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Little River

Jay Thomas contributes this trip report from the weekend.

Little River
Elkmount to Sinks

Spalding and I did the Little River section from Elkmont campground to the Sinks in the Smokies on Saturday. Weather started out a beautiful sunny 50+ degree day, later getting a bit windy and cooler. Water temp was ice cold. Scenery was sweeeeeet. Continuous class II to II+ rapids for the first 4-5 miles with a couple possible III’s with the water level at a lower-than-average 650cfs. Reminded both of us of a continuous Red River run.

I had a battle with a tree limb going though the class III rapid under the road bridge that I won, but the water double teamed me and I flipped and swam. Watched the boat run the next class III without me and disappear around the turn. Spalding was able to catch up with the boat and set up a sweet boat rescue off the pinned predicament it got into. We were able to pull it loose with the help of a throw rope and his new caribeaner. I got my blood flowing again after the cold swim and we scouted and ran the next class III rapid no problem, then I had my second swim after a rock flipped me in a wimpy little rapid. I was done with about 3 miles left so with the road following the river the whole way, I hitchhiked back to the car and came back to get Spalding.

All-in-all the run is awesome! The length of the run, the work needed to constantly rock dodge, the cold, and the hangover got to me toward the end and I was with it enough to call it quits, but what a sweet virgin ride in my new creek boat!