Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Survival Mode

The first weekend of survival mode started with Jerry's Baddle a combination kayak and bike race in the Green River gorge. Its always fun to paddle the Green and see the NC folks.

I was pretty slow in the kayak but for being in a short boat where most everyone that places well uses a long boat I felt ok with my time. I got the second fastest bike time.
Cory Hall made up a ton of time on the river and passed me in the flats after the standard takeout. I caught him toward the end of the bike ride and we were able to work together through the false flats and headwinds on the last portion of the course. Cory took second place. Javid beat my total time by 4 seconds. Everyone that raced the "Greenman" from Chattanooga took finishes in the top 10.
View the results here: RESULTS

The following week we got a little more rain and got some runs in on Suck Creek with good water. I tried to do a little bike training when I wasn't working or boating to get ready for PMBAR This year was my second year doing the event. We try to stay laid back and not blow our wad early in the race. Alex and I seemed to pick a route that almost no one else was doing, which was fine with us but I believe we put in more miles than we needed to.

Our route was something like this:
blk mtn> Buckhorn Gap> 476 > FS 5018 > Horse Cove Gap> Cantrell Cr > S Mills> Bradley Cr> FS 5015 (to Yellow Gap) > FS1206 > FS 5000> FS1206> Laurel Mt > Pilot Rock > FS 1206> HWY 276> FS 5041> 475 B> FS 225> 475 B> 5041> 276> FS 477> 5058> 5022> Black Mtn> Finish

It took us around 13hrs. We rode around 80 miles in Pisgah and completed all the check points. We finished late and stayed the night in Brevard at Nate E's house.

After waking up and having a huge breakfast at The Barrel I made my way back to Chattanooga where I headed straight to Bear Creek. The Bear was at 24" so we ate some more food, hiked around Cloudland Canyon and generally wasted time until it dropped down to about 20-20.5" and put on late in the day. I was exhausted from the Pisgah race and almost opted out but couldn't pass up on the opportunity to paddle The Bear. I knew that I didn't have the energy to handle a major beat down but that at 20+" the chance that there would be some action was high. We headed down stream and we ran Surrealistic Pillow for the first time in a couple of years. At Fishbowl I headed for the left line and didn't quite get left of a small piece of flow so I missed the boof and augered in deep. I resurfaced on a back ender that moved me toward the center of the hole. From there I had a few window shades and back enders and decided to pull while I still had a little energy. I swam for the surface but couldn't get there, I went for about 2 recircs before I came up and was able to swim over to the ledge on the left. Bryce got my boat on river right and my paddle floated right over to me. I got my shit back together quick and we blazed into Knocking on Heavens Door> Stairway to Heaven> Cosmic Trigger> Big Bang

I needed a rest day on Monday but went back to the Bear after work and caught it still running at a low but fun 8". I met Clay W. over there and we paddled with Jeff W and Dave L. who were doing their 7th lap. Tuesday Suck Creek held all day long at around 4.8-4.6' so I headed over there after work. . Rain again on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning brought The Bear back up to 15". Again I headed over after work and had a great day, catching it around 14" which was just what I needed to get my head right about that run after my swim over the weekend. I plan on doing some resting tonight and it looks like more rain on the horizon but what I should really be doing is working on my house...

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