Monday, November 20, 2006

Spring 2007

The dates: April 27 - 29 (two-nighter).

The river: Green River, Kentucky (where Paradise lay).

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Tomorrow Night

New plan. We'll still meet at Cronin's at 7:00, but after cocktails and the slideshow we'll walk down to Sportsman's Grill instead of trying to cook out in the rain at Mike's. We can order the Big Boy Dinner and we'll be that much closer to The Villager, where Rob has a warrant to search the kitchen for his dinner triangle.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

White Elk Speaks

Some of you may not know this, but the solo Friday Guy saved the day on the Elk River. Actually, he saved our night. Jim only recently disclosed that the fishermen camped across Beans Creek from us were intending to set up in our field, and would have if it wasn't already occupied. He had to use scalding Huckleberry sauce to keep them from scaling the mud banks. So extra Coors Lights for our one-man advance party at the Banquet Thursday night.

"I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion."

Henry David Thoreau

("Saint Henry" in Goodbye to a River)


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Post-Trip Banquet

...will be Thursday, November 16, 7:00 pm at Cronin's house.

We could divide the group into Jims and non-Jims, but to be fair we'll stick to the method from the last banquet - so this time if your name is not a verb, you're bringing beer on the 16th. Everyone else just bring whatever gear you ended up with that doesn't belong to you.


"This is my brother Jim, and this is my other brother Jim"


Wednesday, November 01, 2006


The appetizers came out of the kitchen about midnight.

I skinned and quartered the old squirrel, thick-hided and with testicles as big as a dog’s. Since the war, somehow, I don’t much like to skin them. You cut them at the wrists and make a slash or two and peel away the tough pelt, and what you have suddenly in your hands is a bug-eyed, naked, dead homunculus whose looks I do not care for.

Goodbye to a River p. 33

whatever you do.

And as if the Elk could be any fresher....

Next year we can float the Big South Fork of the Cumberland, add high powered deer rifles to the packing list, and Kirly can hunt from his camp chair. Guitar players will just have to know when to duck. The Cumberland, by the way, is one of three rivers we need to float if we're going to live out our sub-title. Because so far we've only gone down "the rest of them Rebel rivers."

Friday, October 20, 2006

Fall 2006 - By the Numbers

  • 200 - dollars you owe if you haven’t paid Josh yet
  • 107 - satellite radio channel for the football game
  • 1,000 - pounds of animal meat not counting the squirrels
  • 22 – pounds of collard greens in Rob's bathtub

  • 16 – dollars for 22 pounds of collard greens
  • 865-632-6065 - TVA dam release hot line
  • 6:00 - time we are meeting
  • 6:59 - time the sun comes up
  • 70 - degrees and sunny
  • 1 - day on the countdown clock

    Load 'Em Up

    Head 'Em Out



Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Breaking News on Bullwinkle

We have the first confirmed report that Kirly has delivered on harvesting our elk. He's flying back tomorrow from Colorado with a 6x6 bull elk, Green scored out at 300+. Your dinner will be dead less than 100 hours and is arriving on United Flight 6738 from Denver to Nashville at 4:48 p.m. Track it HERE.

Here’s one more shot of our field that’s nice and kind of different. Artistic even. If we had taken it with a cheap-ass toy camera and lined the shot up all wrong we could hang it in the Parthenon.


I paddled on down a mile and, having time, picked a good campsite on a Bermuda flat ten or twelve feet above the water with a wide, clean, sand beach below it and brush sheltering it behind on the north. Goats had cropped the grass like a lawn and had done the passenger the favor of eating up all the burrs, which they perversely like. Good solid driftwood was lodged among the brush from the spring floods. I pitched the tent tail-north, the stakes solid in good turf, dug a pit for the fire before it, and, liking the look of the whole business, decided I'd stay there until the norther had come and blown and shown the length of its teeth. I could hold out, there.

Goodbye to a River, p. 104-05.



Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Canoe Transport

If two canoes go down Friday with Mullowney and Big George that will leave us eleven to carry down on Saturday….no problem. The Suburban and the canoe trailer alone can carry nine (although eight is easier) and Sands will already have his canoe on his truck with room for one more. Greg, if you’re going to drive you can just bring your canoe on Saturday and leave it up.

Canoe Assignments

Nothing mandatory about these, it’s just the only way to get a handle on how we’re going to get sixteen people down the river in thirteen boats on two different days. Lots of people have their own boat, though, so most of these make sense.

Hindman Bell - Hindman
Cannon Dagger - Harrington
Hindman Folbot (kayak) - Kirly
Hindman Dagger – Greenfield
Hindman Perception (kayak) – Frankel
Myers Mad River – Myers and Balestrieri
Hindman Grumman – Ditenhafer and Swearingen
Niarhos Wenonah – Niarhos and Risi
May Old Town – May
Sands canoe - Sands
Loeppky Grumman – Loeppky
Mullowney Old Town – Mullowney (Friday)
Myers [borrowed] - Big George (Friday)


If you don’t have a sleeping bag, pad or tent or if you're flying in we’re assuming someone else is taking care of finding what you need. You better confirm with whoever that someone else is. Everything else is taken care of…food, beer, whiskey, kitchen stuff, paddles, stringed instruments, etc. However, we will have a paddle, lifejacket and tent count on Saturday just before we leave to make sure we have enough of the first two and not too many of the third. Tents are big space suckers. And we need to make sure the Friday canoes are full.


Here's some more preview pics....
The unusually cold water in the Elk means there's usually a thick fog on the river in the morning.

This last picture is the RRCC camp early in the morning.



Monday, October 16, 2006

Fall 2006 Menu. Viola...!

[click to enlarge]

"Can we put the Slim Jims under Assorted Meats and Cheeses?"



Friday, October 13, 2006

Meeting Report

All of the agenda items were covered, some of them requiring more than one pitcher. Most controversial was #9 ("Jack not George") but a majority eventually agreed that it would be offensive to drink anything but Jack Daniel's when we're five river miles downstream from Lynchburg. Dickel proponents did manage to get the concession that it can only be the new JD Single Barrel and only this year on this section of this river.

Brown's was also the the occasion for the first official draw against community funds for Club business.

More important decisions:

  • Departure is 6:00 am Saturday
  • Mullowney (and possibly Big George) will go down on Friday night to set up and gather firewood. They will put in at Farris Creek bridge which is about six miles below the put in for the Saturday guys.
  • The Saturday group will shorten the first day's paddle to about ten miles from the original thirteen because it gets dark so early now. That means we will put in at Garner Ford instead of immediately under the dam.
  • The trailer will be behind the Hindman house on Thursday night. Everyone with a boat is responsible for either having it on the trailer by Friday night or on whatever vehicle will take it to the river. We're trying to eliminate all handling of boats on Saturday morning.
  • Breakfast will be at the Midway Cafe on Hwy. 231 south of Murfreesboro.
  • Jim and Rob will announce the dinner menu sometime this week. I found the Army plates, by the way.
  • Greg is the new Sports Czar and will bring all the recreational gear we need including frisbees, balls and bats, football and full pads for 7-on-7, etc.
  • We have 11 canoes counting one from Jim's tenant and Rob Cannon's which will be picked up this weekend with the satellite radio. Plus we will bring the Folbot which seats two and a solo kayak. With 17 members going that means we can paddle four canoes tandem (8 people) and seven canoes solo (7 people) plus the Folbot (1) and the kayak (1) solo. This may change depending on how many boats go on Friday and how much gear they take.
  • Josh survived an impeachment scare and remains in charge of cigarette procurement in spite of leaving a whole carton in the garage last year.
  • Tim is in charge of liquor, lunch and beer and still wants to participate in dinner prep with Jim and Rob. Rob's body language is subtle, but see if you can tell what they think of Tim's idea....

Wednesday, October 11, 2006



1. Departure time
2. Breakfast plan
3. Canoe count
4. Tent count
5. Gear for the out-of-towners
6. $$$
7. Who's driving
8. Camp Cookie and The Pot Wrassler
9. Liquor Committee: Jack not George; possible keg option
10. Technology: stupid Google ads
11. Ready-rolls***
12. Satellite radio
13. Trailer on Thursday (drop boats on Friday)
14. Paddles and lifejackets
15. Fishing issues
16. "Wall of Water"

*** "My watch had run down during the night; I set it again by guess, and with a second big cup of coffee smoked the last of my ready-rolls, throwing the crumpled pack on the night's fire's paste pounded ashes."

Goodbye to a River, p. 23

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Ser Sta Gro

The country store where we found out where Mr. Pickett lives is a classic.

We've been known to pick rivers, or at least sections of rivers, based on the appeal of the country market nearest the put in. Some of them have good breakfasts. On the Elk trip we'll eat at the Midway between Murfreesboro and Shelbyville, but that's a real restaurant/diner and doesn't qualify as a ser sta gro. Here's what The Book says about them:

In the little office shack an old man with a seamed scarlet face said no, they had no telephone. I told him what I was up to. "Hell," he said. "We close down here in five minutes. I'll run you somewheres, my way home."

He let me out at a brightly lighted ser sta gro. It was getting dark. I hiked the filthy pup under my arm and thanked the old man, who laughed and said: "Hell!" and drove on home.

I went into the ser sta gro. They're institutional in that part of the world; some for variation label themselves "gro mkt sta," or "gro sta," or whatnot. Practically every countryman below a certain level of prosperity seems to yearn bitterly to own and run one, maybe because from the times of drouth and depression and crop failure he remembers that storekeepers had canned goods on the shelves to eat and that everybody else in the country owed them money. Appearing and disappearing like May flies, enduring in proportion to their individual owners' popularity and skill at whipping off the wolves of bankruptcy, they vary in size from the one pump station with a shelf or so of Days O' Work chewing tobacco and Van Camp's beans to a fairly elaborate approximation of a town grocery store, and serve as gathering places for the philosophical symposia of their neighborhoods.

Goodbye to a River, pp. 77-78

Monday, October 09, 2006

Food for Thought at Brown's

We are not going to be camping on a gravel bar. This is radical news and a major departure from normal Club practice. With the exception of wet weather trips when we stay at Mrs. Cooper's pavilion, we always camp on a big, clean gravel bar. This time we're camping in a big, green field.

On the map above, our campsite is at the mouth of Beans Creek, right where it says "Mile 0".

Here it is. This picture was taken from just downstream, looking back up at the field. Beans Creek is coming in from the right.

Views from the campsite looking downstream with Beans Creek coming in from the left.

The Twenty Man Log. Will it burn?

Looking back at the field.

There are several good reasons for choosing this instead of a gravel bar.

1. In the fall, rivers that are regularly flooded during the summer by an upstream reservoir tend to be covered with weeds. Big, nasty weeds that look like plants on the bottom of an aquarium.
2. This particular field is exceptionally nice. It's flat, scenic and mowed close to the ground. Really good for tents.
3. It's high and dry. Really good for rivers with unpredictable dam releases.
4. We are going to be floating during peak fall color season. Fields have nice panoramic views, gravel bars do not.
5. We won't be trespassing. We actually have permission.

The RRCC never asks for permission when camping on gravel bars, but we do when we're on real land. The easiest way to locate a riparian landowner is go to the nearest country store and ask. That's how we found Mr. Pickett who owns about 700 acres where Beans Creek runs into the Elk and is happy to let us camp as long as we keep the gates closed so his cattle won't get out. Mr. Pickett feeds his cattle the used sour mash from the Jack Daniel's distillery. He also said that if he sees a canoe on the Elk when the river's low he can make about four turns around the field on his tractor before it goes out of sight....but when the dam is releasing he can only make it around once before the canoe is gone and the paddlers usually have "a surprised look" on their faces.

The only real change this will have on our packing list is we'll need a bucket of range balls and a driver. Greg, can you do this? Get the Club credit card from Josh.