Blue Hole Summer 2010 Roadtrip Diary

Here's the final update for my 2010 journeys up to Tennessee and to Blue Hole. :)

2010 Summer Roadtrip Diary

Dates Plans Comments
June 10th and 11th Thursday and Friday roadtrip made! Due to last-minute issues, Ripper and my friend Adam and his nephew Chesley were not able to come along, so instead of a full car, it was just me driving up, with my friend Jason, with Susan, her son Adam and her brother heading up separately from Columbus, GA. The water was higher, cloudier and chillier than normal, moreso on Thursday than Friday, so I didn't get any underwater vids. Not too much sun, either, with a bit of rain Thursday evening and a downpour on Friday when we got there. Still, not a bad trip.
June 23rd and 24th Wednesday and Thursday roadtrip made! Brilliant sun, lower -- and extremely warm -- water at Blue Hole....but a lot of kids and crowds there both days, at times probably around 100 or so, from various tour- and church-groups. Hoping this isn't a common occurrence all summer! My friend Ripper came along on the ride this time. I managed to get two vids (see below) and a couple of pics which I'll post shortly.
July 1st and 2nd Thursday and Friday roadtrip made! MUCH better than last week, with sunshine all day Thursday and parts of Friday and no rain. No really large annoying groups of kids this time, either! Water was warm, although not quite the hot-tub it felt like last time. For this trip, it was just me, no-one else came up.
Click here for NEW 2010 videos, both above- and underwater clips.
July 14th and 15th Wednesday and Thursday roadtrip made! My friend Adam came along on this particular roadtrip with me, and my friend Chris K. drove up with his girlfriend Diane just for the one day on Wednesday. Really awesome weather both days with not too many clouds and temperatures in the comfortable mid-to-upper 80s. There were some people there who had discovered Blue Hole thanks to my website, linked to from :)
Saw quite a few familiar faces up there including Nathan, my friend Randall and his son Siddhartha, and -- for the first time in around four years -- my friend Gabrial from Cleveland, TN.
Videos from this trip are now posted!
July 28th and 29th Wednesday and Thursday roadtrip made! I had misplaced my digital camera after my last visit, so alas, no vids from this trip, but I did take a few photos with a disposable underwater camera I picked up as a backup. (I found the digital u/w camera just AFTER returning from this trip...oops.) These pics -- just a few -- are posted here!
The water was a bit high, chillier and cloudier than normal on Wednesday but not impossibly so, but aside from one downpour at around 3pm the weather stayed dry. On Thursday we discovered the reason for the cloudy water: TVA had done a water release overnight on Tuesday, sounding the alarm at 7pm. People said the water hadn't arrived as late as 8:30, but the cloudy water indicated there was some extra flow later that night. The water was back to normal -- clear and warm -- on Thursday. We were told that another water release was also planned for Thursday night, but as of 8:30pm the alarm had not sounded and no extra water was visible. ( would have been fun to watch.)
Turns out that the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is in the process of drawing down Blue Ridge reservoir in order to to do some work on Blue Ridge dam, hence the overnight water-releases. Apparently they had been releasing water during the daytime during the prior week, but due to complaints, and the fact that this resulted in a dangerously high flow in the Middle Ocoee for rafting, TVA went to an overnight release program.
August 11th and 12th Wednesday and Thursday roadtrip made! This was an interesting trip, as TVA was still in the process of releasing water overnight through the gorge, and did so Tuesday and Wednesday the water was fairly cloudy both days. On Wednesday night the water-release alarm began sounding at almost exactly 7pm and continued to voice-warn us to get out of the river until 8:40 pm, but I stayed until 9pm -- almost full dark -- and I never did see any water arrive. There was definitely a release, though, since the water was cloudy and somewhat high on Thursday as well. Thursday night we all expected the alarm to sound, alarm. I got video of the alarm and some other above-water vids, but only one underwater vid since the water was cloudy. Still a fun trip, though, and much less crowded since school is back in session!
August 19th and 20th Thursday and Friday roadtrip made! Despite relatively dire weather forecasts, the weather on Thursday was really nice and sunny, and the weather on Friday stayed dry until later in the afternoon, when a shower chased me out of the river for a while. Judging from the reasonably clear condition of the water it appeared as if TVA did not run much, if any, extra flow through the riverbed overnight. With school back in session the area was pretty quiet, too, and there was never a time when more than 15 people were present at the main Blue Hole section itself.
Acting on a tip from my friend Adam from earlier in the summer, I went upriver a bit farther than "Little" Blue Hole and found yet another nice area deep enough to really swim in, about 3 minutes up the trail from there. This area, while smaller and more shallow (and with fewer fish), has easier access from the trail and a nice "beach" access into the water.
All in all a pretty good trip, but it was pretty quiet both days. I did sell one of my masks to a guy named Ty for $20, though. :)
All videos from 2010 are now posted in this playlist on YouTube.

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