Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Varnished the Wood Strip Canoe

Just varnished the wood strip canoe. Hasn't been refinished since I built it. Hanging above it is a Seliga that I am refinishing as well.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Overnight paddle with Drew

Drew Berman had never canoed with me so I took him to Tellico Lake and stayed at the site near Jackson Bend Island.  The highlights were coyotes, barred owls, stir fry chicken, shooting stars, and good conversation.  And he wanted MRE's...ha ha ha.  He had no idea who he was camping with!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Fontana and Tuckaseegee River Trip (Aug 3-5)

Nelson Fields and I paddled for three days on Fontana August 3-5.  We began at Tsali and camped the first night at NPS Campsite 78 which is normally beautiful, but has been recently damaged with fallen trees and littered with MANY mounds of toilet paper. Just a shame.  We cleaned some of the mess.  On day two we paddled all the way to Bryson City at the public boat ramp and back to Indian Ridge islands....long day!  Sunday was a quick paddle back to Tsali.  We experienced lots of rain (which was awesome), thunder and lightning, barred owls, screech owls, osprey, bald eagles, a waxing moon, warm temps, and good conversation.  I just love that lake!  The highlight for me was the thunder in that valley! 

Monday, July 23, 2012

TOQUA campsites

Situated across Tellico lake from the Toqua campground and boat ramp, are three campsites established with boaters in mind.  The first sets on a point with two tent pads and lantern hooks.  There is no mistaking the oak tree with lightning damage either.  Farther into the cove are two other sites with tent pads, fire rings, and lantern hooks as well.  All three have easy canoe access into and out of the water, with the middle site perhaps having the best access.  The problem I saw was ATV trails that led to the sites from a nearby road and thus I had visitors in my site during the night.  Just be advised that because of the ease of access, you might not be the only person enjoying your campfire or dinner!

I carried out five bundles of party favors from someone else's use of the site...this was too bad, but unfortunately I have come to expect this.  As I was cleaning up the piles of trash, I thought, "These campers do not know the Creator, because they would not have done this if they knew Him."

This is what the site looked like after is was cleaned (at least I was able to get some of the trash stowed...there was some more that needs to be removed)....

Monday, April 9, 2012

Tellico Blueway overnight

 Beautiful morning on the Tellico Blueway!

Sunrise at our campsite with fog, diamond grass highlights, and a warming sun!  We counted 31 species of birds, mammals, fish, and reptiles on the overnight trip. Fantastic!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Coytee Springs and up toward Hall Bend on Tellico

Three silos near the Tommotley neighborhood on Tellico Lake.  Kind of a windy day on the lake.  It took me forever to paddle from Poplar Springs to Coytee Springs where I camped.  Since I am paddling the entire Little T shoreline, I have to go into every cove and inlet.  The wind was about 30 knots Friday and fought me every turn!

HOWEVER...the next morning was awesome and still.  This is coming out of the cove at Coytee Springs. I paddled past 9 deer hunters that morning along the lake shore.

The Leaning Cedars of Powerline Cove were a neat thing to see.   I also saw a lot of the East Shore Trail since I have been paddling below Vonore.  To finish paddling the entire five lake system's shore line, I have only to paddle from Poplar Springs to the dam on both shores (one more over night) and it will be finished!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Broken bent shaft on Tellico

Ha ha ha....poor Charlie!   Charlie and I paddled on Tellico during Hurricane Lee on Labor Day weekend.  We had the whole lake to ourselves....I guess because we got 8" of rain!   Anyway, Charlie paddled so hard that he broke his 20 year old bent shaft paddle!  Just thought you would like to see the picture!   Will someone buy him another?

Coytee Springs on Tellico Lake

What a beautiful paddle overnight with Nelson!
This is a campsite on a beach near the trail but off the main channel.  We hung our hammocks in the woods and had a fire on the beach.  AWESOME!
This is sunset in the cove.  BEAUTIFUL afternoon paddle!

How about THAT sunrise!  All this in the Coytee Cove area!

To finish the entire Little T shoreline paddle, I need to go from Coytee to the dam on both shorelines and paddle the section of Clear Creek.  Then I need to go to Fontana and finish Panther Creek and the section from the Lake up as far as I can go on the Nanny....and the entire shoreline of the Little T will be paddled!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bakers Creek paddle on Tellico Lake

Nice section of lower Tellico Lake!   This stretch begins at the Morganton Boat Ramp and ends about 5 miles or so upstream.  Only one campsite in this section and it is not all that nice for a get-away spot.  Not many places to get out of the canoe either. The places that are nice are apparantly on private property and a couple have the hilarious "Private Property" signs that I think are so funny on Tellico Lake. 
This is a nice oasis in Bakers Creek.  I do not know but I think it is private property even though its not posted.  It is very pretty!

This is as far as I could go on Bakers Creek.  The water level was about 6" deep and the creek was flowing and there was debris beyond here.  On a map this is the top of the second switchback.  You know where it is if you look at a map.

Anyway...nice paddle!   Try it!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Paddling with the boys on Chilhowee Lake

My boys and I went out for an overnight paddle to the grassy campsite on Chilhowee last weekend.  We had the lake to ourselves on Friday because it rained, was windy and had thunderstorms.  On Saturday several skiers and pleasure boaters were there.  We had a good fire, lots of chiggers and a good time.  Saw an eagle Friday evening as well.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Upper Chilhowee during July 4th

I did a solo trip for two days and one night on Chilhowee over the July 4th weekend.  I paddled Tabcat to the powerhouse and spend the night on the grassy campsite on river right between the former ferry and Tabcat.  GREAT campsite!   At the island campsite (sandy and flat) there is still an active beaver lodge.  Also there I saw a bear who quickly left the site and swam away.  Below was my favorite sight at that particular campsite...an Eagle.  It was in a tree at the campsite!

What a trip!  An eagle on July 4th weekend.  I have seen SOOOOO many eagles in the past couple of years on Fontana, Cheoah, Calderwood, Chilhowee and Tellico.  They are all over the place!

This is the campsite between Tabcat and the former ferry.  Nice!  Lots of poisen ivy however.   That night I heard three different screech owls all calling at the same time.   A deer came into camp duirng the night and woke me up.  A Kingfisher visited several times as well as a heron who flew by once.  I also saw several buzzards, crows, a couple of coots, ducks and geese.  Quite the nice spot, eh?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tellico Blueway again

Beautiful Memorial Day weekend!  Went paddling on the Blueway this morning.  We saw about two dozen blue heron, three hawks, crows, lots of carp and gar, saw a couple of kingfishers and about six osprey.  Here a few pics...note the cactus!  This is the secong place this year that I have seen the same species of cactus!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Rose Island AKA Mialoquo

Paddled Tellico from mile18.8 to 15.8 yesterday.  That is from the 411 bridge along the south shore to the Island Creek buoys and back down the northshore.  It took 4.5 hours and counting all the coves and islands was about 12 miles.  The most interesting thing was two bald eagles flying together in cove which parallels highway 411.  The eagles were soaring along with an osprey which then began to dive bomb the eagles.  What a sight.  Saw an osprey fold its wings and dive to the water bring up a fish in its talons.  The fish tail was flapping very fast as the osprey held the fish head first while flying along the shore.  Hilarious!  I could not find a good place to put-in around the 411 bridge.  Sequoyah Marina did not have a ramp or easy access, none of the industry had public access and I did not want to paddle from Vonore Beach.  So I had to park at the 411 bridge and put in down a steep bank.  You know the area...its the pull-off just as you go over the bridge south bound.  Good day!

Island Creek area of Tellico

Island Creek is located south of the Vonore Beach public access ramp.  The actual "creek" proceeds from the impoundment into this sheltered area and I was able to paddle about 1.5 miles up the creek until the vegetation prevented me from going any farther.   This is BEAUTIFUL and should be included in anyone's exploration of Tellico!

This is the only cactus I have located in the Little T drainage.   Surely this was planted by someone long ago since I cannot recall cactus being native to Tennessee.  For a good scavenger hunt item, this can be located in the Island Creek portion of Tellico Lake about a mile on the right after you depart from the Vonore boat ramp heading toward the main channel.  Does anyone know anything about this cactus or who lived here?

Eagle on Chilhowee Lake

My buddy Brian Bartos took this picture of an eagle that was in the vicinity of Tabcat ramp.  We watched this eagle hit the water twice taking fish.  The sound of its wings batting against the water was an awesome sound!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Weekend on Chilhowee

 I hope all had a great Good Friday!  We did at our church complete with bluegrass, moonpies, bible and Easter eggs!   After lunch Nelson and I departed for a night paddle on Chilhowee.  We heard Whipporwills, tree-frogs and a few fishing boats during the night.  At one point we had a wild hog or deer come through out site snorting....probably a pig.  I saw 6 shooting stars before I went to sleep in my new Castaway hammock.

This is at the island just above the ferry.  Beautiful sandy campsite with a beaver lodge (see below).  The lodge is being used and we actually saw a beaver swimming nearby.  This is the nicest site on upper Chilhowee!

 We had lunch at the rocks at the end of the lake and saw a dead snake, lots of Bumblebees, tadpoles, lizards and a few fish.

Near Tabcat I was able to get a few shots of this Bald Eagle.  It was eating a large mouth bass on the shore and at the ramp it dove down to the water twice and brought up a fish.  LOUD splash!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Frozen Abrams Creek

Charlie and Phillip went alongh with me on a cold January afternoon to just get on the water for the first time in 2011.  What we found was a frozen Abrams Creek begining just below Panther Creek...check these pics:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The very upper part of Tellico Lake

The is about two miles above the Big Creek Boat Ramp in upper Tellico.  The ramp offers access to the area between the ramp and Sloan Bridge and the area between the ramp and where the river is moving and less than a foot deep.  Phillip and I paddled up stream from the rampo two weeks ago and kept going until the river is flowing and we had to paddle against the current.  The TVA/TRDA property ends at that point according to the map.  From the boat ramp upstream, the river is beautiful!  Limestone cliffs/rocks, trees creating a shady tunnel, smallmouth bass, and more!  Not many places to get out of the canoe along shore and not but one possible campsite this way.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Big Creek Boat Ramp on Tellico Lake

Phillip and I finished the eastern side of Tellico Lake (from 411 bridge, east) on Monday.  The "new" Big Creek TRDA Boat Ramp is actually on Fairview Road (which I think it has been or is AKA Sink Road).  Anyway, when you leave Vonore on 360 stay on 360 until it comes to a T-intersection.  A left turn keeps you on 360 and goes to Tellico Plains.  A right turn takes you off 360 and now you are on Ballplay Road.  Stay on it for a few miles until you get to an intersection with a road (Fairview) that turns to the left.  This intersection is in a curve.  After turning left stay on that road for a few more miles and the ramp is on your left.  Someone has taken the actual sign but the wooden frame is still there.  On Memorial Day there was still a small blue and white canoe logo sign at the turn off.  The parking lot is large and gravel with a very easy put in for canoes and kayaks.  At the waters edge left is "downstream" toward the lake proper and the right turn is "upstream" which will take you to Tellico Plains.  The water is still flowing very slowly here but you will see the flow stop within a mile of the put-in.  At that point is the actual lake.  TVA actually owns upstream another two miles or so as a part of the Tellico Reservation.

Significant on this stretch of water is this:
*  No jet skis
* No bass boats
* No sounds of motorcycles
* Shallow water
* Three small beautiful coves
* Rock walls
* Rhododendron on the lake shore!
*  There must be small mouth bass here...BUT I did not catch any!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tellico Blueway (Upper Tellico Lake)

Phillip and I at mile 14 at the TVA strip of land which is mowed and open.  What a beautiful place.  I was told that TVA owned a small strip of land between the water and a property marker.  It is a buffer for no development.  Man am I glad!  Note the cliffs....upper Tellico Lake has lots of these!

This part of the Tellico Blueway map shows the four designated campsites on Cagle Branch.  The three on the north side are all on an old roadbed.  The single site on the south shore is on a not-so-great campsite.  There is not much of a put-in at Sloan Bridge but there is a nice put-in at the Big Creek ramp.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Putting the restored 1954 Old Town back on water

The finished canoe ready to take to Tellico Lake for its first float since about 1982.

Anna in the Captains chair and me on the bow seat.  Man was that wind blowing!  It was back on the water at 2:00, December 2nd, 2009.  Yehaw!

Anna's picture from Facebook.  I LOVE IT!

Back on Annas car to be taken to its new home safe and sound.  The canoe is 16' long, made from wood and canvas, coated with four coats of red paint on the outside and five coats of varnish on the inside.  It weighs exactly 80lbs.

Paddling on Notchy Creek

Very cool cedar growing horizontal over the lake on upper Notchy Creek.  I am trying to paddle all of Tellico from the 411 Bridge east up to Chilhowee Dam and up to where the Tellico River stops running above Sloan Bridge.  I want to go into every cove and side stream.  I have only about 4 miles to go to meet my goal before December 31.  That would be from where Tellico River and Ballplay Creek meet and upstream to Sloan Bridge.

This is at the back of a very pretty cove across the lake from where Notchy Creek empties into Tellico Lake.  Very pretty.  It is the next cove below Kennedy Branch.

This is a really neat rock.  Note the hole all the way through it.  This is between Notchy Creek and Ballplay Creek.  When paddling along the lake banks you get to see all kinds of cool things.

This cliff is between Ballplay and Notchy Creek.  The old road bed is between me and the cliff.  As you get closer you can see the drill marks especially at the top of the cliff.  Apparently road builders either removed the rock to make the road or they used the materials from the cliff to build the road.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mid-Tellico Paddle

This is the new 2008 Newman Memorial Fishing Pier in Vonore.  Nice place to park and launch a canoe or kayak This is NOT a boat ramp...it is a fishing pier but had great access  the lake for a canoe or kayak.  From Vonore, take 360 and just before the first bridge look for the unsigned road to the left.
With sounds of muskets and canon fire last Saturday, Phillip and I completed my mid-Tellico paddling by marking off several miles around Ft. Loudoun and the 411 bridge area.  One thing I know, the area will look vastly different after the Sequoyah Marina and Resort is complete!  We visited the Tellico Blockhouse, Ft. Loudon reinactment, paddled to the Harbour Place development (which is the first major development along the entire Little T system) and I showed him the first private dock on the main channel as you paddle west or "downstream".   It was a great day with the osprey, deer, hawks, buzzards, crows, squirrels, osage orange trees, late-summer wild flowers and beautiful weather.
The first advertizement along the Little T

This is the first private dock along the whole Little T...it sets in front of a house of the Harbour Place development
This sinkhole is along the lake edge between the old 411 bridge and Harbor Place 

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Boy Scouts on Tellico

It has been a while since I posted but here are some pics of our latest BSA trip. We paddled from Harrison Branch down (west) to Four Mile Creek. There is a nice peninsula with a campsite on public land.

Above is our site with all our canoes. See Jeff Meyer with his tarp over the side of his boat? This is a classic canoer move! The Scouts in the foreground are learning about the use of Woods Tools and in the background they are getting ready to prepare meatball marenera for subs.

Dylan and Phillip were our chefs that night. Don't those peppers and onions look good?!

David is practicing throwing a teathered PFD to a "drowning" victim in the pic above.

Hard to see...but its a Bald Eagle. This bird came swirling down and grabbed a fish from the surface of the water and flew to a tree for lunch.

I just love it! Scouts on water in a canoe! Classic!