Sunday, April 10, 2005

A Date with Big Nasty


2005 was getting off to a slow start. We'd run Bear Creek near Friendsville (with Martha) and the Little Sandy / Upper Big Sandy in January. February and March proved to be rather cold and we only got in one trip on the Maury. Finally in April things started to pick up again.

Bobby Miller was leading a trip for MDCC. He was expecting some relative newbies and welcomed some company. So Josh, Mark, and I joined the group (Bobby, Joe S., and Steve G.). They had intended on running the Sandy but it was too low. So instead we headed for the Cheat Canyon. It was still somewhat cool and the three of were not all that excited about the Cheat, having run it at fairly low and overall not that exciting levels the previous year.

Team Fluid (Bobby, Joe, Steve)

Me on the Cheat

The level was about 3.5 on the bridge gauge however. Turns out that the Cheat can actually be fun with some water on it!! There were big waves and holes to dodge and things moved much faster. We were all having a great time. Big Nasty at this level actually lives up to its name and i was actually a little nervous heading down (no problems though).

Mark and I caught the bottom of the eddy below Big Nasty and waited while the others hung out at the top. We considered walking back up to join them but weren't too motivated. We couldn't see too well so we stopped looking upstream. After a few minutes we watched as a paddle, a boat, and then Joe floated by; the others chasing after.

Turns out that Steve and Joe decided to try to play in the hole (crazy!). Steve went in first and apparantly almost swam out himself but was able to work his way out. He figured that after seeing that the others would stay away... not Joe. We got in our boats and followed. The rest of the run went uneventfully.

Joe getting it on with Big Nasty

At the takeout we where greated by an unexpected surprise. The takeout at the Jenkinsburg bridge is a popular hangout for locals. The parking area is usually a mud pit from ATV use and there is always plenty of empty beer cans around. We're all used to seeing people hanging out, swimming, fishing, getting drunk. But this day was different. There was a huge crowd of people waiting to great us as we arrived. The stench of beer was perceptible from a fair distance. As we drew near they all started chanting: "Barrel roll, barrell roll!!". They wanted a performance. Some of the guys obliged and did a few rolls and even threw in a few cartwheels and flatwater loops. As a reward they got beer cans (unopend, very classy!) thrown at them. It was one of the most ridiculous scenes i've seen in a while!

Takeout scene

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your photo of the Jenkinsburg scene is priceless!!!

7:20 PM  

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