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....


Friday, March 31, 2017

Two Weeks Out

Got a new river accordion that arrived this week.  It's extra small so now when I'm packing I don't have to choose between my tent and the squeeze box anymore.  


For those of you hoping that smaller means quieter I've got some bad news on that front.   It turns out it's actually harder to play soft than the big ones. Something to do with the air coming out over the reeds faster from the smaller bellows.   But after consulting with the experts I found a solution that dampens the sound nicely and should prevent unwanted attention from landowners and livestock.


It really works.  Plus it keeps your accordion feeling fresh all day!


In other business, we have made the decision to allot $300 per year to our horse racing habit.  Here are the Chairs of this investment arm of the RRCC. 

They will have full discretion to spend their budget any way they see fit so there will no longer be any need to make a request for funds.  But they should keep all of us apprised of whatever decisions are made so we can follow along.  


Also, thanks to Bob we now have the final design for the RRCC branding iron.   Here it is:

We realize that's a lot of surface area, so if you're thinking about branding anything other than steaks you better bring some Vaseline and ice packs.

We are hoping it will be ready in time for the Spring trip but Rob is in charge and he is taking the same approach he does with cooking meals.  In other words, be patient but it will be worth it.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Party Pic Man

Here are all photos from the fall trip in one place.  To get you back in a Rebel Rivers state of mind. 

Click the link, then click on the first picture and arrow your way through the album.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sorry I could not post sooner.  We were being surveilled.

As you know, the Spring trip is three weeks away:  Friday, April 14 - Sunday, April 16 on the Buffalo River with a early-but-not-too-early departure Friday morning.  All route and menu planning  will be built around maximizing the use of Proud Mary since we somehow managed to go on a three-nighter last fall and not use her once.  

In anticipation of such, and having had a few test trips to know what we really want, we rendezvoused at Brown's Diner to decide on final improvements.    A few minutes after we arrived, black clad rotisserie specialists rappelled down from the roof of Brown's to receive our instructions. Due to security concerns, they took no notes.  Then they took it back to their workshop with promises it would be done before our trip.

There was no shortage of advice from the regulars at Brown's...

The best water wheel rotisserie in the world is about to get even better.  Main improvements will include a whole new, longer set of leg extensions with larger feet to keep them from sinking into the sandy river bottom, and we ordered multiple sets of forks/tines to go on the spit for different sizes and types of meat.  We added a new set of those to our order with every pitcher and nobody really remembers how many that was.  Let's just say we'll be able to accommodate every kind of roast from weasel to wildebeest.  And also fish.  I think we ordered a fish basket.   Plus some accessories like a utility shelf on the shore end (for sauces and utensils), and a flag mount on the river end (because it seemed like a good idea at the time).

Our Friday campsite has been selected specifically for the small stream running through the middle of it to power Proud Mary.  That's actually a rare thing, to see a running creek bisect a gravel bar in Tennessee.  Very excited to see how that works.  It will require near constant monitoring all day so if you are willing to volunteer for this chore be sure to bring your camp chair and plenty of beer.


There has also been a lot of work in the off season on club boats that will be showcased in the Spring.    Josh's old Mad River was seized from him by social services but Phil adopted and rehabilitated it, including a major gunwalectomy just like Tim's got a few years back.

As per custom, we will have a ceremonial fire with the old gunwales the first night of the trip.

Meanwhile, my Old Town turns 80 this year and is getting a full blown restoration to honor the occasion.  This looked like more than a six pack's worth of work so it was sent off to the professionals who have also promised delivery before the trip. 


They confirmed it is the same model shown in the picture from John Graves' trip.   

"It will look just like that when we're done," they said.   "Everything except the pup."

"No problem," I said.  "We've got a new Passenger this year."

Vernon's 16-week old Newfoundland "Siena"

Friday, February 17, 2017

Spring 2017

Ok you jessies.  Time to get started on the next 25.

We'll be headed back to the Buffalo the morning of Friday, April 14 for a two-nighter.  Back mid day Sunday April 16.   That's Easter weekend, but we can easily get people on and off the river on Saturday if you need to for other commitments.   Rob's making hot crossed buns in the Dutch ovens.

Some of us are meeting our water wheel fabricator at Brown's today at 1:00 to make a few design improvements on Proud Mary.  Feel free to come by.

I'll post pictures from Fall trip over the next week or two and more details as we plan the Spring one.  Which is less than two months away!