Blue Hole Summer 2001 Roadtrip Diary

Here's the final diary for my 2001 journeys up to Tennessee and to Blue Hole. :)

2001 Summer Roadtrip Diary

Dates Plans Comments
June 7-8 No Roadtrip Weather was chilly, plus I was worn out from the Fear Factory show :)
June 14-15 Roadtrip Made Good weather both days and the water wasn't really all that cold. Met some cool people up there, including Andy and Aaron, and several people from various church groups from TX and LA, including Brad and Matt. Water level about 4-5" over the top of the "Jesus rock" but not too bad. Overnighted at Dirk's and recorded his band Windhorse's stuff onto CD-R; he came up to Blue hole on Friday.
June 20-22 3-Day Roadtrip Made I'd asked off for June 20th with Bluehole in mind. :) Great weather on Wednesday and Thursday, and lots of cool people (including one family who gave me a soda as a thank-you for letting them borrow my diving masks). Water was a bit lower than last week. Overnighted Wed. night at Dirk's in Cleveland and camped out with him, Scott and friends on Thursday night. Weather was stormy on Friday, so I headed back early. Pictures from this trip and one from last week are posted here (mostly from the Ocoee #2 and #3 generator plants, and the rapids right below #2).
June 28-29 Roadtrip Made My friend Gabrial came along since his family still lives in Cleveland, TN. It had rained a lot during this week and the water was about 6-7" higher than the summertime norm -- doesn't sound like much but it makes a huge difference in flow and temperature. Water was chilly, but not so chilly that wearing wetsuits didn't make it tolerable. :) Smallish crowd each day, some showers on Thurs. and then Fri. morning. Weather improved during Fri. but we had to leave early so Gabe could be at work at 6pm.
July 3,4,5,6 Split roadtrip made I ended up getting July 3rd off work, too, so Gabe and I went up on the 3rd. We had a thunderstorm just after we got to Blue Hole, but we stayed a little while. Water still somewhat high and chilly. Left at around 6:30 and headed into Chattanooga for Chinese buffet and Mongolian barbecue, then to TN-AL Fireworks for...fireworks. :) Stayed til 2:30 on the fourth -- good-sized crowd and pleasant weather, Gabe used a wetsuit, I didn't. Dropped Gabe off at work in Atl. then went to my sister's place to shoot off fireworks. Thursday, attended the Braves game with Dirk, his mom and de-facto daughter Sierra, then went directly up to Cleveland afterward since the forecast for Friday said no rain. Nice day at Blue Hole on Friday, met some cool folks and finally got some more underwater photos, including a 'scaling' shot with a kid, Dylan, in the tunnels. Car broke down in Canton on the way back from Blue Hole that night -- timing belt had broken -- but incredibly I was able to have it towed to near my house and repaired by 2pm the next day!
July 12-13 No Roadtrip Had some things to do here in town, plus I was a bit leery of my car so soon after a major repair.
July 19-20 No Roadtrip G3 show with Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and John Petrucci from Dream Theater was on Thursday night, so I just stayed here. :)
July 25-27 3-day Roadtrip made I'd gotten back in touch with my friend Brian, who really wanted to return to Blue Hole, and we brought along his friend "Ripper" -- three longhairs invading Blue Hole. :) Had a great time, the weather cooperated nicely despite a bad forecast, and the water was a lot warmer, although the skinny kids used wetsuits. :) Sizeable crowds both days and the masks were often all loaned out. Spent the two overnights at the customary Heritage Inn in Cleveland, and we all turned Chinese for dinner both nights (Thurs. night we went to Jade Palace in Chattanooga.) Scott from Cleveland came by and hung out on Thurs. Since Gabe was returning to Atlanta briefly, he came up with us on Friday to Blue Hole and rode back into town with us. All in all a great time which we'll have to repeat sometime soon. Pics are in this gallery.
Aug. 2-3 Roadtrip Made Brian had to work and Ripper had to stay in town, so it was just me this time. They'd had a lot of rain in the Ocoee basin on Tuesday, and on Wednesday TVA had to make a rare emergency water release through Ocoee #3 dam, so on Thursday the water was quite cloudy (c. 6-foot visibility), although it wasn't unreasonably cold or high. Not too many people, which was kinda cool for a change from last week. Friday the water was somewhat clearer, although not quite perfect (15' visibility as opposed to 25 or 30:)) and there were more people there, although not too many people and, for a pleasant change, no huge rafting groups. Met cool people including 18-year-old Joe from Fla. with his German girlfriend and a group of camp counselors who really loved Blue Hole.
Aug. 9-10 Roadtrip Made Fun trip with good weather both days (some close calls with nearby thunderstorms) and delightfully warm water. No huge rafting groups, mostly smaller groups of locals, which was kinda cool also. Finished off one underwater camera -- if I can ever get them scanned in I'll post the pics. Overnighted at Heritage Inn in Cleveland.
Aug. 16-17 Roadtrip Made Had a great time with Ripper joining in this time since Brian couldn't make it -- as usual, my friends keep coming back for more. :)
Aug. 23-24 No Roadtrip Made I was too busy with Dragon*Con website stuff
Aug. 30-31 No Roadtrip It's Dragon*Con, a little soiree for 20,000 of our closest friends! :)
Sept. 6 Thursday-only Roadtrip Made Since I had a rental car after my car was crunched up at Dragon*Con, I figured "what the hell" and drove up for a one-day visit, since the weather was warm and Ripper reallly wanted to go. Water was a bit chilly and about 5" higher than summertime's normal flow due to some recent rains up there, but I was okay and Ripper used a wet-suit. It rained a bit (out of a sunny sky), so we left a bit early, found Gabe in Cleveland, and went to Jade Palace to eat before dropping Gabe back and high-tailing it back to Atlanta. Part of my 10-day Dragon*Con-related "vacation" with Ripper and Co. :)
Sept. 13-14 No roadtrip It was a bit too chilly.
Sept. 20-21 No Roadtrip Whitewater scheduled in the Upper Ocoee watercourse
Sept. 27-28 No Roadtrip The weather turned too chilly only a few days too soon! Now we can look forward to 2002! I've finaled out the second underwater camera and had the pics developed, but I don't have a way to scan them in yet. :(

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