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!

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Chattooga River Overnight Trip

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One of our Ocoee River Guides, Mark sent us this trip report he and his special girl did this spring.  If this looks like something you might enjoy, we offer overnight camping trips on the Chattooga River as well through our sister company, Southeastern Expeditions – you can do a trip like this, or if you want more excitement try out our Section III and IV overnight rafting trip and experience some really big rapids (and incredible Wild and Scenic surroundings).   Here’s Mark’s report:

Some people just aren’t ready to tackle Long Class V overnighters like the Middle Kings or Upper Cherry Creek (editors note – these are really hard trips in California that Mark runs regularly!). If this is you, then Section II of the Chattooga may be more your speed.

Chattooga River Canoe

Scenic View from the Canoe

Normally when doing overnight runs, the scenery gets better the harder the rapids are. Fortunately, the wild and scenic Section II offers spectacular settings that are hard to beat along with gentle water.

Chattooga River View

Typical Scenery

On my trip down the mighty Chattooga we decided to put in on the West Fork and travel around 10 miles to Earl’s Ford. This section only requires basic paddling skills, but allows the paddler to enjoy crystal clear water and easy to find camping sites.

Chattooga River Canoe

Mark's friend Megan enjoying the float

We found a nice site about halfway down at a white sand beach.

Chattooga River Campsite

Mark at his campsite for the night

Once you have reached a camping site, look for the Chattooga River trail located on river right. This trail goes along most of the river and you can find spur trails off it. Enjoy the river, and remember to practice “leave no trace” ethics.  Here’s a few more pictures of the trip.

Spring Hatch Time

A wicked hatch!

Canoe by the Chattooga River

Chattooga Riverside Scenery

Crystal Clear Water and Blue Skies!

Awesome tangle of roots

Chattooga River, Wild and Scenic

Biggest Rapid on the trip

Trip Report January 23, 2010 – Piney River near Spring City, TN

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This Saturday several Ocoee Adventure Center / Southeastern Expeditions guides were looking to take advantage of (relatively) warm temperatures and generous amounts of rainfall. Billy Paul (Southeastern Trip Leader), and I were able to convince Eric Davidson (Ocoee Adventure Center Trip Leader and Head Kayak instructor) to join us for the Piney River, near Spring City, Tennessee. Eric had run the Piney before, and a guide was pretty important due to the length of the run and the short days in winter time. We met up with two guys at the putin who joined us for shuttle, showed us a little quicker route to the river, and ended up paddling with us most of the day. They got some pictures that I’ll hope to add soon, for now the pictures on this report came from www.americanwhitewater.org and aren’t of us, just to give an idea of the river.

The section of the Piney we ran is about 10 miles long. It is located about 1.5 hours north of the Ocoee River area. It’s mostly class III, with about a mile long section being class IV. Lots of fun, very scenic, very remote. Here’s a picture of one of the larger rapids, “Hungry Jack” . A large amount of water goes under and through the big boulder at the bottom of this rapid, forcing the paddler to drive hard to the left to avoid it. Billy, Eric and I all had great lines here. One of the other guys we met caught a little bit of the rock and had some issues, but it was a short, uneventful swim. Billy and I were content just to make it down the river for the most part, but Eric got in lots of quality surfing on his way down.

This area isn’t just for paddlers! There is a great trail system here which is part of the Cumberland Trail System (http://www.cumberlandtrail.org/index.html). Here’s a link to the area of the trail we were paddling on: http://www.cumberlandtrail.org/piney.html

For non paddling visitors to the area, consider a hike here on the day before or after your Ocoee River Rafting Trip. This area would be a short detour coming from the Ocoee River Area towards Chattanooga. For more information or any questions, please feel free to send me an email to Peter@ocoeeadventurecenter.com. A summertime hike here would be great as the trail winds down to the river in several really cool spots to swim and cool off in!

Think you might want to paddle this section of river on your own sometime, but don’t have the experience? Eric Davidson is our head kayak instructor at the Ocoee Adventure Center and would love to spend some time getting you started on your way to paddling! For more information check out Ocoee River Kayak Instruction.

Here’s a few more pictures of the river, when I get our pictures from this day I’ll post them to this page.