Backbone Rock Park, Johnson County TN to Damascus, VA
December 22, 2013
3500cfs S Holston gauge
Once again, when the gauges were shooting up to unrunnable levels, I headed to Damascus, Virginia. This time I traveled with Ricky Blizzard, Greg Murphy and Donna Murphy. Unlike the last time I made that trek though, we made the decision that Whitetop was too high. We then hopped over to look at Tennesse Laurel Creek. Donna didn't feel good about it either, so we made the wise choice to run Beaverdam Creek. Unfortunately, we did not make the wise choice to heed Ricky's warning about starting upstream from a wood flooded section full of strainers, which led to multiple portages within the first mile. I started with a vertical seal launch to avoid a longer walk to the put in, that was fun. It was a dry hair run, but not one without some excitement. Donna took a long 6 minute swim starting at the rock tunnel and it took Greg and I another 6 minutes to wrangle her boat. In the middle of that pursuit I hit a hole that came pretty close to stopping me. Ricky dropped into a keeper ledge and took a long entertaining ride. Long enough for me to come through, watch the show, get to the side, get out of my boat and have a rope ready when he finally ejected. From there down the ride got really good with some nice wave trains and holes. All in all it was a pretty fun day on a new run. I hate to admit it, but I even enjoyed paddling through the oaks and laurels in the top section.
Video here. The first 4 minutes shows the log jammed, wood flooded section that we started in, followed some examples of the type stuff Donna swam through, I only showed portions of the 6 minutes she was in the water. After that, you get to see what Ricky's ride in a hole, which he called our "entertainment". And it wraps up with a little of the good stuff on the second half of the run, up to when my camera died. Background music is all from the Bottle Rockets.