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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Red River 7/28/13

Red River, 7/28/13                                   Miles Traveled 8 miles, Total  139.6   
Scotty & Rachel, 2:00-4:30
So all summer, I've been asking Rachel to go kayaking with me.  Today she finally went, not with me, but Scotty :(  Oh well, at least she did it!  I didn't hear too much about the trip, other than it went well.  I wonder if she'll go again??


Trying to look like she's not enjoying it.

She's enjoying it!!

Father/Daughter Trip

Heheh, A ball rolled out of the truck, down the steep hill, into the river.  Rachel and I didn't even start to run after it, only watched as Scotty ran down.

Paddling upstream.

Look, there's a smile on her face.

Music City Triathalon 7/28/13

Music City Triathalon, 7/28/13                    Miles Traveled,  1.32     Total 131.6
Beautiful blue skies, maybe up to 80degrees, average speed .5 mph

We entered water about 7:00 and got out about 11:00

My 'first' triathlon and I finished!  Haha!  We were water support and after the experience, I can really see the need for water support.  There were two courses.  The first group (green caps) of swimmers swam       .  I think that I saw more in this group that needed support.  Some of them even seemed disoriented like they couldn't tell or see where they were going.  One woman asked if she was going in the right direction, another asked if she was last although I could see many other swimmers behind her.  The second group of white capped swimmers swam        .  Several people held onto my kayak (and Scotty's) just for a rest.  One young man I remember said his leg had been cramping up for awhile.  Maybe the water was cold?  I told him I'd follow him for awhile and he ended up holding on once again.  After he left, I motioned to the nearby Stand Up Paddler to watch him.  The kayakers and SUPer's that were there were a nice group of people and we all seemed to work together well.  Many of us said we'd be back next year.
Although ALL of the athletes were amazing, there were several that stood up to me.  I saw a pair of men swimming side by side touching as they went by.  I wondered why when they had the whole river.  Scotty had seen them enter at the beginning and it turns out that one of the men was blind!  I saw a young girl with half an arm.  I had seen her earlier in the morning so I was glad I got to see her swim.  When walking around earlier, I had seen a few men with prosthetic legs.  I tried to see them swim, but must have missed them.  I will say that I felt like I needed to always be on alert.  At times, many swimmers would swim past my kayak and I wanted to be available if needed.  Then a minute would go by with very few swimmers.  It was just amazing to see them swimming in the downtown section of the Cumberland River.  I was so glad I volunteered.  Oh - and I got a triathalon t-shirt.  So should I just wear it and let people think I actually did it??? 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Dyers Creek Recreation Area, 7/18/13

Dyers Creek Recreation Area 7/18/13                    Miles Traveled 4.8, Total 130.3
Bit overcast, hot, upper 80s, 9:00-11:00

I had been wanting to go out to Dyers Creek because this seemed like a good place for me to go on a solo paddle.  I had intended to paddle out from the recreation area into the Cumberland, but all the accesses seemed to be blocked.  I paddled all along the shore and never could find an inlet over.  I could see open space beyond the trees which had to have been leading out to the Cumberland, but couldn't get there!   Anyway, I paddled around for 2 hours.  It was slow paddling as there was no current, but I enjoyed being out there by myself.  I got the closest ever to a heron and got a picture.  I stopped in the middle of the water to have a snack.  All in all, a good solitary adventure.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Harpeth River Narrows 7/14/13

Harpeth River Narrows, 7/14/13                  Miles Traveled  5.7, Total 125.5
Julie, Ethan, Dick, Dina; 1:00 to 2:45
Beautiful Blue Skies and Big White Puffy Clouds (although a gray cloud came over us and rained a few drops for maybe 2 minutes)
Maximum Speed 7.9, Average moving speed 3.3

Today was Dina’s first day of kayaking and it was a perfect day for it.  Apparently lots of other people thought the same.  We must have passed at least 100 other canoes/kayaks from Foggy Bottom Rental or Music City Rental.  We spotted a few beginners like the man smoking a cigarette in an inflatable kayak.  There was also a couple paddling a canoe with both oars on the same side.  When they switched sides, they together went to the other side to paddle.  There was also a couple that lost their paddle, we saw them later and they told us they had found it. 
The Narrows has an interesting put-in.  There are tall, steep steps with a ‘slide’ down the middle.  We managed to get all 4 kayaks down the slide and we were off.  One interesting site was an outhouse on the bank.  At the very end, we saw the tunnel that goes from one side of the bluff to the other.  Slaves dug it years ago and supervised by an engineer, Mr. Montgomery Bell.  It was an obstacle course to kayak back to it – through weeds, around logs and over rocks.  We managed to do it, whereas some kayaks parked and walked the rest of the way.  Once there, there is a pretty waterfall where the water comes rushing out.  Ethan climbed it and we watched!  We hung out here for awhile, then paddled back through the obstacle course into the river once again.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Drakes Creek, Ky  7/13/2013                       Miles Traveled 10.5,  Total 119.8
Drakes Creek w/ Bowling Green Kayak Group (Dick, Erika, Ann, etc, 23 total)
10:00-1:45, Sunny/Sometimes Cloudy, 84 degrees

Another great weather day for kayaking.  There were about 23 of us paddling, one that was a stand up paddler who paddled a total of 22 miles.  We stopped about halfway at a bridge.  When I walked down the small rock embankment into the water, I stepped into a hole and down I went getting soaking wet!  The hazards of kayaking - getting wet!  As I paddled downstream, I was reaching behind in my kayak to arrange my shorts on the back to dry, and my seat strap broke.  :(  Dick and Dwayne managed to tie a rope behind my seat to support it the rest of the way.  This will be the second time my seat broke, but this is an easy fix.  It appears that once again, the rivet was not entirely secure on the strap.  We saw two boxers on the river that barked and barked at us.  They were nice looking healthy dogs with no collars - so who knows where they came from!  Really, really cool was when we saw an owl in the tree.  It sat very prim and proper for pictures until my yak knocked into Dwayne's kayak and the noise scared him off.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Yellow Creek 7/6/13

Yellow Creek  7/6/13                              Miles Traveled 7 miles, Total 109.3
Scotty & Julie, Put in at Lylewood Road, paddled across Cumberland River, then up Yellow Creek
Sunny Skies, 80 degrees, 12:30 - 2:00 (15 minute break), then 2:15-3:30back

We had planned to do the Harpeth River, but rain was forecast for the entire day.  We were cleaning Amanda's car when the sun came out against a beautiful blue sky.  We checked the weather online and discovered that the rain was now predicted to come at 5:00.  So we left the car, and packed up the kayaks.  We headed to Yellow Creek as it's close - in case the rain did come.

We put in at Lylewood Road boat ramp and had to paddle across the Cumberland River.  The river was very choppy as if a barge or boat had just gone through, except that we didn't see any!  There was  a lot of debris floating down.  We saw a huge tree coming down river, then it circled around out in the middle of the river.  The waves were very unusual.  There had been a lot of rain the 3 days before.  We got into Yellow Creek and passed a family fishing on a pontoon boat.  They had just put in, as they had also seen the sun just appear.

We paddled upstream for one hour and 30 minutes.  The creek looked more like a river.   The section of river under Route 149 is already very wide, but at some points it looked like it was 100 feet across.  When we paddled it back in November, we remembered it being narrow.  We never passed anybody else again on the river.  The last time we paddled here, we passed a lot of fishermen.  There were some trees down, but there weren't any sections that were hard to navigate.  We got close to McFall Road  as we heard traffic, but didn't paddle entirely up to it.  We had a light snack on one of the sandbars.  There were very few sandbars to stop, as the creek was high and covered the sandbars and banks.  
It took us an hour and 15 minutes to paddle back.  Although the day's prediction was rain, it never did and we were glad to get in a paddle!

This is how we transport the kayaks on the truck.  Scotty put two 2x4's across the truck and we strap them down.  

The tree we saw floating down the Cumberland River

Here you can see the steam plant in Erin.

This shows how high the creek was.  The greenery sticking out are tree shrubs.