Ocoee Trip Report

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    • #2491
      • Total Posts: 69

      I know a lot of people have paddled the Ocoee before, but I just thought I would share the trip I had with my two boys and CT Mike.  Two had never run the middle Ocoee and 3 had never run the Upper so I new it was going to be memorable.  We rolled into Thunder Rock Campground at midnight Thursday.  Let me just say Thunder Rock is a great place to camp for the Ocoee.  I know they don’t allow alcohol, but the benefits of camping there are more than worth it.  We were in no hurry to paddle Saturday.  Instead we drove a mile up river tot the olympic course and hiked up to Blue hole for some swimming.  What a blast that was.  I knew my boys would love it.  Chris Kelly rules were in full swing.  We got up early and were there by 9 a.m. EST.  We had the whole place to ourselves.  It was great.  The rock is like a piece of swiss cheese.  You can swim under, through and around inside the rock.  I highly recommend taking an hour of your time to check it out.  Get there early, because people were pouring by 10:00 a.m.  We then drove over to the middle putin, had lunch and scouted Grumpy’s for 20 min.  We decided to try the right line to mix things up.  There is a nice boot on the river, just make sure you are driving left or you will land on some rocks just below.  We continued down stream and scouted Broken Nose.  Since Miek and Sam had never run th middle, it was very helpful and reassuring for them.  We scouted Double Suck and Double Trouble as well.  We then drove down to Hell Hole and scouted Cat’s Pajama’s and Hell hole itself.  By mid afternoon Andrew and Mike were raring to go.  We dropped them off at the put in and Sam and I drove down to watch them at each of the major rapids.  It was fun and a great learning experience for everyone.  After there were done we drove back to the top and Andrew and I got to paddle from Grumpy’s down to Goforth creek.    We were all excited about running the Upper on Saturday.  We drove into Copperhill for a a great dinner at Rio Mexican.  We goy up early again and were waiting at the upper gate before they opened it.  We drove and met a guy by the name of Rick Thompson.  We got a shuttle from him and he also led us down most of the rapids until the middle.  We ran Alien Boof.  Everyone did well,  Sam and I took the far left route at Blue hole which was much easier for him.  Sam walked the Race course while me, Andrew, and Mike all ran it.  It was just as exciting as I remember although we took mostly the left line al the way down.  When we got to Roach Motel, I was planning on running the meat on river left.  I told Sam to go far right of the trees and meet us below the rapid.  As we starting down towards Rocah Motel, Rick ask what we wanted to do and I said let’s run it all.  He leagued and said follow me.  He said he was going to go Right-Left-Right.  I said let’s do it.  We missed the first hole by only two feet on the right side.  He paddled hard left almost to the eddy in the middle and we missed the second hole on the left, then he paddled hard right and missed the last hole on just the left.  It was a great run.  Wath CT mikes Video inside of  Andrews video below and you will see he ploughed through each hole with his 12 ft stinger and made it look easy.  That boat is like a truck in the water.   We continued down to the middle Ocoee.  It was crazy busy.  I bet there were 50 rafts waiting to put in at the middle.  Sam and I decided to walk around Grumpy’s just to miss the traffic, while Andrew and Mike just walked to the front of the line and paddled out. I was nervous for Sam for big rapids like Broken Nose and Tablesaw.  Although I did my best to lead him down as best I could some rapids were just paling big for him.  He did really well.  His only swim was Accelerator.  He flipped and was tire and missed his role 3 times before he swam.  All in all it was a perfect day.  Sunday Andrew and I were up early.  We pack dup all of our gear and launched our boats directly from our campsite (#11) at Thunder Rock.  Who cool is that to just paddle from your camp site.  We were at the middle put in by 9:00 a.m.  No one was around we walked down and putin and paddle down stream.  We didn’t see a kayak or raft all morning.  Probably one of the best runs on the Ocoee I have ever had.  We loaded up the suburban and headed home before 11 a.m.  It was an awesome weekend.  Oh yeah.  One last thing.  Take the time to drive up to sme of the over looks to the right o Ocoee lake on the way home.  Some of the best views I have ever seen.   See you in October for the Gauley run.

      Make Sure to click on the two links below for video.  I couldn’t get it to link properly to show the video in the post.

      The Olympic course without water

      Blue Hole without water

      Swimming at Blue Hole

      Overlook at Lake Ocoee

      Overlook even higher up



      Sam’s Ocoee Run 

      Andrew’s Ocoee Run





      • This topic was modified 9 years ago by WillPaddle.
      • This topic was modified 9 years ago by WillPaddle.
      • This topic was modified 9 years ago by WillPaddle.
      • This topic was modified 9 years ago by WillPaddle.
      • This topic was modified 9 years ago by WillPaddle.
      • This topic was modified 9 years ago by WillPaddle.
      • This topic was modified 9 years ago by WillPaddle.
    • #2502
      • Total Posts: 413

      Great videos and that’s an awesome view. Definitely going to have to check that out when I’m out there next. Happy to hear Sam did so well. He was in my Spring class at the Saint.

    • #2513
      • Total Posts: 104

      The trip with Will and his boys was amazing.  I think my tent was about 10 yards from the channel for the middle, so our alarm clock was the sound of the river coming alive as they released the dam.  Swimming in blue hole was really cool, with an edge of anxiety, over the rock formations we would be paddling over and around the next day.  I also found another little tunnel under a boulder down stream that Will’s boys and I were swimming underneath until a big grumpy fish started biting all out feet and hands, it was pretty funny how fast we swam out of there.  Putting in on the middle with Andrew Friday afternoon was a rush I will never forget.  I hadn’t been in my boat for about a month as I was trying to rehab my shoulder and then bam no warm up and go.  My shoulder was great the entire time trip and I have now realized that its the surfing that gives me problems, so I am excited to focus on river running and creeking in the future.  I appreciate Will’s complements for the Stinger, but I managed to find its limitations on the middle on day 2.  Rafts were every where and I made the mistake of getting to close behind one as it got stuck in Slice and Dice (past second helping).  Andrew went off to the right and I went over a ledge to the left and immediately got stuck sideways in a hole/trench, I side surfed for a while, tried to go forward and realized I was going no where, so over I went.  I tried reaching for the bottom, then rolled up still in the hole briefly, then went back down.  After a couple more attempts I had to do my first ever wet exit in whitewater.  I held on to my boat and paddle.  Then Will woke me up and told me to swim for shore as we were heading toward Moonshoot.  It was like somebody had stripped me of my Super powers going from paddling a boat to swimming with a paddle in my hand.  Well, after a while of bouncing and rolling over rocks and through another hole I made it to shore, while Will and Andrew managed to pull my “Truck” out of the river.  Thanks a lot Will and Andrew for getting my boat.  I learned so many lessons from that experience, and a new dislike of rafts.

      Thanks again for the trip Will!  I really enjoyed paddling and hanging out with You, Andrew and Sam!

      CT Mike

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