Friday, November 28, 2008

Up to his Old Tricks

Inspired (threatened?) by the big miles the RRCC put up on the Sequatchie - and the idea of Chicago as a paddling destination - John Guider has just announced an even bolder adventure.


Award winning photographer and author John Guider ( ( will soon take his custom made John Slattbo ( design sail/paddle driven kayak around America’s great loop.

Leaving his home port of Nashville, TN, John will make the over 5000 mile circumnavigation following the currents of the Cumberland, Tennessee, Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans where he will enter the inter-coastal waterways east across Alabama and down to the Florida Keys. From there John will make his way up the Eastern Seaboard to New York and the Hudson River and head to the Great Lakes and then on to Chicago, the Illinois River and back to the Mississippi.

Depending on the weather, the journey will take from two to three extended summers. This will be the first time the loop has been made in such a small craft. The size of the boat will add a sense of adventure to the project and will allow John an intimate view of his surroundings and access to places larger craft couldn’t venture. John will photograph people and places in his own unique way creating a special American portrait for the 21st Century. Ruckus Films ( will also film major parts of John’s adventure in order to provide a documentary for intended release on Public Television.

John is presently looking for sponsors for this important project. Benefits will include acknowledgement on John’s releases and in his publications. Corporate logos will be placed on John’s boat. Sponsors will be given limited access to John’s images and his identity as it relates to this project and their public relation needs. Besides traveling past some of America’s most compelling landscapes, John will make port at many of the county’s most populated urban areas such as New Orleans, Miami, Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, and St Louis. The opportunity for dialog and exposure to this project will be immense.

Water and its uses are quickly becoming one of the world’s most talked about resources. John’s compelling images and writings will be an important addition to this important conversation. John’s present work, The River Inside, is currently on tour to major museums. Presently at the Tennessee State Museum, the show in 2009 will find a home at the Mississippi River Museum in Dubuque, before traveling on to the Ach Museum n St Louis and the Mud Island Museum in Memphis. In 2010 and beyond other museums will be announced as well.

For information on sponsorship please contact John Guider directly at

That's a pretty nice trip.
But can he blow smoke rings through his cheek?


Friday, November 21, 2008

The RRCC Goes Uptown

Here are scenes from our night on Lower Broad - jacked up on red wine and the news of getting even more urban next spring on the Chicago (That Toddlin' Town) River. The steaks were excellent, even if they lacked that certain Big Daddy je ne sais quoi. And of course John Guider's incredible photos. But John stole his own show with tales of danger (near drownings) and intrigue (near arrests) on the Mississippi around his canoe at the exhibit.

The BM accepts his award, as Sara Evans looks on.

The Amazing, Artful Barge Dodger.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Post-Trip Gala Wednesday, November 19

Depending on which begining-of-life theory you subscribe to, the Club has probably now been in existence for 10 official canoe trips. Most of us agree that the Piney River in Spring 2000 was pre-conception. The Club was really born, or at least viable outside the womb, by the first Buffalo trip since it included both Stuart and the Big Daddy Skillet for the first time. So if you add that to the Stones River in Spring 2004 and two trips every year since - that's 10. We are celebrating the event with a blow out Post-Trip Meeting and the unveiling of a special Spring trip to kick off the next 10.

Here is the order of events.

On Wednesday, November 19 we will meet at 3:30 pm in the Oak Bar of the Hermitage Hotel.

At 4:00 we will walk across the street to the Tennessee State Museum where we will meet photographer John Guider who, in 2003, put his canoe into Spencer Creek outside of Franklin (more shallow, even, than the upper Sequatchie), paddled down the Harpeth, and kept turning left until he was in New Orleans. Apparently that was not enough of an adult sized serving for him - he later finished off the Mississippi from its headwaters down to the confluence with the Ohio. And that is how you go down the rest of them rebel rivers. My friends.

John will give us a personal tour of his exhibition The River Inside that includes about 75 platinum prints from the trip and join us for the dinner along with David Fox who made it all possible and knows his bow from his stern, too. Watch this. Listen to this. Buy this.

Dinner is at The Palm where we'll have a private room with LCD screens and surround sound for the trip slideshow, a PowerPoint of next spring's destination, reports on the trailer, and finances, etc. It will be a big deal. Phil will jump out of a cloud of dry ice smoke. Mrs. Cooper will jump out of a cake. Since it is the 10th slideshow, we may dig into some of the RRCC's Greatest Hits like Choctaw, Kid Rock and Gin & Juice in addition to the usual formula (2 parts RL Burnside/1 part 70s Stones). Maybe Bob will produce a retrsopective CD.

After dinner, if temperature and tourists cooperate, the Gravel Bar Band will set up for busking on Lower Broad to try to recover some of the cost of our guests' steaks (everyone else is on their own).

After that, it's on to Tootsie's for all the "Hollers & a Swallers" and David Allen Coe sing-a-longs we can stand.

Which is a whole lot of both.

1. Fall 2000 (Buffalo River)

2. Spring 2004 (Stones River)

3. Spring 2005 (Duck River)

4. Fall 2005 (Duck River)

5. Spring 2006 (Piney River)

6. Fall 2006 (Elk River)

7. Spring 2007 (Green River)

8. Fall 2007 (Buffalo River)

9. Spring 2008 (Dale Hollow Lake)

10. Fall 2008 (Sequatchie River)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


The WTB finally has those sought after distress and character marks that only come from taking an instrument on the road. The cars behind Kirk on I-24 almost had some nice distress and character marks too.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Could there be a more forlorn sight than Rob C. standing in the driveway in his business suit watching us leave on the trip?

When we got out, a raw north breeze picked at out clothes and grayed the surface of the big lake, and Hale said, with a kind of satisfaction, that it was a hell of a time to be starting a canoe trip.

Hale had been going partway down the river with me till business and his wife's opinion got in the way. He glared at the equipment stowed and tied into the canoe.

"I wish. . ." he said, and didn't finish. He said: "You call from One Eighty. Maybe I'll drive out and float with you a couple of days."

I said: "I'll call. You won't come."

"There won't be any ducks," he said. "You saw those on the hatchery ponds. They don't like the river when it's high."

"All right," I said. Getting in, I collared the pup to keep him from scrambling ashore, and pushed away. Hale yelled something as I swept into the bubble-hiss of the rapids. It was fast but smooth, and spewed me into a a long flowing pool below. With only enough paddling for steerageway, the current carried me swiftly the mile and a half down to the sharp turn of the Flint Bend and around it, under the cliffs.

Goodbye to a River, p. 14

Apparently Rob's wife also has an opinion about the RRCC Packing List. So I guess this message wasn't from you, Ann:


From: []
Sent: Mon 10/13/2008 8:30 PM
To: RRCC8572
Subject: [Scribd] Daily Summary

Hi RRCC8572, Here's your daily summary of what's happened with your Scribd account since you last checked out the site.

curtis901 added your document "RRCC Packing List" to their list of favorites

about 7 hours ago


You received this email because you are receiving a summary of what happens to your Scribd account, no more than once per day.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Twenty Miles

And it felt good. As Josh happily observed from one of his three camp chairs Saturday night: "It was an adult sized serving."

Now that we have put the canoe back in Canoe Club it's time to put the river back in Rebel Rivers. For the 2000 Piney River trip we made people join the National Organization for Rivers in lieu of paying dues. Since then the RRCC has switched endorsements and urges you (just short of requires you) to buy a ticket or a table to the Harpeth River Jam which is Saturday, October 25 benefitting the Harpeth River Watershed Association. There is already significant overlap (i.e. more than one) between the officers of the HRWA and the RRCC. When you buy a ticket you'll become an HRWA member too. Plus free food, a concert by someone whose name is Rivers, and you won't have to beat the beers out of the ice with a canoe paddle.

Here is the link you need. But you still have to pay your dues.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Forward Ever Be Thy Watchword

Time to go. Got a real good feeling about this one.

All the canoes are up so nothing left to do but hitch our pony to the wagon.

P.S. We shopped all over for just the right black, rubber trucker tie-downs because they look so easy on a trailer. But after trying them out there's no way they can be trusted to secure a 17' boat 12' off the ground at 70 mph. So sixteen trucker's hitches later all eight canoes have become one with the trailer.

For those special top row spots we picked the battered, borrowed green canoe and the Grumman. The former is no loss if it gets skimmed off the top. The latter will just leave a canoe-shaped hole in every overpass between here and South Pittsburgh - and still be in good shape for paddling and kitchen counter duty tonight.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Proof we were right about the upstream/downstream thing

This is the gauge farthest upstream. It's at about River Mile 45 (our put-in is Mile 48 and our Friday night campsite is Mile 46). Notice it's already turned down.

This one is way down the river at Mile 24 (four miles below our take-out Sunday at Mile 28).

Time to stop worrying about the gravel bar/water level/weather and start worrying about Tim's beer calculation for a two-nighter.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

So what does this meteorological miracle mean to us?

We can't be completely sure because the USGS picked a very unfortunate time to start shutting down their gauges.

Just a week ago we were watching the flow table and wishing we had 100 cfs but they've taken already taken that reading down.

Nevertheless, it is safe to say we will have plenty of water. Any running aground you do will be the result of your own navigation or alcohol consumption.

There is even a possibility we will have too much water. Not a safety concern, just a slight worry our Friday night gravel bar may shrink. Or disappear. The second night won't matter since we're up in our own private cow pasture. And that's the right order to do it in because the upper stretches of the river will flood sooner, less, and recede quicker than the downstream parts. We may have timed this perfectly. And no matter what we should have a great ride on Saturday.

However, the rain will probably affect the water clarity and could have an adverse effect on our fishing and malacology pastimes.


Q: What are these?

Purple Wartyback
Tennessee Pigtoe
Plain Pocketbook
Wavy-rayed Lampmussel
Round Hickorynut
Pink Heelsplitter

A: Are they...

a) Fifteen new nicknames for the fifteen members going on this trip?
b) The sushi rolls Jim is fixing for hors d'oeuvres Saturday night?
c) All of the freshwater mussels found in the Middle Sequatchie?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Monday, October 06, 2008

Chattanooga Weather

The RRCC cloud-seeding project in the Sequatchie Valley is right on schedule. Showers on Wednesday, tapering off on Thursday, clear this weekend:

In the event that this rain does not materialize, we are now willing to at least consider the possibility of switching rivers. In spite of all the steadfastness and stubbornness expressed to the contrary.

Watch the sky. Then watch the gauges.

And don't forget your fishing license if you need to get it renewed.


Sunday, October 05, 2008

A Sirius Problem

Rob Cannon's satellite radio is available but does us no good. All SEC games are now on XM. Does anyone have or can borrow a portable XM receiver so we can listen to Vandy play Bowl-Eligibility State from the river Saturday? This is an essential item on the official packing list. Our only other options are either make a Club purchase or plan on floating the Tibbee River outside of Starkville. So who has access to one?

Josh says get your dues in. $150 for returning members. $200 for first-timers.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pre-Trip Tomorrow

We will open the meeting with an Arts and Crafts project. This river inconveniently cuts northeast to southwest through four different USGS topos so there is some cutting and pasting to do if you want your own map. Which you do because there are two different campsites to find not to mention a put-in and a take-out, neither of which are bridges.

We'll also talk about departure times, what trucks are going, canoe and tent counts, etc. The river is lower than the Dow Jones so we'll share our drought strategy (it does not involve canceling or changing rivers). The chefs, who had their own pre-pre-trip meeting, will announce the menu plans.

Time: 7:30 pm

Place: Aladdin's.

Proof that Hookah makes you smarter:

A: Al fakher Honey

B: "My nice brand new Hookah"


Also heard a rumor that Big George is coming for the first time since Elk River/Fall '06!

Phil is confirmed, too. Is there room for two huggers on one trip?