Raft Guide Thanksgiving

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A year or two ago we started a tradition of a Raft Guide Thanksgiving at our Ocoee Rafting outpost.  Peter smoked some turkeys and all the raft guide brought their best dishes.  We all had a blast!  This year we didn’t have a chance to do it during the rafting season, so Peter was supposed to host it at his house sometime in November.  Life (and a trip down the Grand Canyon) got in the way of that plan, so finally it was decided to have Raft Guide Thanksgiving in conjunction with a Super Bowl Party at Peter’s house.  We had a blast, good times, great food, great friends, and (mostly) understanding neighbors which all in all made  it a big hit.  We’d love to invite you to this next year, but sadly you’ve got to work for us to do that!  Interested in working for us?  Check out: http://www.ocoeeadventurecenter.com/other/working_with_oac.htm

Terri and Hunter

Terri and the future Mrs. George S.

Tammy - You might have seen her taking your picture!

Lovely Ladies of OAC

Trip Leader and Kayak Instructor Eric and his lovely wife Chris, who also teaches kayaking for us

We had a little bit of food...

There may have been a little flare up with the grill!

Peter (Back when all his hair was where it belonged)

Evandre looking on as I show off my new hairdo

It's a good thing they shoot great pictures, as Brent and Tammy aren't getting hired as mechanics anytime soon!


Evandre spots (and takes lots of pictures) of a bald eagle on the Ocoee

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Evandre got some great pictures of a bald eagle on the Ocoee this weekend, enjoy!

Brush Creek – Ocoee Area Mountain Biking Trip

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Last year about this time, a funny guy who knew our Ocoee Rafting Outpost “Mom”, Terri kept hanging around the outpost.  He needed a job, but at the time we didn’t really have much for him to do.  He kept hanging around though, and as we got busier jobs for him to do kept popping up.  Finally we hired him for photo work, and he started tagging along on biking and kayaking trips with us.  We’ve all come to love Luke and his slightly unorthodox ways, and this year have decided to give him a job as our Photography and Other Activities Manager.  Here’s a trip report he was kind enough to prepare for us of a recent mountain bike ride on Brush Creek.

Luke at the start of the Brush Creek Mountain Bike Ride

Luke at the start of the Brush Creek Mountain Bike Ride

We gathered around the picnic table dressed for winter as our breath hung on the morning air.  The morning sun brought with it tempatures in the mid thirties but also ushered in crisp bluebird skies and the promise of an amazing day.  We spent some time drinking coffee and tea, warming ourselves and getting to know one another.  Bikes loaded we made our way to the top of Boyd Gap, slowing down to watch a family of deer enjoy their breakfast just off the side of the road.  At the summit, the sun had crested the mountains revealing mountops blanketed in a snow white frost.  Once unloaded, we gathered for a couple of group photos and a moment to simply take in our surroundings.

Group Shot at the Brush Creek Trailhead

Here's the group before the Brush Creek Mountain Bike Ride

Brush Creek Trail - Boyd Gap Parking Lot

Happy guest trying out our Trek Mountain Bike

Brush Creek trail, from the Boyd Gap, side offers some wonderfully fun downhill to begin a ride.  Crisp, cool, with an open view of the forest, we glided downhill for a couple of miles  enjoying the cold air in our lungs and the switchbacks this trail has to offer.  By the time we reached the flatlands, the tempatures had begun to rise and the thought of cold was no longer on anyones mind. Zipping past towering populars and open meadows, the trail lead us up to some outstanding views of Ocoee Lake #3 and a perfect place to stop and enjoy a snack.

Which way to Brush Creek

Show us the way Luke!

Lake Ocoee #3 from the Brush Creek Trail

Looking at beautiful Lake Ocoee #3 from the Brush Creek Trail

By now, most of  us are down to shorts and short sleeves.  After some well deserved snacks, some history of the area, and lots of smiles and laughs, we mount up once again to finish the last leg of our journey.  We stop a few more times to chat with others we meet on the trail, to hear their story, and tell them ours.  We discuss and compare “fish stories,”  (heavily exaggerated, yet fun stories from the trail) and pedal the last bit of trail to our destination.  A bike ride with OAC always leaves me feeling like I accomplished something.  Today, I pushed myself a little harder, I made some new friends, shared some of the history of my life, and in return learned more about others.  Today, some of us acomplished something they didnt think they could do.  Today, we all grew as human beings.  Yes….today was a good day.

Blue Skies and Brush Creek

Blue Skies, happy guests and Brush Creek, who could ask for more?

Group Shot after the ride

Everybody tired and happy after riding Brush Creek

Videos from opening weekend of Ocoee Rafting Season

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This past weekend was opening weekend for the 2011 Ocoee Rafting Season.  We had a few customers brave the perfect sunny weather and enjoy a rafting trip on the Ocoee.  A bunch of our Ocoee Rafitng Guides also gathered to reunite with old friends, meet our new trainees, and enjoy a cookout.

We’ve been blessed with some new toys over the winter, giving us the opportunity to share just how much fun we have on the Ocoee River.  Here are a couple of videos from one of our Ocoee River Guides, Evandre.  Also in the boat are one of our long time guides, Katy, Nick who will be back for his second season in 2011 and Whitney, one of our photographers.  It sure is a shame we don’t enjoy our jobs!

Clear Creek Trip – Preparing for the Ocoee Rafting Season

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I hurt my knee back at the beginning of December, and have been stuck on the sidelines while all my friends enjoy all the hiking, biking and boating that the Ocoee River area is surrounded by.  I finally had surgery a little over a month ago, and have been on the mend ever since.  Yesterday marked the first time I’ve been able to be in a boat since Mid-October 2010, and boy was it a perfect day.   The thermometer on Billy’s car said 70 degrees when we made it to the takeout, sunny, warm weather, great scenery, another great day on the river.

We paddled Clear Creek into the Obed, a National Wild and Scenic River.  Nothing super exciting rapid wise, but there were some really fun wave trains and at least one rapid big enough to give me my maiden swim of 2011!  I didn’t get any pictures of the rapids, but here are a few scenic shots, this is a really pretty place, and at the water level we had tons of fun!

Cheoah River Video

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Several members of the Ocoee Adventure Center staff took a trip to the nearby Cheoah a couple of weeks ago, Rob took a helmet camera video of some of the action.  It’s available in HD as well, so if you’ve got a quick internet connection, change it to 720p and the footage will look even better.  Enjoy!

Cheoah River Pictures


Saturday was a nice warm day, a preview of many more to come.  I’m still down from knee surgery, but needed to get out of the house.  I headed over to the Cheoah, an hour or so from our Ocoee Rafting outpost to take pictures of the carnival.  Got some openboaters styling it, an openboater testing the water temperature, several of our Ocoee River Guides looking good and a pretty cool raft rescue of a kayaker having a bad day.  Enjoy!

All good so far

One drop down, one to go

Working on the roll

Still working

L'edge's to the rescue


It was a nice warm day for a swim

Blake and friend

Dax getting it done

Archie looking smooth

It was warm, but this is definitely not a great place for a swim

Rubber to the rescue

Safe and Sound

Long Boat

Is that a beaver on his head?



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