Ocoee

27 07 2008

Weekend started early Saturday morning, well at least early for me on a Saturday, I was out of the bed by 6:30 and headed to the Ocoee for a little paddling tune up with Preston.  I planned on sleeping in the car a little bit on the drive, however I made the mistake of drinking 4 shots of espresso which blew that idea out of the water.   

We arrived and were on the river relatively early, and it was not crowded at all.  I have been paddling for over 20 years, but I came across a two things on Saturday that I had never seen on the river or at the river.  First Preston caught a shuttle with a guy who scubae dives in the river looking for buried treasure, that have been lost by those having out of boat experiences.  Preston told me about his shuttle and I had to go talk to the guy. He was proud of his assortment of things he had found, and his most prized possesion was the Mr. T gold necklace he was sporting.   I tiold him I was jealous.  He also dives in the Tennessee right below the aquarium in Chattanooga, and among his treasure finds are lots of old bottles and essentially trash.  But what was most interesting was the guy told me the river is only 18 feet deep in front of the aquarium. There is a very slim chance you will ever find me scuba diving, much less in the Tennessee, even if you can guarantee me finding a gold necklace.

Secondly, I saw a guy wih no legs on a raft trip.  I saw him coming down the ramp at the put-in, using his hands to propel himself down the concrete ramp while the rest of his group listened to their trip talk.  I’m not even sure what to say, other than this guy is an inspiration for me.  We left the put-in and paddled down to the staging area and did some drills and tweaked rolls.  After a few minutes they guy wiith no legs paddled down with his raft.  He was hanging onto a rope in the raft and was sitting directly in front of the guide, and had the biggest grin on his face.  He was sitting up like everyone one else in the raft on one of the thwarts.  It can be difficult at times when you have even  both your legs to stay in the raft, but I suppose this guy wanted to experience the raft trip like veryone else, physical disabilities be damned.  No doubt he is going to be my inspiration this week. 

The rest of the trip was uneventful, which is good.  Preston styled everything and seemed confident in his abilities.  Now to see if we can take that away from him.  Glad I’m not learning to kayak from myself. 

Got back to Atlanta late afternoon because of work so I was unable to run in the mountains, and knowing I was going to do a long runer Sunday, I decided to do some sppedwork at the track at Wheeler.  Ouch, now I know why I never had anything to do with track in high school, and will hopefuly not ever again at any point in my life.  Managed 4 quarters, each at 1:24, so I am stoked with my consistency, but destoyed by the fact that some people do that at a much faster pace with hurdles thrown in.  I could not have jumped over a creal box!

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