Here's a final update for my 2014 journeys up to Tennessee and to Blue Hole!
|June 2nd and 3rd, 2014||Monday and Tuesday roadtrip made!||
This turned out to be a pretty good roadtrip, the only drawback being a bit of a chill in the air, especially on Monday.
The air temp peaked at around 80-82 both days and the water near the tunnels peaked at around 76F on Monday due to bright sunlight, and 74
on Tuesday. Still, not too bad and there was enough weak sun through clouds that I got a bit of a burn.
Met some really cool people up there and when I went into the Whitewater Center to get my National Forest pass, the ranger told me I had quite a following.
Despite the Whitewater Center being closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays all summer, the Center's restrooms were open and unlocked on Tuesday.
Pics from the first trip are now posted here. Didn't get too many underwater shots because the water was cloudy on Monday (one day after it was high for rafting) and the sun wasn't out much on Tuesday. Despite a 50% chance of rain on Tuesday, it never did!
|June 10th and 11th||Tuesday roadtrip made; Wednesday cancelled due to weather||Nice day on Tuesday until a storm came through at around 5:30, so I headed back home since the forecast for Wednesday was for cooler temps and storms likely.|
|June 17th and 18th||Tuesday and Wednesday roadtrip made||Although the website for Ocoee #3 dam seemed to indicate an "acceptable" flow-level (1,300 cf/sec), the website now also says that Ocoee #3 will be spilling until further notice. This meant the current was too high on the 17th for safe swimming, although some swimming was still possible. On the 18th the water was low, though, and it was the best single day so far this summer! Air temperature around 90 and the water temp maxed out at around 79.|
|June 24th and 25th||Tuesday roadrip cancelled due to rainy, cool weather, but awesome Wednesday visit made!||
I gambled and drove up from the NW side of Atlanta late Tuesday night and happily there was still a vacancy at my usual motel in Cleveland, TN.
I was at the river all day Wednesday, from noon 'til around 9pm...a very late departure for me.
Met some awesome people this trip (especially Josh, Spencer, Zak and James from Athens GA) and the water was low,
clear and finally nice and warm (81 degrees F)!
Pics from this trip are now posted here!
2014 Blue hole vids are now located here!
|July 2nd-July 6th||Extended holiday roadtrip made!||
Since I had actually goten my requested days off, I had some time to play with. On July 2nd I went
to Six Flags Whitewater Park in Marietta. The original plan was to stay part of the day and then head
up to Blue Hole for late afternoon, but due to some weirdness at Whitewater I ended up staying until they closed
at 7pm. I drove directly up to Cleveland TN to stay overnight there before heading to Blue Hole for the day on
Thursday, but I hit something on the freeway and blew a tire on the way up. I was able to get it replaced quickly
in Cleveland the following morning and spent a nice day at Blue Hole. I overnighted in Etowah, TN thanks to my friend
Derek (it's about 45 minutes from Blue Hole via the astonishingly curvy, dangerous and fun Tennessee Route 30), went
back to Blue hole for the first part of the July 4th holiday before -- regrettably -- departing for my mom's house
(and its nice pool) back in Georgia, loaded with fireworks for us to shoot off. Which we did.
Photos from this day-and-a-half visit to Blue Hole are posted here...sadly, no underwater pics since the water was relatively cloudy. Since TVA's Ocoee #3 site had been showing river flow values of over 1,400 cubic feet per second as late as 8 or 9 am on Thursday, it's possible the river was "up" a bit that morning and, hence, cloudier water the rest of the day.
|July 15th and 16th||Tuesday and Wednesday roadtrip made!||
The weather was a bit foreboding for this trip: a cold-front swept through the area on Tuesday, bringing a brief shower
to Blue Hole and dropping the humidity and the temperature greatly overnight, so Wednesday was dry, crisp and chilly...but
also cloudless, which made the water nice and warm but the air chilly at times. Saw a lot of people there including
two boy scout troops on Wed., one of which used this site as part of their research. On Tuesday a guy named Nathan
brought his scuba BCD (vest, gauges, regulator etc.) to test his new tank and after offering it to his two friends (whose
names I've forgotten, sorry), he let me play around with it also. VERY cool and it was the first time I've ever actually
worn a BCD with the tank. Also met and hung out with Asher, Noah, their parents and sister, who were cool.
I left a little early both nights as it was getting chilly and late-arriving church groups had arrived, with 50+ kids each night. (!)
Just a couple of pics this time, of people: here.
A few underwater vids -- the water was finally pretty clear -- are being posted here!
|July 29th and 30th||Tuesday and Wednesday roadtrip made!||
Another cold front had come through -- two in two weeks in the middle of summer! -- and it was again
somewhat chilly and very dry air at Blue Hole Ocoee. Two good days in the river, though!
Pics are now posted here. A couple of videos are being posted here also.
|August 5th and 6th||Tuesday and Wednesday roadtrip to Blue Hole cancelled||Since it was the last week of daily operations at Whitewater Park in Atlanta and Six Flags Over Georgia, I went there instead and got some more use out of my season pass.|
|August 19th and 20th||Tuesday and Wednesday roadtrip made!||
Very uncrowded both days, with warm temperatures and lots of sun, finally! We had a brief downpour on Tuesday
but it didn't faze the few of us (no more than 10-15 total all day) who were there.
Severe thunderstorms on Wednesday chased me out early at around 6:30; power was out to Ducktown, Copperhill and half of McCaysville and a tornado was spawned from the same supercells in Gilmer Co. in Georgia...so my year at Blue Hole was closed out not with a bang, but a bigger bang!
Pics from this visit are posted here.
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