Tennessee Buffaclo Icicle Float - NOT!
Submitted by Alan Johnson (aka AJ, aka Waterdog) Jan 21, 2017
The River Gods were most favourable to our cause and the elements provided an excellent day for our adventure.
This journey started out well before dawn for everybody except one. Most left the Memphis area heading to the river in darkness, rain drops on their windscreens.
The secondary story here is that of Ross Mead. He left earlier on Friday and made his way to stay overnight at a compound known as the "Family". The "Family", a transplanted hippie-era-collective-type-organization leftover from-the-60's. After starting out in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in S.F., California this tribe traveled in an old school bus all around the country looking for a "promised land". They discovered it here in central Tennessee. Ross entertained us throughout the day with details of his time there.
With our gear amassed on the riverbank, the talk soon turned to logistics. With the weather, water, and apparently the stars seemingly aligned we decided to make the longer 10 mile run down to Texas Bottoms. We ran the shuttle and - GAME ON !
Seven river raiders put-on in 3 solo canoes and 4 single-serve kayaks. Away we go !
Yes the conditions were in our favour, especially the river volume. At about 3 times the usual flow, the river gave us a grand ride. Many times the sun shone so brightly on the water it was hard at times to see the downstream rapids. The rains of the previous week had saturated the earth and we were blessed with many mini to majestic cataracts and waterfalls entering our river route. Falling water, pouring in. Captivating. Mesmerizing. Hypnotic.
The group paddled the distance without much effort. The push of the flowbrought us to the take-out before we were ready.
Some of the sightings that day include:
- One river otter - Ross found that one for us
- Many Great Blue Herons
- Even more Belted Kingfishers
- With EVEN more Carolina Wrens and other L.B.B.'s (Little brown birds)
- Paul Beebe sighted a Bald Eagle enroute on US 412
- Jim Gafford discovered a chorus of tree frogs singing intently - in January? - and looking for love
Rounding out our crew was Chris Hugo and Igor Veksler.
Later at the take-out these well-traveled river explorers' thoughts turned to recharging with some vittles. It was off to Emeralds diner in downtown Waynesboro for more camaraderie and stories.
To wrap up, it was such a fine day with some very fine Paddle People
Big thanks to all, and especially Ms. Leanne Logan, for making this such a success.
Click here to see the pictures!
"A voyage in search of knowledge need never abandon the spirit of adventure"