Cane Creek Falls edit / trip report

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    • #15896
      • Total Posts: 313

      All the stars aligned a few weeks ago to kick off the New Years with a bang!  It all started with a trip down to visit Levi and Gina for a weekend of boating.    The forecast called for hard rains on the Sunday / Monday, and Terry and I were really hoping to catch Desoto Falls, in Alabama with enough water for it to go.      After a great Friday, Sat and Sunday of boating with Levi and Gina locally in N.C., Terry and I drove through the night to camp on Desoto falls…After all, they were calling for 2+” of rain.

      Much to our dismay, we awoke to beautiful blue skies, and a very dry ground.  We made our way to the falls with not much belief, and as expected, the water levels were far too low.

      Bummed and disheartened, we jumped in the car and started the long drive back to St. Louis.

      Somewhere along the way, Terry and I remembered seeing Cane Creek Falls, located in TN’s “Falls Creek Falls State Park.”  On a whim, we drove the hour or two out of the way to just go check out this beautiful park and waterfall.  When we arrived, it was evident this area, a few hours north of Desoto Falls, received a ton of rain.   Terry and I were intrigued with the falls, as it seemed to be at a low, but runnable level.   After doing our due diligence, scouting the lip, identifying access, take out logistics and safety hazards, the decision was made that a two man team on a waterfall of such height would not be ideal. With a short, but super steep and sketchy hike out from the base of the falls, it was clear if a boater were injured they would not be able to get out with the help of only 1 other person.   While once again disappointed, we left the falls feeling oddly content; Knowing we made the right call at the time, and also figured out a lot of the leg-work that would be required to one day attempt this waterfall.

      I knew we’d be back, I just didn’t know when it would be…

      Turns out, the winter rains stormed back across the plateau only 3 days later, and that’s when I called upon the StoutMaster Levi to help me put this plan into action.   After a series of frantically checking levels, texting back and forth and deciding if we had it in us, Levi and I committed to meeting at the falls late that night;    With prior knowledge of Terry’s and my experience just days before, Levi rounded up 2 other local boaters to come and assist with the safety this waterfall.

      Levi and I linked up at about midnight that evening, and had a pretty quiet night around the fire.    With water levels dropping fast, we knew our best chance of a decent flow would be to catch it as early as we could.  7 a.m. rolled around and we geared up and drove a mile or two down the road for the moment of truth.       Immediately upon laying eyes on the falls, it was apparent there was plenty of flow, and that one of our dreams was about to become a reality.

      Having already done much of the homework on this waterfall, our team of 4 shuffled into their positions and within 15 – 20 minutes of laying eyes on the falls, we were in our boats about to drop off the horizon line.

      I opted to go first;  As I approached the lip, I quickly realized I was about two feet further to the left than I had anticipated. The water at the lip got real shallow looking and I prayed I didn’t scrape / scrub my speed.  After feeling the boat straighten out and drop vertical, I braced for impact, hanging onto my paddle as tight as I could. (My previous experiences of throwing my paddle, or losing my paddle are not great :).     The hit came and I was impressed with the soft transition, only to realize my paddle had been swiped and that a booty beer was now in my eminent future. . ..  A few sub-par, flailing handrolls, I was gassed and left swimming comfortably to the left bank below.      I got out, did a quick check to make sure I had all my limbs, and began to set safety for Levi.    Moments later, The Man came rolling over the lip, tossed the paddle mid way down the falls and did his “hobbit tuck”, nearly hiding completely in his cockpit 🙂 🙂  Boom, he crushed his first handrail and emerged with smiles for miles!

      The joy and excitement at the bottom was indescribable and left us with nothing but sore cheeks from cheesing so much!


      • This topic was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by CJW4D.
    • #15902
      • Total Posts: 69

      Awesome.  Huge respect!!


    • #15906
      • Total Posts: 557

      Great report. I remember when we ran Cane Creek….the put in involved a very steep, chained trail and we roped boats down. Not a good place to have to exit with injuries! I also remember that Cane Creek Falls on a huge pile of rocks. So I assume you guys did the drop with enough water to avoid that?

      Some footage of the rest of your run down the creek would be nice…hint, hint.

      Great following your adventures.

      • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by McChuck. Reason: Don't let your grandchildren mix drinks. It sets a bad example, and they use too much mixer
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