Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Buffalo River

It's almost certain we'll be heading to the Buffalo. Mixing up drinks with mixed feelings.

We paddled the Buffalo before, in October of 2000. It was the weekend of October 7 and it hit 28-degrees. That trip was also notable because it was the debut of the Big Daddy Skillet. The menu was Prince's Hot Chicken over a lunch fire and Osso Bucco for dinner. Some slept by the fire and Stuart still has the glove with pieces of exploding river rocks embedded in it.

Does anybody have pictures from that trip? If you do, find them and send them in.

The Buffalo's watershed is on the western edge of the Highland Rim.

It's that little sminchy river between the Duck (which it flows into) and the Tennessee River (which the Duck flows into). So it counts as one of the rest of them rebel rivers.

The Buffalo flows due west, then makes a sharp right turn and goes due north. It's probably the most popular canoeing stream in the state, but almost all of the crowds are on the middle sections, especially near or just upstream from the big bend. It can get crazy on the popular parts during the summer. Check out the Annual Memorial Day Buffalo Canoe Trip, kind of a modern take on the Bushwings All-Airlines Trip on the Brazos. Even with the gallery of "Buffalo River Canoe Babes," their version will never match the Bushwings - a bunch of pilots and stewardesses in the late 80's that have had as much influence on the RRCC as "Goodbye to a River."

Dave Parks, Lucky Petrokowski....legends.

But we won't see any of those crowds on this trip. For one thing, it will be November. And for another we'll be way, way downstream. North of I-40 on one of the very last sections.

That is where you go to find navigable water during a drought.

The deep, wide pools may mean you actually have to set your beer down and do some actual paddling.

But it's way better than having to set your beer down and do some actual wading and dragging, especially with 300 pounds of cast iron in your boat.

Besides, you will be surprised how much current and quick water there is between the pools...

And gravel bars galore...

We will not be sleeping in a field like we did on the Elk.


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