Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Here are some notes from previous Elk River trips that will give you an idea why we have done almost all of the other Middle Tennessee rivers first. It's a great river, it just requires more thinking than we normally like to do. And the stakes are a little higher.

This one is from a fly fishing article...

Monday, August 28, 2006

Everything on this web site is true. But the part about paying $200 in advance of the trip is especially true. The Treasurer has us set up for PayPal and he will be sending you an invoice by e-mail shortly.

Also, the countdown clock has been set for October 21.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Today is the first day of squirrel season in Tennessee.

Everyone turn to page 32 of The Book:

[A]n old boar squirrel tightwalked unsuspecting down a branch just ahead of the boat, and having skipped lunch I shot him for supper.

In another drifting mile or so it was four thirty by my guess time, and I pulled out at the mouth of Inoi Creek, above a tumbling rapids, and made camp in a bed of thick, tough, oily, dark green weeds, below willows. It was the sort of place that in summer would have been insect-ridden, but the footing was sandy turf instead of mud, and I wanted to get settled before evening brought whatever weather it might bring.

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 the have suddenly in your hands is a bug-eyed, naked, dead homunculus whose looks I do not care for. It isn’t the same with other animals . . . I remember, from somewhere, a story of Kentucky politicians arguing over the composition of burgoo, and whether or not the squirrels that went into it ought first to be decapitated. One point of view holds that the cheek meat is the best of all . . .In the story, the proponent of headlessness wound up shouting: “By God, I don’t care. When I look in a pot, be damn if I want it lookin’ back at me!”

Which, in male company, could lead to the proctologist and the swallowed glass eye, and along many another coloful byway, but won’t. . . .

“Goodbye to a River”, pp. 32 – 33.

Here is a recipe for squirrel burgoo from “Kentucky’s most famous Burgoo-maker" (click on it to read, it's worth it)....

Here are a few more relevant facts to consider before the trip…

1. Rob is in charge of side items on the fall trip.

2. Rob is from Kentucky.

3. Rob likes to cook “outdoors in huge iron kettles over wood fires from 15 to 20 hours.”

4. Rob likes to cook in large quantities. This recipe makes 1,200 gallons of Burgoo.

5. Notice the tripod in the illustration. Notice Rob’s e-mail from last week…

"And just wait 'til Varmint season...!"

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Testing the New Treasurer

Josh, we're going to need a pair of bull balls for the canoe trailer.

You can order them here from this "purveyor of fine quality truck balls."

Keep the receipt.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

More Elk

Here is another picture of the Elk River. It was Tim's first overnight
river trip May 6 - 7, 1995. This section is close to where
we will float but a couple of bridges downstream.



Saturday, August 19, 2006

Count de Monet

In other election results, Josh was named Treasurer and is now responsible for identifying and investing in Ponzi schemes, off-track betting, cock fights and other opportunities for increasing the club's net worth. He was also given full power of embezlement as compensation for his Treasurer and cigarette procurement duties, even though he left the smokes in the garage last time.

It was decided that each member must pay $200 in advance of the fall trip and all expenses will be deducted from the club account instead of attempting to collect afterward, which just didn't work very well. Individual balances will be carried forward and everyone must get back to a $200 balance before the next trip. OCTOBER 7 IS THE DEADLINE for the fall trip fees. Josh is going to open an RRCC account and we need an operating balance because Rob is about to go on a cast iron shopping spree so get the $$$ in.

Josh's financial background includes approving the sale
of Manhattan island for $24 worth of beads and trinkets.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Elks Club

At Brown's Diner, Jim was formally voted in as camp cook for the fall trip and immediately announced that the featured entree for Saturday night's dinner will be elk. Unable to resist a possible theme trip, and being deep into the third pitcher, we immediately decided that our fall destination will be the Elk River. So it's elk on the Elk, October 21 - 22, 2006.

The Elk runs through Fayetteville, Tennessee near the Alabama border. It is perilously close to Lynchburg, the location of that other distillery, the one that spells whisky with an "e". In fact, the Elk's largest tributary, Mulberry Creek, is to Jack Daniel's what Cascade Creek is to George Dickel. Once again we will be floating on water that could have been charcoal filtered.

On the Elk River itself, on the south bank, is the unlikely Prichards' Distillery , a small batch rum distillery in Kelso, Tennessee. We won't have time to visit Prichards' or Jack Daniel's, but we will definitely have time to vist the equally unlikely Elk River Coffee Company on the way through Fayetteville Saturday morning.

The best, floatable part of the Elk is between Tim's Ford dam and Fayetteville. Discharge from the dam requires advance planning and some flexibility (more on that later) but it also makes this river a first-class trout stream because of the cold water being released from the bottom of the dam. Here is a map of the watershed (click on it)...

Here is the Elk River in October, about the time we will be on it...

Here is an elk loose on a downtown street...

Here is another Elk loose on a downtown street. Notice the canoe trailer....

Here is a fraternal organization just like ours that used to meet at the Elks Lodge in Nashville. This is probably how our club will end, too....

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Nominating the Cooks

Our most important business item at the meeting Thursday will not be choosing the date or the river, it will be choosing who gets to cook. No one will leave until we have a successful ballot and the smoke at Brown's changes from greasy black to greasy white.

The origins of the RRCC can be tied directly to the competition for the head cook position.

Tom surveyed his last touch with the eye of an artist, then he gave his brush another gentle sweep and surveyed the result, as before. Ben ranged up alongside of him, eating an apple.

Tom's mouth watered for the apple, but he stuck to his work.

Ben said: "Hello, old chap, you got to work, hey?"

Tom wheeled suddenly and said: "Why, it's you, Ben! I warn't noticing."

"Say -- I'm going in a-swimming, I am. Don't you wish you could? But of course you'd druther work -- wouldn't you? Course you would!"

Tom contemplated the boy a bit, and said: "What do you call work?"

"Why, ain't that work?"

Tom resumed his whitewashing, and answered carelessly: "Well, maybe it is, and maybe it ain't. All I know, is, it suits Tom Sawyer."

"Oh come, now, you don't mean to let on that you like it?" The brush continued to move.

"Like it? Well, I don't see why I oughtn't to like it. Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence every day?"

That put the thing in a new light. Ben stopped nibbling his apple. Tom swept his brush daintily back and forth -- stepped back to note the effect -- added a touch here and there -- criticised the effect again -- Ben watching every move and getting more and more interested, more and more absorbed.

Presently he said: "Say, Tom, let me whitewash a little." Tom considered, was about to consent; but he altered his mind: "No -- no -- I reckon it wouldn't hardly do, Ben. You see, Aunt Polly's awful particular about this fence -- right here on the street, you know -- but if it was the back fence I wouldn't mind and she wouldn't. Yes, she's awful particular about this fence; it's got to be done very careful; I reckon there ain't one boy in a thousand, maybe two thousand, that can do it the way it's got to be done."

"No -- is that so? Oh come, now -- lemme just try. Only just a little -- I'd let you, if you was me, Tom."

"Ben, I'd like to, honest injun; but Aunt Polly -- well, Jim wanted to do it, but she wouldn't let him; Sid wanted to do it, and she wouldn't let Sid. Now don't you see how I'm fixed? If you was to tackle this fence and anything was to happen to it --"

"Oh, shucks, I'll be just as careful. Now lemme try. Say -- I'll give you the core of my apple."

"Well, here -- No, Ben, now don't. I'm afeard --"

"I'll give you all of it!"

Tom gave up the brush with reluctance in his face, but alacrity in his heart. And while the late steamer Big Missouri worked and sweated in the sun, the retired artist sat on a barrel in the shade close by, dangled his legs, munched his apple, and planned the slaughter of more innocents. There was no lack of material; boys happened along every little while; they came to jeer, but remained to whitewash. By the time Ben was fagged out, Tom had traded the next chance to Billy Fisher for a kite, in good repair; and when he played out, Johnny Miller bought in for a dead rat and a string to swing it with -- and so on, and so on, hour after hour. And when the middle of the afternoon came, from being a poor poverty-stricken boy in the morning, Tom was literally rolling in wealth. He had besides the things before mentioned, twelve marbles, part of a jews-harp, a piece of blue bottle-glass to look through, a spool cannon, a key that wouldn't unlock anything, a fragment of chalk, a glass stopper of a decanter, a tin soldier, a couple of tadpoles, six fire-crackers, a kitten with only one eye, a brass doorknob, a dog-collar -- but no dog -- the handle of a knife, four pieces of orange-peel, and a dilapidated old window sash. He had had a nice, good, idle time all the while -- plenty of company -- and the fence had three coats of whitewash on it! If he hadn't run out of whitewash he would have bankrupted every boy in the village.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Testing Positive

Kirly's disqualification from the Wilson County Demolition Derby is the third big doping story of the summer. Three athletes, three excuses.

"There are literally hundreds of ways testosterone can be high. It could be something I ingested. I'm also taking cortisone shots for my hip. The whole system is flawed."

"It was sabotage. My massage therapist rubbed me with a testosterone cream without my knowledge. I hope they have the guts to come forward and admit what they did."

"I have huge balls. I've always had really big balls and you don't have to be a doctor to know that's going to mean more testosterone. I am a doctor, by the way."

Trip Scheduling Update

Scratch November 11 off. Tim has tickets to a Broadway musical.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Fall Season

Okay, where were we?

First order of business: the Wilson County Fair is August 18 - 26, but the RRCC car didn't make it out of the garage this year. The club, however, can still bring home some hardware if we're at the Poultry Barn at 7:00 on Monday the 21st:

#2: The Fall Trip. It's time to start planning, which means....

#3: The Fall Trip First Organizational Meeting shall be next Thursday, August 17. 8:00 pm at Brown's. We will vote on dates, rivers, and whether Gordie behind the bar is a colorful local character or just an asshole.