Trip Reports

Cheoah Beat Down

Posted by on Jun 2, 2015 in Featured, Our Videos, Trip Report | 0 comments

It took a crazy beat down for me to understand something about whitewater kayaking: you’re always learning. Over the past two years I’ve grown from an awful, just awful paddler to a confident Class III boater who can handle Class IV rapids in small doses. Dan and Rob say I paddle smooth, like the guys in the videos. I don’t believe that really, but it’s nice to hear that I don’t look like an idiot. I used to be afraid of the Ocoee and the Comp Channel at the USNWC. Now, those are the places I love to practice and...

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Upper Ocoee Kayaking

Posted by on Jul 27, 2014 in Featured, Trip Report | 0 comments

This is the first time in a long time that I’ve felt compelled to blog about kayaking. The world of Class II and Class III whitewater kayaking is so exciting, very challenging and very revealing of one’s self in a multitude of ways. Stepping up to Class III whitewater kayaking will reveal the coward, the unprepared, the strong and the resilient qualities inside of everyone. I’ve been a coward. I’ve been unprepared. I’ve been strong and if you’ve seen me refuse to swim lately, you know I’m resilient....

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Middle Ocoee Kayaking

Posted by on Apr 15, 2014 in Featured, Trip Report, Uncategorized | 0 comments

“Pain or damage don’t end the world. Or despair or fucking beatings. The world ends when you’re dead. Until then, you got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man and give some back.” – Al Swearengen   Here’s the thing about bad swims – they are like losing a fist fight. Both have a way of haunting you until you settle the score. The last time, which was the first time, I tried to kayak anything meaningful on the Middle Ocoee I took a series of rocks to the face, swam a few hydraulics, busted...

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ACE Kayaking School

Posted by on Aug 24, 2013 in Featured, Trip Report, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Somewhere in the middle of the Ocoee, in an eddy right before Cat’s Pajamas, I gave up. I literally said ‘this shit ain’t for me.’ I asked my instructor where I could carry my boat out of the river, thanked him for his time and just gave-the-fuck-up. I figured I could sell off my gear and start playing poker again. So, I’m going to shoot it to you straight. No punches pulled, no bullshitting. Dan, Rob and I paid for 2 days of instruction at ACE Kayaking School. Everyone says you’ll come back from ACE a...

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Proper Whitewater Kayaking Gear

Posted by on Jul 26, 2013 in Featured, Trip Report, Uncategorized | 0 comments

This morning I took off work and ran Elkhorn Creek at 750 CFS with a paddler I met on the Viking Forum, Schmuckie. Cool dude. At 750, Elkhorn gets a bit shallow and when you flip, there’s always the danger of hitting rocks. See this whitewater kayaking post for a pic of what Elkhorn did to my shoulder last month. Today, I played it cool for most of the run but toward the end I got compelled to practice surfing and ferrying. I flipped once trying to ferry and rolled it up, no problem. I did well surfing until this one wave kicked my ass....

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East Race Redux! 7/13&14/2013

Posted by on Jul 16, 2013 in Featured, Trip Report | 0 comments

I got my first combat roll on East Race three weeks ago. I returned with a new WW friend to South Bend for a two-day Race-a-thon. For those that don’t know, the East Race Waterway is a man-made, stretch of Class II rapids that are consistent, predictable and safe training grounds. The last time I ran it, in four runs I flipped just once and rolled back up. This time was VERY different. My goal was to learn how to catch eddies and try a little surfing in my creeker. In the two-day Race-a-thon, I got in 6 full runs and one half run (you...

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6-22-13 East Race Waterway

Posted by on Jun 26, 2013 in Trip Report | 0 comments

I went to East Race Waterway in South Bend, Indiana for a day trip with Matt from Viking Canoe Club (I’d met him on their online forum). East Race is a man-made water duct that runs through what feels like downtown South Bend. The town itself is a bit underwhelming but the Race is buzzing with joggers, bikers and gawkers who make their way up and down the walkways and bridges along the course. The portage back to the put in requires you to cross four lanes of traffic – that’s how ‘IN’ the city you are! (no...

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6-19-13 Elkhorn Creek

Posted by on Jun 19, 2013 in Featured, Trip Report | 0 comments

NOTE: My reports will be more like columns and confessions than straight info on the trip. I’m tracking my progress as a whitewater kayaker, not just stamping a passport of rivers and creeks. If you prefer more condensed trip reports, read Rob’s reports. Or get your own damn blog. After a long two weeks of working on a RFP, culminating in a presentation to the unnamed potential client Tuesday morning, I decided to try to take Wednesday off and run Elkhorn Creek to recharge. Luck met me half way with some rain and ushered...

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5-25-13 Cumberland River Below the Falls

Posted by on Jun 6, 2013 in Trip Report | 0 comments

Trip Details: Cumberland River – Below the Falls to the Mouth of the Laurel River Distance: 10.5 miles USGS 0340400 – Cumberland River at Williamsburg, KY: CFS: 1730 Level – 5.5 ft Paddlers: Rob Brumley, Dan McMillin, John Darr, Derek Swatlowski, & Ben “Memphis” Rhoads Our trip began with the long carry of our gear into the State Park. The put in is on the sandy beach below the Falls and be prepared, it is a very long walk from the parking lot. The five of us hit the water and began our paddle down the river....

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5-11-13 Elkhorn Creek

Posted by on Jun 1, 2013 in Trip Report | 0 comments

Distance: 7.6 miles CFS: 1890 Water Level – 5.3 ft. Paddlers: Rob Brumley, John Darr, & Dan McMillin Rob Boat: Dagger Mamba 8.1 John Boat: WaveSport Y Dan Boat: Dagger Blackwater 10.5 Details: An awesome whitewater paddle, our first time paddling down the creek. The American Whitewater website was invaluable for preparing us for our trip to Frankfort, please visit for detailed information about the shuttle and the creek itself. There is a mandatory portage around a dam near the Jim Beam Distillery...

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10-20-12 Green River

Posted by on Oct 20, 2012 in Trip Report | 0 comments

October 20, 2012 & November 11th, 2012 Mammoth Cave National Park Dennison’s Ferry to Green River Ferry Distance: 7.8 miles River Gauge: 4.7 feet, Munfordville, KY Paddlers: Rob Brumley & Dan McMillin Trip Details: Dan & Rob were co-owners of a kayak touring company that took Mammoth Cave Park Visitors down the river in kayaks. We began our tours in 2007 and have paddled this section of the river many, many times. Once again we chose to revisit our familiar paddling spot and spent the day reminiscing about our tours and the...

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