Thursday, October 19, 2017

Last Call


REMINDER:   We are meeting at the put-in at 10:00 am Friday.   Those riding with me and the trailer, meet at my house at 7:30 am.  Direction to put-in are at the bottom of this post.  



Looks like Tim can't make the Friday morning departure which means he'll either be coming down the river solo Friday afternoon or coming down the CR 1788 Saturday morning.  Myers is still a maybe.  So things are in flux but here you go:

Trailer  (9)

Skip  (Old Town)
Rob  (Dagger)
Cronin  (Own boat)
Kirk (Grumman)
Josh  (Own boat)
Bob (Yellow Folbot)
Phil  (Own boat - YES!)
Dave C.  (Own boat)
Vernon  (Bell or Tim's Wenonah)

Rob's Suburban  (1)

Pete F.  (Own boat)

Mullowney's Truck  (2)

Mullowney  (Own boat)
Mullowney's Friend (Delta Dawn)


Tim  (Wenonah if come Friday, ride tandem with someone if come Saturday)
Myers (TBD)


Pete F'in Feldman has the following modifications/amendments to the menu:

Friday dinner

Tuna crudo and Celestial stir fry

Saturday lunch

Portuguese shrimp rolls

Please make note of it.


This trip will be mostly unscouted as far as campsites go.   With the exception of the first three miles, it's all new river to me.  So we will choose our Friday and Saturday night spots based on mileage, available daylight and aerial photos.

As previously mentioned, we'll probably divide the 16 total miles up into something like 5-8-3 assuming a noon or shortly thereafter launch Friday.  The Boy Scout Canoe Base is 3 miles from our put-in so we'll want to clear that Friday.   The County Road 1788 Bridge is our max distance Friday because we need to be upstream of that for potential Saturday morning arrivals at that bridge, but it is 7 miles down and we prefer not to go that far anyway.   That means the possible range is between River Mile 56 (3 miles) and River Mile 52 (7 miles).   

It looks like there are lots of really good options in that stretch.  Turn off your porn blocker if you want to click on any of these gravel bar photos.  

RM 55

RM 54.5

RM 54

RM 53 (Upstream)

RM 53 (Downstream)

It's amazing how much better the aerial photos are than when we first started doing these trips.  Now you can even scout for Nine Man Logs by satellite:

PUT-IN LOCATION  (10:00 am Friday)

The exact location of the put-in will be a gravel bar on the north (downstream) side of the Highway 13 bridge between Linden, TN and Flatwoods, TN. 

If you are coming from the north (I-40) it will be the first bridge that crosses the river on Hwy. 13 after you pass Linden (so about 10 miles south of Linden).

If you are coming from the south or east it is just a mile or less up Hwy. 13 from Flatwoods.

It looks like the closest physical address is "10179 Tennessee 13" if you want to try that in GPS.  Also nearby is the Grimes Canoe Base (on the north/Linden side) and Flatwoods Canoe Base (to the south).

There is a surprisingly nice and apparently new exit ramp off of Hwy 13 on the south/east side of the bridge that quickly turns into a gravel road.   The pull down to the gravel bar will be on that road, on your left, about 1/2 mile from that exit ramp.

It's a 2 hour drive from Brown's Diner.  See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Norske Nuke

So we thought it would be a good idea to light up Paul Bunyan's Stogie before the trip, and thought it would be an especially good idea to do it on the driveway. 

Here are the results from the test kitchen:

The morning after...

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Menu Announced

The words and opinions expressed below are those of the Pot Wrassler alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of   But then again they might.

Friday Lunch

BYO supplemented with Mullowney’s Bread/Irish Cheese/Avocado/Salami/Kumquat Picnic

Friday Suppe

- Fresh Snapper Crudo
- Fresh Gulf Shrimp Stir Fry Celestial featuring Pete & His Big Wang 

Saturday Breakfast

- Coffee & Ready-rolls
- Bacon
- Lowry’s Rebelette Banana Bread

Saturday Lunch

- Estonian Steak Po Boys featuring Pete & His Big Swedish Torch and Tim & His Big Swollen Vulva

Saturday Supper

- Spit-Fired Proud Chickens & Ducks de la Poitrine de Mary
- Potatoes Anna
- Turnip Greens
- Iron Skillet Cornbread

Sun Breakfast:

- Coffee
- Conecuh Sausage
- Leftover Cornbread with Preserves

Monday, October 16, 2017

Everybody:  I said "aim for arriving at Hwy 13 bridge by noon" but I really meant we want to shove off by noon Friday.   Anyone riding with me or leaving with me should meet at my house at 7:30 am.  If you are meeting us at the put-in try to be there about 9:30 or 10:00.   Sorry for the confusion.

I'll post details about directions later this week.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Trailer Trash

Vernon delivered the trailer today with a load of hickory and cherry wood for Proud Mary.   So we took the opportunity to do a little inventory for the first time since...ever.

That was just one side.

It was like a clown trailer, if the clowns were horder clowns.   Among other things we found:  multiple broken and unusable camp chairs, the old battery powered rotisserie spits from the pre-water wheel age,  two (flat) footballs, an Ice Mule, a washboard, one of Floyd's dildos, a cot no one has the guts to claim, twelve lengths of tie-down ropes we kept having to replace, forty red-white-and-blue shoe strings, and the original paperwork from the trailer purchase 9 years ago.  Also one full-sized replica scimitar:

Importantly, we also found some used up wooden items that need to be burned ceremonially, pursuant to Club rules, so their souls do not wander the earth aimlessly forever.  That includes the remaining wood gunwale scraps from Phil's canoe restoration and at least one paddle that has given its all to the RRCC.

Rob may also have a mandolin that needs to be retired.

We need to do all this at the Friday campfire.  Someone be in charge of remembering.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Real Maps, Real River Planning

Here is what the roster and boat situation looks like right now:

Skip  (Old Town)
Tim  (Own boat - Wenonah)
Rob  (Dagger)
Mullowney  (Own boat)
Cronin  (Own boat)
Vernon  (Grumman)
Phil  (Own boat - YES!)
Josh  (Own boat)
Dave C.  (Own boat)
Pete F.  (Own boat)

This is +/- Rob Cannon who may come screeching up at the last second.   There is evidence that he has been getting ready...

We'll work out the rides later but basically everyone needs to converge on the Hwy 13 bridge in Perry County before noon on Friday.  Pete will be staying within two hours striking distance in Muscle Shoals - where the Swampers will pick him up if he's feeling blue (how 'bout you?).  In the morning he'll cross over through Florence and can check out the Helen Keller stuff on his way into Tennessee.  Which will give him fresh material for even more tasteless jokes around the fire.   We will assume Vernon and Mullowney will also meet us there as usual unless we hear otherwise.

Our put-in at Hwy 13 is at River Mile 59.  We will camp Friday night somewhere upstream of the County Road 1788 bridge (R.M. 52) because that is the Saturday morning exit for people who need it which right now is just Jim Myers but could include more and could also make Saturday-only an option if somebody wants to do that.

An "exit" is not the same as a "take-out." You can't take a canoe out (or put one in) but it is available for those who can only make it one night.  In other words, it may require a little bushwhacking and no promises about what your car will look like after a night on CR 1788.  That's why we have not included Delta Dawn on the canoe list.  Jim will be taking turns in the duffer seat in each of our canoes.  Critiquing our strokes.  Asking if we're there yet.   

There's an interesting feature near that bridge.   The map shows a small green area which usually means a protected natural area or something of historical significance.

On the USGS quad it is marked as "The Mound/Cem"...

The Perry County Chamber of Commerce web site has this description:

It sounds like the kind of place where a friendly tribe of rivermen might gather for a peace pipe.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

New Faces

A few years back we got smart and started planning the fall trip just before daylight savings started.  That worked great but who set the clocks forward a month?   Hard to believe we are less than two weeks from launching.  Which is one week from frenzied packing, and negative weeks from essential pre-trip activities like menu planning and map gazing and gear maintenance.   Vernon, bring that trailer in your very next trip to town. 

We've got some introductions to make. 

First, Dave Coviello will be joining us for his first RRCC trip this fall.  We rolled out a big marketing campaign for the announcement you may have seen around town.

He is a friend of Rob's from college days and a card carrying member of the Can't Hardly Playboys once a month jam band with us.  He's got lots of river experience and access to a canoe which is important because he's left-handed and will need to bring his own left-handed guitar and left-handed river banjo.  We'll also need to restring the washtub bass for him. 

John Clack is a new Business Associate of the RRCC.   We have reached an agreement with John where he gets use of the Green Mule during the offseasons (i.e. year round) in exchange for storing it at his house and bringing me the occasional catfish.   John is also my garbage man.

In trip business:   of the two options described previously, we are going to do the shorter float.   So 16 miles in parts of three days will look something like 5-8-3 or some variation of that.  On Friday we can expect to be on the river at noon or a little after then have 2.5 hours of paddle time (which is not the same thing as travel time from put-in to camp - that could be much longer as we all know).  Cooks we could do Proud Mary either night or both with this schedule.    Also, for meal planing purposes we will use The Swedish Torch to cook lunch on Saturday, although it might be a good idea to do a test fire on Friday while the shuttle is being run.   Head count looks like about 10 right now.  Plus or minus 5. 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Estonian Volcano

While Chris is working on all the little perfections to Proud Mary, we had an acquisition requisition for yet another (heavy metal) item we had no idea how much we needed until Stuart stumbled across it.

Here are the instructions:

The video is must-watch TV:   Swedish Torch

I know you don't need any convincing, but think about how this is going to revolutionize our afternoon tea fires and Matzah ball lunch stops.    Instead of gathering a bunch of wood (large, small and Squaw wood), then building a big fire to generate coals, letting it burn down, setting up the grate and then maintaining the fire at cooking level all in the middle of the day . . . we split one log and fire up Paul Bunyon's Stogie. 

All  those in favor...?

All those opposed...?

Good, because we already bought it.


If you need anything more to get you in the right frame of mind for the Fall trip, check out one of the books we're reading off the RRCC bookshelves.

[Notice him shaving with his ax]

[Mind boggling]   

Also want to mention that Goodbye to a River is now available as an audio book which adds a really interesting twist.  It's amazing how you hear something new by listening to someone else read it, even after reading it seventy times before.  And the narrator seems pretty legit. 

We are just under a month away, which is the perfect amount of time and perfect time of year to hear the whole thing on your way to work and back.   But I'm warning you, it will make you start looking at maps and river gauges and drinking your whiskey in enamel cups with honey and lemon a month early, too.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Fall 2017

The Fall 2017 trip will be Friday, Oct. 20 - Sunday, Oct 22.

We have 20 river miles left to complete the entire Buffalo River as a club - from the highest floatable section at the Natchez Trace Pkwy (David Fox's farm) to the mouth where it flows into the Duck River.   I think I may have said that before but this time it's true.

So let's get you oriented.   Here's the Buffalo River watershed:

Here's the only section we have not floated:

It begins at River Mile 63 which is called "Slink Shoals" and was our take-out on the Fall 2015 trip (to refresh your memory, our put-in and Friday night camp that trip were across the river from Crazy Horse Canoe Rental; Pete brought crawfish from NOLA).

RM 63 Slink Shoals: 

It ends at River Mile 43 in Linden, which was our put-in for the Great 25th Trip 3-nighter (Fall 2016).  

RM 43 Linden:

So that is what's left, putting in at Slink Shoals and taking out at Linden. 

Here is the question though.   Do we want to knock out the last 20 miles in one trip?   That is about 25% farther than we usually go before the whining starts.  We could certainly do it with a float plan of something like 5-12-3 Friday through Sunday.  But it could possibly cramp our style with respect to long lunch stops and slow cooking dinners not to mention slow cooking cooks. 

There is a semi-public launch option at the mouth of Little Opossum Creek at RM 59 that would reduce our trip to 16 miles.  

That would take the pressure off our Friday shuttle and launch and make for a truly leisurely float.  There are a couple of other reasons to favor the 16 mile trip.   One is that the Boy Scout Canoe Base is at River Mile 56, so if we put in at RM 61 (the 16 mile option) we could get past it on Friday.  Having led some of those Boy Scout trips I can say it is probably desirable not to share their most popular section of the river any longer than necessary.   The other reason:  there would still be 4 miles of river we've never done!  That would justify another Buffalo trip in the spring.

In other business:

Pete and Phil, don't forget you have a $300 investment budget for the horses.   We do need to decide when the RRCC fiscal year begins and ends I guess.  Someone remember to bring that up around the campfire.

We have some new gear and new member announcements we're excited about so stay tuned about that.

Proud Mary is back in the hands of her creator for a makeover.   Chris is going to be putting on wider feet, adding a second, removable paddle wheel, and completely redoing the spit that will be much narrower in diameter and have every imaginable size and shape meat forks for every imaginable size and shape of varmint the Night Varmint might want to cook.   Even Little Opossums. 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Final Countdown

Tomorrow morning looks like this:

-  Skip, Josh, Phil, Mike Cronin and Water-wheel Chris will meet behind my house at 7:00 am.  Cronin has been downgraded to maybe but may try to join us for Friday night only, in which case the above still applies.  We will drive with the canoe trailer to Bucksnort Trout Farm.

-  Mullowney and Vernon will drive separately and meet us at the Bucksnort Trout Farm by 9:00 am.

-  Rob H will pick up Pete F'ing Feldman at the airport at 8:30, make one kitchen stop, and then meet us, probably at the put-in.  

-  Rob C will skid up to the put-in in a cloud of dust just before we shove off.  We haven't heard from him but that's what we expect to happen.


Take I-40 West to Exit 243/Hwy 13
Turn south (left) on Hwy 13 and go about 9 miles into Lobelville, TN
Turn left on 8th Ave. E (County Road 1777)
Go about 1/2 mile and turn left on the unnamed road into Leeper Bottom (last left turn before crossing the river)
There's a gravel boat ramp next to an RV that is under a permanent roof (see map and sat photo below)
The RV belongs to John Goodson who has given us permission to launch there (or at least he has in the past).   Leave a note on your truck saying as much, and leave my name and cell number as well.


It's in McEwen, TN.  Follow your GPS.

Here's a sneak preview of the new and improved water wheel.

It will grill all night, hold your beer, suck your dick and do the dishes.   I think you will like it. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

More Trip Week

Tim is out now, also due to family reasons.   However, our water wheel craftsman, Chris, is going to come along on the trip so we're still at 9 souls.  Apparently Proud Mary comes with a service contract as well!   Tim's canoe is already on the trailer so it will be easy for Chris to just use that.

Small correction from last post:  those of you who were meeting us at the put-in should actually meet us at the Bucksnort Trout Ranch.   9:00 am Friday.   Rob is picking Pete up at the airport at 8:20 so they will meet us at the put-in.   We'll try to have the shuttle run by the time they get there too.

Hot Rods and Cadillacs have confirmed they will let us use their private landing for our take-out Sunday.   They said they will "dummy" the lock on the gate so if you pull up first it should open.  Not the same kind of dummying that Ol' Bert and Ike Atterbury made to trick Sam Sowell and got Davis Birdsong stomped. 

I was trying to decide whether to bring the Chuck Box or not, which is a very useful item as a command center to run these trips out of.  I was leaning toward not bringing it to save space.  Then I tried out the new river accordion for size and the decision was made for us.

Vernon has located some wild mushrooms and is bringing them on this trip.  Not that kind of mushroom.  They are morels, and Rob promises to work them into the menu.

Here is the rest of the menu for the weekend: (from Pete)

Friday dinner:

Rotisseried chickens on Proud Mary

Shrimp fried rice with tasso and turnip greens

Bourbon and pie for dessert

Saturday dinner:

Lamb or goat on Proud Mary, not sure which one yet, but it'll be some real Semitic tribal riverman shit

Stir fried greens a la Charlie

That white trasher dessert you rivermen like with some more bourbon

Monday, April 10, 2017

Trip Week

Jim Myers' dad died unexpectedly this weekend.  Very sad news for Jim and the RRCC.  Condolences from all of the rivermen, who are your brothers.  We will stop and recognize both you and him at the appropriate time this weekend.


Current roster, presumably without Myers, would be 9 paddlers.

Thanks to recent additions to our fleet, we are in good shape for all-solo paddling:

Rob H. - blue Dagger
Skip - wooden Old Town
Vernon - Grumman
Tim - own boat
Josh - own boat
Mullowney - own boat
Cronin - own boat
Phil - own boat
Pete - own boat

For those of you meeting at my house we will leave at 7:00 am on Friday.  

We will be stopping at the Bucksnort Trout Farm in McEwen on the way, where we will catch our lunch that we'll fry up in Big Daddy once we're on the river.

They normally open at 10:00 but have agreed to meet us at 9:00 am Friday so let's be punctual with our departure because that only leaves time for about one beer and ice down stop.    Bring a fishing pole if you have it.   They rent them there but it's better, easier and cheaper to bring your own.   Also, they'll clean the trout we catch for $1.00/fish, which is a 500% increase over the going rate at Beaver Creek in 2000.  Next thing you know they'll be charging for corn!

Who is picking Pete up at the airport?

Rob H, we'll come by your house on the way west or meet you at trout farm unless it's you picking Pete up.

Vernon, will you meet us at the put-in?   Maybe you never left!

Mullowney is picking up Proud Mary tomorrow and the assumption is he will meet at the put-in also with his canoe.

I picked up the trailer from Josh so if you've got a canoe that goes on it drop it off sometime this week (Vernon I have one loaded for you).

Phil, bring Old Glory when you drop your canoe or bring it with you on Friday.

Tim may or may not have to pull out Saturday which could affect our lunch situation.

Jim has a message for 2017.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Time to Get Orientated

In case you like to know where we're going.

Recall that the floatable part of the Buffalo starts up by Summertown and the Natchez Trace bridge, about where we put in at David Fox's farm.  Then it flows due west about half its distance before it hangs a right and flows north the other half through Linden and Lobelville, ending in the Duck River at the top of this map.

We won't do it on this trip, but we are coming very, very close to completing the entire Buffalo River.  Something we originally aspired to do on the 250 mile Duck, but one of the RRCC mottos is "Set your goals low, then fall short of them."  Still it will be cool to have done one from headwaters to confluence.

For this trip we are going to be on the lower Buffalo, north of Lobelville.  Not the very lowest. That was what we did Fall 2007 when the last half mile of our trip was upstream on the Duck to our take out.  We're doing the section immediately above that.  In fact, our put-in Fall 2007 will serve as our take-out this Spring. 

You may remember we car camped at that bridge in 2007 because the land belonged to the owners of Hot Rods and Cadillacs, the roadhouse bar up the hill where we spent a hard day's night on Friday (also close to Loretta Lynn's Dude Ranch where we had a hard day's breakfast Saturday morning).



As a matter of fact, it's only because Mullowney chatted them up about their land ten years ago that this trip is possible.  There is no public access at the bridge and it is posted no trespassing.  But it's also for sale. 

So remember, WE ARE SERIOUS PROSPECTIVE LAND BUYERS.  We have been in "negotiations" with the real estate agent and that's the only reason they are letting us take out on their property.  Just don't tell them that one of the contingencies before closing is we have to hit the superfecta.   

The put-in for this trip will be 13 miles upstream at the place where Vernon was waiting for us halfway through our trip last fall.

From there we will paddle exactly ONE MILE on Friday to our lunch stop.  It's the good looking island right under Pine Bluff that we would definitely have pulled out on last fall had we not just stopped for 2 hours for Frito Chili Pies and to hear Zach Cunningham make his 4th down tackle to beat Georgia. 

Here it is, on the left:

After lunch we will float exactly ONE HALF MILE to our campsite where we will set up Proud Mary in the current of Russell Creek if we have any energy left from our rigorous paddle.  

Then, on Saturday and Sunday, we'll have a total of 11 miles to cover.  After we pass our take out from last year (the big campground with the rope swing) the remainder of the trip will be new territory for us.  So we'll hope to get lucky picking our second night camp, but the satellite pics look very promising. 

Just a couple of examples....