Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Road Prong and West Prong of the Little Pigeon in my Liquidlogic Remix 79

Hiking up the trail to the Road Prong

Sunday evening the rain started at my house.  Early morning Monday a hard driving rain woke me up.  I called in sick? well? What ever.  It was raining and everything was running.  Andrew, Adriene and I met up at the classic Cracker Barrel meet point and headed over the mountains to the Knoxville side of the Smokies. West Prong was the chosen run.  We figured it would be high but we could wait for it to drop in to a better level.  

Classic Smokey's Low Volume

When we got to the gauge for the West Prong and it was over 2 feet and since none of us knew the run that well we decided not to jump on at what even the locals call very high.  We went to the put in and ran over to check out a large tributary, Road Prong.  You can get all the info for this run here.

Road Prong is a hike up run so you earn your turns.  You actually hike right up from the put in for the West Prong.  I hadn't ever run this section before so I was pretty excited to go.  The water was low but we had a great time.  Lots of quick boulder pile, classic Smoky Mountain paddling with some wood involved.

Go slowly, drop over the ledge sideways, dodge log with head and paddle, land on rock, surf out of small hole.  Yep thats the line.

After finishing off the Road Prong at 5:30 in the evening we jumped on the West Prong and headed down.  The water was still nice and juicy and the minute we touched it we knew we were on a completely different run.  I don't know that we had 200 cfs in the Road Prong, but the West Prong was pumping some fun volume through its river bed.  My guess would be around 500 or 600 cfs but I don't have any idea really.  Here is the info on the West Prong.

The action was non stop.  Andrew nor I knew any names so it was funny to run into Howard Tidwell, hes about as local as it gets, and learn that just about everything had a name and most of the names we had heard in stories before.  We did stop quite a bit to make sure things were good to go.  I also stopped paddling upright so that I could work on my roll.  By the time we got the the takeout I was ready and we were pretty much done with day light.  Awesome awesome day out there.
Can't wait to do it again and know some of the names and cut down on the roll practice.

Looking downstream into perfect evening light with lots of fluffy water all around.

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