Find Olympic-Class Thrills on Tennessee's Ocoee River

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), July 2, 2006 | Go to article overview

Find Olympic-Class Thrills on Tennessee's Ocoee River


Byline: Reid Bramblett

I want to make one thing clear: I did not fall out of the boat; the boat fell out from around me. When the raft got sucked down into a hole of violently churning white water, I simply stayed in place, paddling furiously in midair, like Wile E. Coyote in that moment before gravity kicks in.

It didn't matter that Tennessee's Ocoee River ranks among Canoe Magazine's top 10 stretches of white water in America, or that this 10-mile section features some 20 Class III and IV rapids, or even that this was the very course used for the canoe/kayak slalom in the 1996 Olympic Games.

No, all that counted was that I had an audience for my unintentional dip. I popped out of the raft right as we passed the Ocoee Whitewater Center off U.S. Rte. 64/74. Dozens of landlubbers were strewn along the rocky shoreline to watch the parade of rafts tackling the white water and kayaking virtuosos honing their freestyle skills.

One of the people watching was my girlfriend, to whom I had - rather foolishly - given my camera for safekeeping.

So, while there are no pictures of my five raft mates and me thrashing and high-siding through the gnarly rapids of Let's Make a Deal, Blue Hole and Slam Dunk, there is a series of photographs of me getting spiked at Humongous - the largest rapid on the Upper Ocoee - then flailing about in the white water while clinging to the side of the raft.

Stuck between a rock and a hard current:

I had intended to photograph other parts of the river, especially the calm stretches through the big, piney quiet of the Cherokee National Forest. However, I lost my waterproof camera when, about 15 feet down river of the put-in site, we managed to wrap the raft around a rock.

The Upper Ocoee averages 1,400 cubic feet of water per second (that's 628,320 gallons every minute), a swift current that kept us pinned against the rock and up to our bellies in surging water throughout 20 minutes of aborted rescue attempts that would have been comical had the water not been so very cold.

While our trainee rafting guide repeatedly failed to catch the lifelines thrown by his colleagues onshore, we busied ourselves fruitlessly trying to fight the river by hauling on the submerged edges of the raft, occasionally pausing to let our teeth chatter and to throw dirty looks at passing boats in more skilled hands.

Finally, we wrenched our rubber dinghy far enough around the rock that the powerful current suddenly worked in our favor. The river grabbed our raft, spun it into the stream, and we were on our way to nearly four hours of white-water thrills . …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Find Olympic-Class Thrills on Tennessee's Ocoee River
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.