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Saturday, May 2, 2015

Harpeth River - Up the Creek Without a Paddle - May 2, 2015

Harpeth River                                                                          11 miles   560.8 total
Me, Scotty, Jim, Robin, Cameron
Put in - Highway 70, Take out - Narrows
Beautiful weather, blue skies, high 70s
Average Speed 2.9, Maximum Speed 7.2

Gorgeous, gorgeous day!  And apparently lots of other people thought the same thing.  It was the most crowded that I have seen the Harpeth River.  Interesting sight today - we saw snakes jumping out of the water.  Perhaps it is mating season?  I saw at least 4 doing this today.

"Up the creek without a paddle!"  Yes, I'm sure you've heard this saying, but today we saw just how bad it is to be up a creek without a paddle!  We got to a bank and noticed lots of people on the bank yelling to keep away from a tree on the right bank.  As we paddled by, we saw that a kayak was stuck in the tree.  We pulled over and learned that a kayaker had paddled into the strong current there, lodged his kayak and lost his paddle.  Scotty to the rescue.  He pulled out his two ropes, a true testament as to why you should be prepared on the river.  After much maneuvering, tying the rope in different places, Scotty, Jim and some others were able to tie onto the kayak.  Another man loosened some of the branches holding the kayak and the kayak started downstream.  Two young boys grabbed onto the rope and pulled the kayak to shore.  Andrew was the man paddling the kayak and he had a yellow bruise across his chest where he had hit a tree.  He said he has had experience paddling, but just got pulled into the current.  Not only had he lost his paddle, but he also lost his glasses.  Scotty separated his paddle into two and gave half to Andrew.  They paddled the rest of the way like that.  Andrew said he couldn't see far ahead of him, so we told him to watch for my green kayak and Scotty's orange kayak.  He was most appreciative and I'm sure we all have a new understanding of that saying!

Here's our route, but I didn't have the app on for the first part of the trip!

We pull over and pull out the ropes.

Scotty tries tying it to this tree, but it's too far away from the kayak.

Kayaks and canoes keep coming through and it's amazing that more don't capsize!

Scotty & Jim watching the fiasco.

Trying to pull the kayak out.

And yet another near disaster.

This man climbs into the tree loosening the branches.

He frees the kayak.

And these boys grab the rope!

Relaxing after the day's rescue.

This is the first time I've captured a Tennessee turtle in a photograph.  They're usually too fast!

I never get tired of the river's beautiful scenery!

Cameron's first paddle and she says she'll do it again!

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