Tellico
April 7, 2012
1.65 feet

Day Two's favorite moment - when Shawn and I paddled into Jared's Knee.  I had planned on portaging it because we didn't have anyone in the group that had ran it before, other than me, and I had only ran it once and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't follow my own lines if there were two of me.  But when I got to it, I just really liked the entrance line that I was seeing and I wanted to know if I could pull it off.  Shawn wanted to run it too, so we took off. I told him that we'd just take it one bite at a time and see how it went.  We could bail at anytime and it didn't hurt that we had the guys setting safety on the bank.  The first part went so well and was so fun that I knew we would run all of it.  Jared's Knee was a blast and a definite highlight for me on this year's trip. 

Day two started a little chillier, but the temps rose quickly and surpassed the previoius day's high.  At the put-in, Shawn said that he, G K, Bill and John were thinking about starting their run further upstream at Baby Falls.  I mulled it over a little, trying to decide if I was ready to start my morning off with that kind of a bang.  In the end, Josh and I decided to give it a go.  We walked up the road to look at Jared's Knee, to see if we could map out a line, then hopped on the back of the truck for the ride to the put-in.  Our plan was to run straight through the tail end of the upper section, then make a judgement call about Jared's when we got there.  We would then paddle hard to catch up to the rest of the gang further downstream.  Sammy hurt his shoulder on day one and decided not to paddle on Saturday.  He was kind enough to drive Josh and I up to the falls and to take some pics as we went over.  Josh and I were the first ones into the river left eddy above the drop and when I realized that I didn't have butterflies yet, I went ahead and peeled out for a run over the left side.   G K made his first drop ever over Baby Falls and looked great doing it.  Shawn and Josh looked good, as did Bill.  We ran through Diaper Wiper, and met John at the bottom.  The view looking upstream from that spot is my favorite from any river I've ever paddled.  It is so cool to look up and realize that you just dropped that many vertical feet in such a short distance.  I really enjoyed the run through this section with our group of 6.  It was day three for four of our crew and G K decided to take a break when we reached the middle put-in below Jared's Knee.  The remaining five in our group paddled on, trying to keep a pace that would allow us to catch the SRVCC gang.   The Tellico is such a nice river and I found myself really enjoying the pace we were keeping.  Bounce Off Boulder was a lot of fun.  At Fat Man's Squeeze, I made my 2nd swim of the weekend and when I surfaced, there were all my buds.  We had caught the gang with perfect timing.  The day was so nice and I think everyone enjoyed the run.  We ran into little bits of trouble at the Go Right rapid on both days and considering our experience there last June, I decided that we should put a SRVCC sticker on that sign the next time we are there.

My traveling partners and I set off for home, but I kept wondering who out of those that were staying another day would run Baby Falls.  I eventually learned that Cindy, Sarah and Steve all made their first trips over the falls and that Bob, Josh, Lang and maybe more made runs as well.  That meant that out of 18 paddlers, at least 10 ran Baby while we were there.  It may just be me, but that seems like a pretty impressive number.  Especially since only myself, Lang and maybe Bill had ran it before.  I'm pretty sure it was a first time drop for Josh, Mike, Bob, Shawn, Cindy, Sarah and G K.  I hope I can make this trip again next year, it's a blast.

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