Monday, April 03, 2006

Section IV

After a peaceful night of camping we headed for Section IV of the Chattooga. An overnight thunderstorm brought the level up to about 1.4. Not perfect but a decent level. The beginning was a bit slow but things picked up nicely once we got to the Five Falls. We got the Deliverance movie tour including the location of what we were told is preferably referred to as the “love” scene. Everyone had good lines at 7 Foot Falls and we continued on. Our guides set safety at the Five Falls rapids. We got out and scouted Corkscrew since it is right above Crack in the Rock (and as we know, Crack kills).

We sat in the pool above Crack debating what to run. We were told that the right crack was easier but more dangerous. Left crack wasn’t an option at all and middle crack was more difficult but safer. Two of the guys chose the right crack. Karen and Jeff chose to walk and I was thinking I liked their line. But with time we convinced ourselves to go for it and chose middle crack. Mark went first and disappeared from sight. I saw his paddle swing by and new he was clear. So I went ahead and got up as much speed as I could before entering the slot.

To my surprise there was a much more significant drop there than I had expected. I don’t have much experience running slots and couldn’t both get a boof stroke in and get my paddle clear of the rock at the same time. I went through, a clatter of paddle blades, flipping in the hole at the bottom. While under there I got a pretty good look around. I could see the water going under the rocks on either side. Pretty scary. I got spit out quickly though and rolled up. I think I’ve definitely check that rapid off my list! Ick! The rest of the run was clean though and we had a good time. At Sock em Dog we followed Will who missed his line somewhat. Not knowing that this isn’t what he intended we both followed identical lines (Dave was on his way over to tell us no to do that but was too late). So all three of us went off the drop angled too far right and landed in the hole sideways. Mark and I both managed to easily surf our way out (at this level the hole was pretty forgiving) but apparently Will wasn’t so lucky.

Overall the run was fun and I’m glad we got to run this southern classic. We had been told that the lake paddle on this side was much worse than the Tallulah (the Chattooga and Tallulah both empty into Lake Tugaloo) but we had no idea just how bad it would be. There was a strong head wind the whole way and there were points were we felt like we were sitting still but still paddling. I held a death grip on my paddle most of the way in fear of having it ripped out of my hands. At one point the wind was so strong it was pushing is toward the shore so we could barely get around the next bend. The boat ramp at the takeout was surely a welcome sight once we rounded the final bend. Quay, who had been boating for 20 years and had run Section IV many times, claimed that this was the worst wind he’d ever seen on the lake!

Maggie at Bull Sluice

Bull Sluice


Quay at Woodal Shoals

Maggie at Long Creek Falls

Taking a break at Long Creek

Mark at 7 Foot Falls

Karen at 7 Foot Falls

Will at 7 Foot Falls

Maggie at Raven's Chute

Maggie at Raven's Chute

Quay at Corkscrew

The "love" scene

Mark and Will


Mark checking out Crack from above

Maggie checking out Crack from below

Center Crack (left side of picture)

Maggie running Sock em Dog

Mark running Sock em Dog

Maggie and Mark at Sock em Dog

Maggie and Mark at Sock em Dog

Lake Tugaloo

Maggie very happy to be done with the lake

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