few.
Caleb on said run, which consists of 1.5 miles of great class 4 when nothing else in the area is running.
If this looks appetizing, check out the upcoming guidebook to Tennessee.
There are so many runs in Tennessee that haven't gotten the exposure they should.
Here is Sean "Bizzle" Beyer soaking in an oft overlooked canyon in the Obed area.
The following three shots are Bart Bledsoe again, on a river that doesn't get much attention, but sports some true big water in the right circumstances. Look for this one in the upcoming guidebook.
This was Grand Canyon training for Bart, who was ditch bound the following week.
Alexander went through his scuba diver phase this season,
and he takes it VERY seriously.
Canoe trip with three generations. Lifetime achievement.
The man who started it all with the boy who knows too much already.
I think skipping rocks may have skipped a generation. We'll see.
THE Tony Robinson.
Tony coming through the Melting Pot.
Tony about to drop into "The Scrambler". Who names these things?
Alex's favorite new run, and possibly a re-earthed classic.
Kemper and Zane joining in the fun.
The solitude on this run is thick.
And it's the perfect family trip.
Alexander shredding at the climbing hostel.
We stayed at the Obed Hostel, and had a great time being hosted by Erik. Recommended!
Alex sending a sporty route on the west face of Erik's attic.
This place is a kid's dreamland.
Kelly Brown and co, doing what they do.
Alex following suit.
Somewhere along the way, on the road to adulthood, we lose all sight of the notion of "re-use".
The adult table.
Alexander's dining quarters.
The Lone Wolf and Red Barron readying for the trek into the Upper Conasauga, a connoisseur's run.
He's got a heart of Gold. Nate McDade below Lula Falls.
Sometimes we just gear up in a Cracker Barrel Parking lot for fun.
JT Rembly and Smokin' Steve tapping in at the top.
Another run to be featured in the upcoming guidebook to end all guidebooks.
Here is an oft overlooked class II run that is one of the top of it's class in the Southeast.
The river has the cleanest water in the state.
Hey little boy, what you got there? Kind sir it's a mollusk I found.
Hey Juicy Juice, where's my money?
First blooms of the year.