Wednesday, November 30, 2005

First Good Rain of the Winter.

I forgot to tell all the geeks out there that we are video podcasting.
Just go to your ITunes Music Store and Click Podcasts, and then search Shaneslogic, or kayaking or something like that.
And you can subscribe to all the videos and sound that is posted on my blog. Anyway back to the story.

Woke up yesterday morning and there was 2 inches of rain in the rain gauge.
I must be spoiled but it seems like forever since the last good rain. Everything was
cranking. Lots of stuff was too high and it looked like Overflow might be out the roof but
the gages took the turn down and we took off for Overflow hoping that the levels would drop
enough for us to be able to get on it.
Yonton, Rob, Robert, and I put on at 2:30 at a primo level of 1.5 probably. A truly perfect level. It has a little
juice to make it exciting, but the river was still very manageable. The fun part for me is that none of the other
guys had done this run before. Overflow is a gem in the southeast that everyone should make sure to
get a few runs on at different levels.

The other thing that I really love about this run is the history of creeking on this river.
The first runs on this river were done in the mid 70s in long boats, and yes glass boats.
Some people say that boofing in the southeast started on Overflow. Who knows for sure but its probably
not far from a true statement. As soon as you think about being a bad ass paddler think about Alan Singley doing
the first descent on this river solo in a very long boat in the 70s. There are a couple recollections of the history of
running overflow on the American Whitewater page. I took some clips from those stories and posted them below.
I think they are a fun read.

We had a great day. The rain stopped in the morning and the sun came out and we got off the river before dark.
So I would call it a great day. I love the tradition of sending newbies down Singleys Falls blind. You get to see some pretty big eyes when they get to the bottom.

Here is a link to the video of our trip.
Overflow Video, Click This!

Here is a couple stories told by those that did this run in the early days. I copied these from American Whitewaters description of the river. Very cool to have this history as a part of the story of Overflow.
Thanks to Bo and Robin for supplying the storys and some facts.

Alan Singley entered West Fork
history. He had hiked Overflow, Holcomb, and Big Creeks a good deal by then
- as well as the north fork Chattooga Sections 1, Zero, Double Zero, and
Minus 1, and even Scotsman's Branch. One fine day, I believe in 1975, or maybe
1976, he dropped his boating and camping gear off at the culvert bridge, now
famous as the Overflow put-in, drove his truck to the West Fork bridge, and
hiked back up to spend the night. The next afternoon, about 5 miles and 8 or
9 portages later, Alan emerged with wondrous tales of a fantastic whitewater
run, with the improbable name of Overflow Creek. The fact that he *soloed*
the exploratory doesn't surprise anyone who knows Alan.

Alan's spectacular, if somewhat unbelievable, tales fascinated everyone, but
failed to gain him a partner for another descent. Undaunted, Alan proceeded
on another *solo* run, this time with 5 or 6 portages. Finally he convinced
another boater to accompany him, none other than Robert Harrison, an open
boater of some renown. Alan and Robert survived, but, alas, Robert's Old Town
Tripper was finished, thanks to Pinball. If I recall, Robert made about 7
portages on that trip. Should have been eight. Robert's account of that
descent convinced everyone that Alan Singley was not only crazy, but a menace
to society in general, and to paddlers in particular. It was truly amazing to
watch Robert's face as he told us of - the Terror That Was Overflow. This
sufficiently warned everyone, so again Alan could find nobody to paddle
Overflow with him. So, typically, he made the 4th descent solo, this time
with 4 portages. This was sometime in 1977.

That year Diane and I moved to Highlands, NC, situated on top of the ridge that
separates Overflow Creek from the Cullasaja River. I was glad to get
re-acquainted with Alan, who previously had introduced me to the Watauga. One
fall afternoon, Alan and I were settin' around jus' doin' nuthin' (that's how
it is said up there), and he casually mentioned that I ought to 'take a look
at' Overflow. Before I knew it, we were crashing through the rhododendrons
with our boats, just downstream of the culvert. We put in on this beautiful
little gurgling creek, in incredibly beautiful surrounding, and then Alan took
off, with me in tow. I can't tell you how many times I followed this young
giant, sitting up high in his C-1, down some unforgettable adventure into the
unknown, but this was to be the most memorable of them all!

About a mile later, my head was spinning after running some of the most
incredible rapids I had ever done. We pulled into an eddy, for the first time
since the put-in, and Alan said "what do you think?" I was nearly speechless,
but his next sentence struck me dumb! "We're starting to get close to the big
drops, so stay close." "Big drops?" I stammered, "What have we been running
for the last mile?" He said nothing, but smiled and peeled out. I got really
nervous when he eddied out in a few yards, and said "this is a pretty good one
- just stay right and you'll be fine". Then he took off, and disappeared
over the edge. I thought I'd seen him for the last time. I scrambled out
onto a rock and looked at the horizon line, expecting traces of wreckage, and
finally saw the tip of his paddle waving. Not wanting to be left, I swallowed
hard and . . .

It was unreal! I asked Alan how many times he had run that 15 foot falls, and
when he said "Once - today", I knew the name of that drop immediately - Blind

The rest of the run was like a dream - a whitewater dream. Singley's Falls
waited for another day, and we stayed permanently away from Gravity and the
Great Marginal Monster. Robin D. Sayler Meldrim, Ga.

It was the summer of 1978 and the Chatooga had just got the big rain. Several
of us working for NOC and Southeastern had all our trips cancelled, even
Section 3 was too high for a trip that day. We had all heard about Overflow
from the locals, knew there were a few drops still unrun and decided we'd give
it a shot. I'm bad with names and don't remember all the SE boaters but this
was probably the biggest group to hit Overflow up to this point. Some of the
folks with us were John Kennedy in a Mark V, John Regan in a Sauna, Les
Bechtel in a 14' Phoenix baot ??, myself in a Slipper, Chis Spelius in an
NOC saftey boat - a Hallowform, Bill Baxter and Gary Duven both in NOC safety
boats also and I have pretty much forgot all the others but believe Jim
Schelander was also along for the ride and we must not forget Rex Shawberg who
gave us all the scare of our lives at Marginal Monster.

I believe this was the first trip that all the drops were run on Overflow and
the West Fork. We had some great lines and some not so great lines but had
a great group and some great fun. I actually have some great slides and
pictures I haven't looked at in years. My favorite is the one of Les running
Blind Falls in that 14'+ boat. This guy was unbelieveable and now the owner
of Canyons Inc out in Idaho if you ever want a great trip down the Middle
Fork of the Salmon.

By the time we got to the take out all the Hollowforms had about 6" to 1' of
the nose pointed towards Heaven. John Kennedy went through the hole at
the bottom of Marginal and we watched as his stern seams blew out on both
sides. The nose of my Slipper and John Regan's Sauna also would require some
minimal repairs also.

Rex Shauberg had the crash of the day at Marginal. He ran the first drop and
got a little back ender that took him away from the left side of the next drop
and sent him towards the right and the undercut, which at that time had some
tree debris in it. I've got some pictures of Rex while this was happening but
there wasn't much any of us could do to help him until he got away from the
undercut. He, of course, was fine but gave us a good scare.

This trip is one of several of my fondest memories of
paddling and Overflow/West Fork will always be a Southern Classic run to me.

The next day it was section 4 at 5'+. A really great break from raft guiding
in the summer of 1978. May get some of those pics to a scanner and post a URL
for anyone who'd like to see some of the pics at a later time. -Bo

I hope that folks are okay with me using these clips.
Don't mean any harm.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Paddling the CR 250 with Woody.

Did a little paddling with Woody in the Cross River 250 up in New York on the Black River at Inner City Strife. Woody hadn't been on a wave this big and that was actually a good test for this boat. I wanted to see if he could get comfortable in a playboat in a situation he wasn't used to. In fact Woody hates anything that looks like a hole so this was an awesome step for him.

So here is some video of he and I paddling one of the 250 protos.
Woody and I in the CR 250

Stats on the Cross River 250

6'10" long
63 gallons
25 1/2" wide
180-250 paddler weight range


Monday, November 14, 2005

A Session with Pat Camblin and Crew on Innercity Strife!

A couple weeks ago Woody and I scheduled a trip up to Moosefest. Thes best part of it was that it happened the same time as all the water up there. We were only in for a short time so time was of the essence. As we were driving up we got the word that a great wave was running in the area as well as some other rivers. Seeing as how we were still hours away and it was midnight we decided to hit the wave.

The crazy thing is that we knew what river the wave was on but the word was a little sketchy as too where the wave was exactly. A little later we found out why that is... the locals were a little worried about over crowding during the festival so they weren't freely giving up the info. (Actually the locals were awesome and hooked us up with all the beta). We promised not to tell anyone where it was of course I was lying. Then I found out that everyone else knew where it was. Just so happened that Pat and the rest of the Islander Boys (Hal, Dale, and MItch) from Canada knew that the wave was in and they joined us.

The first day I paddled for about 5 hours. Not quite straight but damn near. Ended the day with blisters and a big grin. The wave really was incredible. You could do anything you wanted. Well Pat could do anything he wanted. I could try to do everything and be happy with what I was able to do. He was working on his new move he has been doing lately. I can't remember what he calls it but I think its of the condiment series. LIke the Bread and Butter, or the Toast and Jam. This may be called the Bologna and Mayo. Its a combo move. He does a spin and then bounces mid spin into a Clean Back Stab. It is a beautiful move and very dynamic. Once again I can't say enough about how hard Pat and Marlow are pushing it these days. They keep moving forward to the next level, the next move, the next combo. Can't wait to see what is next.

That night we headed up to the Moosefest. As always that festival is one of the most fun festivals of the year. Friday night is a great gathering at the pubs and restaurants around the town of Old Forge. We then paddled the Moose which was running a little high as well. It was just over 5 feet. Which I thought made the river really fun and actually cleaned up all the lines. Fowlers Falls was a bit scarier but everything else seemed to open up more. Sorry no pictures of that. Saturday night is the big night of the festival. We all gathered at the community center for music, movies and hanging out. Then a bunch of sponsors put on a sort of pub crawl. It was pretty crazy, but thankfully mild compared to last year. After that night we headed back to Innercity just because it was sooooo good.

There are a lot of pluses going for this wave. Its hard to argue with a wave that is roadside, has a coffe shop a block away, parking lot across the street, bagel shop 5 blocks away, bar 2 blocks away, eddie access, and more than one wave included. The waves behind the big wave were as good as anything you find just about anywhere else. The only minus I would say is that the day we showed up it was 65 degrees, but it dropped, and dropped, and dropped, the second day we paddled there it was close to 45 degrees. But all you do is go down the street and pick up a pack of firewood and a twelve pack and you have a riverside party. Anyway I hope to catch this wave again. Good time, good wave, good folks, and goodbye.

Here is the video of our session.
Innercity Wave Sesssion with Pat and Crew, Click This!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Cross River models are off the the Mold Maker!

Well for me the big story is finally finishing these boats. Its a long process of designing, building, testing, redesigning, etc... and its great but it is also great to finish the project and ship the plugs away to the mold maker. The last 4 weeks has been 10-12 hour days completing all the tiny details in the boat like detail lines, security bar recesses, cockpit rim, thighbrace, and seat recesses, etc... Basically means I get really dusty and don't paddle quite as much as I would like to, but I certainly can't complain.

Anyway there isn't anything more relieving than loading those plugs in the box and sending them away to the mold maker. My job on those boats are done and I can start a new project.
The molds will be done in a few months and the CRs will start shipping in Feb.
I will keep updating our progress and see you on the river.
Here are some videos of the CRs in action including a new one of Pat Camblin taking the 125 for a spin.
There are also movies about designing a kayak, and making kayaks on the side bar over there. ------------->
Cross Rivers on the Ottawa, Click Here!
Cross Rivers on the Green, Click Here!
Pat's First Surf in the CR, Click Here!
P.S. Thanks to Woody for helping me load those plugs up in the truck.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Congratulations Tommy! 5 Time Green Race Winner!

Tommy Hileke did it again! Thats 5 time champion in 10 years. That is an amazing accomplishment. This year was even more spectacular than before. There were more competitors than ever. Just over 70 people showed up to huck their meat.
There were more spectators than ever before. We all agreed that there were probably 500 people all scattered and packed in at different places along the river. Of course most of them were at Gorilla, but I swear there were 50 or so up at Go Left.
The most amazing thing of all is that even with the water being a normal 100% release he broke the record for fastet trip down the gorge. Now the real challenge is coming for Tommy, Fatherhood. I think he and Polly will be awesome parents.

The put in is one of the craziest scenes of the whole thing. There are big trucks everywhere and paddlers from all over packing into the little parking area. There are lots of people with way too much adrenaline going, and lots of nerves up there. Every few minutes you here a yell, thats someone trying to scream off their nerves. Everybody is telling war stories and the new racers are just quiet and scared. Its a great scene.

This is a cool tradition of the Green Race. All the racers stand up their boats and get a photo. I think its a unique shot with all the different boats and people getting ready to run it. As a racer you are trying to stay loose but you are thinking about your lines hard and two of them stand out more than any other. Go Left is in the back of everyones minds at the Put In. There have been several swims there and it is arguably the hardest drop to run super smoothly. Then of course there is Gorilla. That one is always on your mind.

Coming into Gorilla during the Green Race is like nothing in kayaking that I have ever done. You have been paddling for nearly 4 minutes flat out when you get there, your arms are jello and its pretty much the crux of the race. The saying goes that you win the race on the first part of the course and lose it on the second part. The other thing that is different than your normal run down the Green is the 500 people that are standing on the rocks 10 feet from you yelling and screaming and only your friends want you to have a good run. Everyone else would love to see a good crash.
This year for the most part I didn't see the people along the side I was able to focus on my lines. Its hard to keep the yells from seeping into you. It is so cool though. Once you have finished racing you run upstream to check on racers coming downstream and you are overwhelmed by how many people are hanging out watching. There are people everywhere and you didn't really notice when you came through.

The party after the race came off great. There were proabably 250 people there. We served 150 people BBQ after the race, and then the crowd showed up for music, videos, awards, air quitar contest, bonfire jumping and other late night shenanigans. The cops even came by a couple times and were completely relaxed about the party.
Liquidlogic, Redbull, and Astral pitched in to throw the party. But the big hand goes out to Jason Hale, Dixie Marie, Christie D., Molly, Jessie, Eli, Al G. and others for making the event happen, and of course Todd Graffe for the amazing stained glass award that goes every year to the winner. Tommy has alot of glass in his house now.

As the night finished lots of folks camped out in our lawn or just hung out by the fire. I got home around 2:30 in the morning and when I came back all the trash had been gathered so all I had to do was sort out the glass and cans and go to the recycling center, and the dump.
It was awesome to come to the yard all picked up. Thanks so much for doing that. Makes us want to throw more parties.

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