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  • Sunday, May 07, 2023 8:12 AM | James Parnell (Administrator)
    We met at 10:30 am at Leatherwood Ford to paddle in honor of Jack Lyle.  One of his favorite sections to paddle was from the Confluence of the New and Clear Fork Rivers to Leatherwood Ford on Big South Fork of the Cumberland.  Before we put on the river, James asked for a moment of silence in Jack’s memory.

    We were blessed with a beautiful day, sunny with blue skies and mild temperatures!  19 bodies started the journey: one shredder, one raft, one canoe, one Duckie and 13 kayaks.  We returned with approximately the same number!  There was an unusual lack of carnage on today’s run!

     Several paddlers knew Jack and shared stories of his humor, leadership and good fellowship.  It seems that everyone loved Jack and the world was a better place with him in it. 

    A tradition for this memorial paddle is the awarding of the Golden Plunger.  It can be a positive or negative award!  This year’s Golden Plunger Award went to Austin Chamberlain for hitting all of his combat rolls (3) on his PFD of this section as well as his first ever combat roll!  There were a couple of honorable mentions;  Chris for almost losing 2 boats during shuttle and David for wrong guidance.

    It was a fun and beautiful day on the water!  Thanks to James and Jonathan for your leadership and keeping us all safe on the river.

    Checkout the photos in the gallery!

    Susan Korf

  • Monday, November 07, 2022 7:52 AM | Operations TSRA (Administrator)

    No water no problem. This past Saturday we decided to do a hike along Clear Creek Gorge and do some trash pick-up. Turned out to be a fabulous day. Below are a couple write ups from a couple participants. Enjoy!


    Clear Creek Lily to the Confluence: The Dry Line By David Cole

    For the first time (ever?), there wasn’t enough water for a first-Saturday whitewater trip. So, James Parnell dreamt up a different kind of river trip. We hiked the trail above Clear Creek from Lily bridge to its confluence with the Obed (2 ¼ miles), descended the steep and slippery gorge down to the creek, and then hiked back up the riverbed to the bridge. The trail hike was a breeze. The hike back up the riverbed was punctuated by slippery rocks and bushwhacking through mountain laurel and greenbriar (aka “blasphemy vines”). But as challenging as it was, I think everyone agreed that it was amazing. Seeing the old familiar rapids without water was fascinating and beautiful. We had lunch at Wooten’s Folly, found a startling undercut at Camel Rock, and stood atop Jack’s Rock while marveling at two little waterfalls left and right.

    We also cleaned up the river – well, as much as 7 people could. We built a trash pile up on the bank of debris too large to carry out: 3-4 tires, an 8’ long piece of PVC pipe, and an oar. Still, we emerged with 6 bags of trash and a rusty bar stool. Go figure.

    Kudos to James Parnell, the trip leader. Besides keeping everyone up to date (and being surprisingly well organized for a paddler ;-), he did the hike solo the day before to be sure he knew what we were getting into. Wow. Thanks also to Austin Chamberlain, Ben Drury, Jim Ledbetter, Katie Larue, and Morris Blanton for helping to keep Clear Creek clear.


    Saturday turned out to be a very nice fall day. It was overcast and warm for early November. Although we got a few sprinkles here and there, the rain that was forecasted earlier in the week didn’t materialize.
    The hike from Lilly bridge up to Lilly overlook was a good warm up. Not as steep, tough, or long as I expected. After a few minutes enjoying the view from the top, we headed towards the confluence overlook. I had never been past this part on the trail or the river, and I was excited to see some new scenery and gather up some trash.

    This part of the hike was pretty flat and easy with some nice overlooks along the way. As we kept going, it was really cool to be on the ridge with Clear Creek canyon on the left and Obed canyon on the right. Once we reached the point overlook, the views were amazing, especially with some classic fall colors hanging around and contrasting with the evergreens. I had never seen this before and was blown away at how deep the canyons were. Definitely a highlight of the day for me here.

    The real challenge started as we descended down from here to the confluence on a steep bushwhack. Once we made it to the bottom, and after taking some time to soak in the beauty of this place, we bushwhacked up the Clear Creek banks looking for sections that would be easier to navigate. We had groups spread out on both sides, and after a while, we started coming across some trash. Katie found a mother lode of old plastic bottles and other random items that looked to be fairly old. We cleaned that spot out and filled up about half a bag before continuing up the creek.

    We regrouped on a large boulder for a bit of a snack and discussion about some of the main rapids in this section. It was good to hear stories and tips from several of the group. I’ve done Barnett to Lilly a couple of times and feel confident on those sections, but I would like to eventually progress to be able to run all the way down to Nemo. I’ve had some great instruction this year and made some good strides with my roll and general river running skills, so I’m hoping for this section sometime in 2023! If we ever get some rain…

    For the final push of the day, Ben and I were out front and came across some old tires. I was able to pull the lower ones up to a higher level where they can hopefully be rafted out once we get enough water again. I must’ve gotten into a hornets nest though, and they lit me up pretty good. So be aware of that if you ever go to raft out these three tires on river right! After several minutes of some of the best and most creative cuss word phrases I’ve had in a while, it was time to head river left to catch the climber’s trails out.

    On the way up to the trails, Ben and I came across another load of trash and cleared that spot, topping off both of our bags. Mostly plastic bottles and the like, but also an old cooler. On the day, the group was also able to carry out an old, broken oar and a couple of pieces of old, broken paddles.

    We finished the trip off at Lillypad with some well deserved cold beers and good food. Much thanks to Katie who had some soothing cortisone cream and a Benadryl pill handy when she arrived and saw my hornet stings!!!

    We capped the night at Clear Creek campground with a solid campfire and one of the best sunsets I’ve seen in a while!

    By Austin Chamberlain

    Please take a minute a view the photos here

  • Saturday, August 27, 2022 2:46 PM | Operations TSRA (Administrator)

    On Saturday, August 27th, Steve Morris led us down a beautiful 12 mile stretch of the Elk River. We put in at the US 31 Bridge in Elkton, TN and paddled to the Veto Road Bridge in Prospect TN. We had breaks for swims, stretches, lunch and snake handling by Steve. It was great fun to listen to the tales from past river trips shared by Geary and Steve. Paddle friends included Doug and Seith, Dale, Palo and Lainie, Sally, Mona, Louis, Geary and Debra. As always, many thanks to Steve for leading a trip a month on our beautiful Class I rivers! 

    Check out some of the photos here 2022 3rd Saturday Paddle Gallery

  • Tuesday, August 09, 2022 8:55 AM | James Parnell (Administrator)

    Yep, we paddled the Pigeon River again. I have really been fortunate while leading the 1st Saturday paddles. I believe every trip has produced a 1st time for many! Personal 1st descents, 1st time back after several years, someone debuting their 1st time paddling a Slice while taking someone having their 1st whitewater experience…sooo many 1st’. This trip was no exception. A group of 4 came out and stayed the weekend at Foxfire Campground in Hartford, TN. I must say, camping here sure makes for a very simple shuttle, since the takeout was our campsite. The temperature was 85 with mostly cloudy skies and isolated showers. It turned out to be another great day on the river.

    We got on the water about 11:30 am and we were underway. The water quality seemed typical for the Pigeon, brown water with a slight odor:(. That didn’t stop us. We made it all the way to Accelerator before we had not one but two out of boat experiences. There was a touch of extra natural flow which made for some extra fluff. Recovery was quick and we headed on down the river. Then there was a 3rd OOBE prior to arriving at the takeout/campsite. We will save that story for campfire talk. It was a good day!

    We followed that up with a trip to the Nantahala on Sunday. At the end, one of us felt sorry for the other three and opted to take a swim at Lesser Wesser. Now, at least we all had a turn swimming, right? It was another awesome weekend, and I am already looking forward to next month. Ocoee, maybe?



  • Monday, August 01, 2022 8:32 PM | Vinson Dill (Administrator)

    Another great 1st Saturday paddle in the books! Pigeon RiverGreat weather! Great Crew and Support!

    Not 1 group shot has everyone in it, and they were all funny. Big turn out of 17, so we slip into 2 groups. (lots of pictures on Facebook,  TSRA- Paddler Chat

    Jody & Doug leading the 1st 9 paddlers

    Jim & Vinson leading the 2nd group

    Several PFDs that day, A couple swims, I think 14 people with dry hair days…  1 ww Raft Guide, 1st time in a closed kayak and did great!

    What a crew, what a crew....

    Big thanks to leads Jody Newport & Jim Mazzola III, and support boaters, Jay Cawley and Doug Rookard. 

    V. Dill

  • Tuesday, June 21, 2022 2:55 PM | James Parnell (Administrator)

    This month’s TSRA 3rd Saturday Paddle Trip was on the Elk River TN. (Class I) June 18th, 2022 (Saturday). We paddled 12 river miles from Elkton TN - US 31 Bridge (put in) to Prospect TN - Veto Rd Bridge (take out).The weather turned out perfect! It was a little hot outside, but we took several swim breaks that kept us cool. This section of the Elk River is gorgeous with abundant wildlife all around. It is very remote mostly forested farmland riverbanks, and we did not see but one structure on the entire 12-mile stretch. Richland Creek tributaries into the Elk at approximately mile 6 of this section and has a great shaded sand bar that makes a good midway lunch break area. The water has a constant flow of about 650cfs of cool water even with zero generators from the Tim’s Ford Dam. Both the put in and take out have good gravel parking lots and concrete accessible ramps. You will not be disappointed on this section of Elk!

    Check out the Gallery for photos!

  • Monday, May 16, 2022 12:00 PM | James Parnell (Administrator)

     So for those of you that didn’t know, we had planned this years “Jack Lyle Memorial Paddle” to coincide with the May’s 1st Saturday paddle trip. Unfortunately, the weather created high water conditions on the Big South Fork (BSF), and we were forced to seek another location. We ended up on the West Fork of the Obey. Following the trip, we shared memories of Jack and how he impacted our lives. We also decided that to properly honor Jack, we would plan another trip the following weekend on BSF. The BSF meant a lot to Jack, and we wanted to share that with others. We had two paddlers doing their personal 1st descents. For one, it was his actual first whitewater paddling experience. It was a chance encounter, and we were able to accommodate him with all the PPE and paddling instruction before pushing off in a Slice. Needless to say, it was a great experience. Following our paddle, we also conducted the awarding of the coveted Jack Lyle Plunger Award. Though it was not by a landslide, the final vote once again was awarded to two individuals. For their savvy paddling abilities and the knack to show everyone where NOT to go, the award went to Stacee and Jess. They graciously accepted the coveted award, and I am sure they are eager to present it next year. Please help us honor Jack and memorialize him next year on May 6, 2023. >Gallery<

    Date -  May 15, 2022

    Location - Clear Fork @ Burnt Mill Bridge to Big South Fork @ O&W

    Level - 919 cfs @ Leatherwood

  • Tuesday, March 08, 2022 12:38 PM | James Parnell (Administrator)

    So this is our 3rd paddle in the series of 1st Saturday Paddle trips and they are becoming very popular. We had 16 paddlers in our group this past Saturday with the best weather you could ask for in March! The water level was about 300cfs with sunny skies and low 70s.  Skill levels across the board from beginner to pro boater and everything in between. 

    We started out at Barnett Bridge with a nice warm up and more play than that section typically see's, I'm sure. Once at Jett we pulled in to take a break and grab some snacks and stretch our legs then headed on down. As the rapids picked up so did the playing. There were spins, squirts, kart wheels, attainments, hairy fairies, eddy catching, practice rolls, and more. Everyone stayed in there boat and had a blast! I believe we were out there about 5 hrs. We even had another large group to pass us up. 

    If you want to join us for the next 1st Saturday Paddle trip you will need to register for Rendezvous. If the full registration doesn't sound right for you there is a Saturday only option that also gets all the Rendezvous swag, access to Camp Nakanawa showers and join us Saturday evening for the big Rendezvous auction. If you don't know Rendezvous is TSRA's largest fund raising event and plays host to hundreds of paddlers from all over. To get all the swag register before March 16th.

    >>> REGISTER HERE <<<

  • Sunday, January 02, 2022 6:04 PM | James Parnell (Administrator)

    The 1st 1st Saturday Paddle trip is in the books. The weather was questionable going into the weekend as was the location. Our hope was Barnett Bridge to Lilly on Clear Creek but rain forecasted the evening prior threatened more than the banks would hold. That morning a check of the gage showed 841 CFS and holding, perfect! Weather forecast for the day was scattered showers, heavy at times wind gust up to 30mph and a high of 70°. We did get a couple of showers, the most persistent as we approached Lilly rapid. Winds were not bad, when it did blow, they were remarkably warm and welcoming. It really turned out to be the perfect day.

    Our group was 11 paddlers and a shuttle bunny (Thank you!). The paddle included some play and attainments with a short break at Jet to refuel. I believe a great day of paddling was had by everyone.

    We are all looking forward to the next 1st Saturday, February 5th. Location to be determined. Hope to see you on the river!

    Checkout a few of the pics here.

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