Adventures you don't want to miss, on and off the water!
Adventures you don't want to miss, on and off the water!
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Harpeth River Cleanup Honoring Jessica Graham 
October 3
TSRA mourns the recent death of Jessica Graham, former TSRA operations manager. We will not forget Jessica and her passion for our rivers, and we are truly grateful for the time and talent she shared with TSRA.
Please join TSRA and the Friends of Harpeth River State Park at a cleanup on the Harpeth River on Saturday, October 3 in honor of Jessica. The cleanup base will be in the Kingston Springs City Park across the Harpeth from L. L. Burns Park. Paddlers will go from here to the Hwy 70 river access. Walkers will clean up along the river in the park area.
Volunteers should bring gloves; we will provide garbage bags and mesh bags for paddlers. We ask that participants practice social distancing when possible and wear a mask or cloth face covering if social distancing is not possible.
Saturday, October 3, 9:00 a.m. (rain date is October 10)
 TSRA Introduction to Kayak Fishing
October 24 
TSRA Board member Geoff Luckett is teaching TSRA's first kayak fishing class on Saturday, October 24. In this class, entry level paddlers or anglers will learn about safety, equipment and trip planning, followed by an afternoon on the water working on proper paddle strokes and fishing.
Geoff is the only ACA-certified Kayak Fishing Instructor on the east coast, as well as a professional school teacher and founder of the 6,000-member Tennessee Kayak Anglers group, so students will be in great hands that day. Class will be held on J. Percy Priest Lake, but weather the week before will dictate the exact location. Class size is limited to allow for proper social distancing on land, so register early!
Cost: $45 TSRA Members, $55 Non-Members
TSRA Full Moon Overnight Paddle on Clear Creek
October 30 - November 1
Full moon on Halloween -- what better time for a paddling trip? Spend a night on the banks of Clear Creek on the Cumberland Plateau with TSRA. This will be a guided trip consiting of two days of flatwater-class II paddling and two nights of camping.

Water levels will dictate the run, but the planned trip is Clear Creek from Hwy 127 bridge in Clarkrange to Jett Bridge on Genesis Road (24.5 miles). Backup plan is Leatherwood Ford Bridge in Big South Fork Recreation Area (BSF) to Blue Heron Mine (27 miles). Both runs are flatwater to class II with portages. Clear Creek has one portage, BSF has two portages.

Participants must provide their own overnight gear, food, cooking utensils, and water. Think ultralight backpacking and dry bags. The trip is entirely self-supported, meaning your boat must hold food, clothes, camping gear, and everything else. Be sure you can keep your things organized, secure and dry on the river. Average temps for late October/early November are low 40°F to high 65°F.
Cost: $45 TSRA Members, $55 Non-Members
Register for this trip on TSRA's website beginning October 2.
A Hiwassee River Poem by M. M. Buckner
Written for TSRA member Tom Christensen, to celebrate his triumph over cancer
Cold clear blue Hiwassee, listen to its song, wade and dip your hands for its blessing
Then settle into your boat, push off and ferry slantwise across the currents
All the way to the place where glassy waters ripple over long green stems
Then drift and spin and smile at the mountains rising around you like a caress
Sweep right to Cabin Bend, or left to catch Eddy Rock
Surf in the long rolling white and ferry and surf again
Feel yourself in the flow, feel the hot sun drying droplets on your face
Feel the water streaming through your mind, carrying away your troubles
And suddenly you’re galloping fast, fast, faster down through Double Chutes
Surf there if you’re brave, let the water’s electricity fuel your muscles
Let its quickness accelerate your thought, let its sparkle ignite you
And don’t forget to watch for bald eagles perched in the tops of dead trees
Teaching Spot comes next, named for all the beginner classes
Where students first learn how to eddy and peal out, how to ferry and turn
All of which you’ll need in the serpentine riffles just below
Where you eddy quick to catch the pour-overs and let the surf waves pull you in
Then try if you can to thread the needle at Bigny’s Rock
Plow right toward it with all your strength and keep the line and don’t stop
Till the very last second when you pivot fast and drop through and laugh
But watch out for the wicked eddy that follows with its hungry boiling line
But look now, far across the wide river where the great blue heron lifts off from an island
Watch him as you whirl in bouncy blueness, ride the wave chains, ease through lazy grasses
Around islands and bumpy shallows and gaggles of Canada geese
Watch an osprey fish, and catch a butterfly on your sleeve
Then line up for the rousing white splash when you dive over Oblique Falls
And on and on you twirl and dance and talk to your friends, always talk, and talk some more
Then pick your course through the long winding staircase called Lunch Stop shoals
Pull to shore if you’re tired, and say hello to the little brown snakes who sleep along the bank
Below this place, you have a choice, go left or go right around Little Rock Island
Choose left for a playful foaming drop into glorious waves and hydraulics
Then turn through the narrow tree-roofed lane between isles where the river’s song is hushed
Or choose right for three wide surf holes, the Three Bears, and naturally Baby Bear is most fun
Onward you glide, and take any path you like through the Chutes, tricky or trickier, fast or faster
The swift water rinses you clean, your ears, your nose, your mouth, your hair and skin
Till you feel purified and whole all the way through to your spine
A clean you can’t come by anywhere else in the world but on this river
And now you begin to feel that happy sadness as you watch the sun decline
So you stop again to make it last, stop in the mouth of Big Lost Creek where the water’s warm
Rest a while and look at the wildflowers, maybe practice your roll, or maybe just breathe
Because the last and best is coming, the rollercoaster thrill of Devil Shoals
Those high standing waves bounce you like a baby, and once is not enough
So you circle back and work your way upstream, ferrying through currents, fighting higher
Till you turn downstream just to feel that last bouncy ride all over again
And after that, all is drifting and dreaming and watching the clouds
Calm now, letting your boat have its own way, turning to look in every direction
Saving everything up in your memory to make it last till next time
Because all at once you’re at the take-out, draining the water from your boat
And feeling your own energy drain out of you, and feeling divine
Remember TSRA During Workplace Giving Campaigns
Community Shares
Thank you to donors and friends who contribute to Community Shares and a special thank you to those who designate their donations to TSRA. Community Shares raises funds for member organizations through workplace giving campaigns and individual donations. TSRA has been a member of Community Shares Tennessee for nearly 30 years in the environmental protection category. By empowering social and environmental change, member groups work on projects that will have a lasting impact in our local communities. Please consider becoming a workplace giving partner or donor to Community Shares by visiting Thank you for your support!
TSRA Rescue for Rec Boaters
Community Shares
TSRA Rescue for Rec Boaters, September 2020
(photo by Iïsha Lemming)
TSRA instructor Ellen Omohundro spent a beautiful day on Percy Priest with four students, one all the way from Memphis, at TSRA's Rescue for Rec Boaters class on September 20. Their safety strategy was 1) prevention, which includes always wearing a life jacket for water sports; knowing before you go, dressing to swim, and communication plans; 2) self rescue; and 3) assisted rescue (reach, throw, row, go). Students practiced swimming with boats to shore, throwing ropes to assist swimmers, wading, towing paddlers, and recovering boats. Everyone figured out at least two ways to get back in their boat in deep water using various cowboy scramble and heel hook techniques. Instructors also demonstrated Hand of God and T-rescues that while commonly reserved for rivers, come in handy for some lake situations.
To continue their learning, all students received the ACA Essentials of River Kayaking book, US Coast Guard's "Paddle Smart, Paddle Safe" sheet and stickers, and the Boy Scouts of America DVD, Reading the Rhythms of Rivers and Rapids. Thank you to Ellen, Jessie Beckett, Kris Crawford and Mark Long, as well as the hardworking students, for making the day a success!
TSRA Creekside Chat with Bob Lantz: Watch it on Facebook
Community Shares
Bob Lantz spent a delightful 90 minutes with TSRA in July, sharing stories about early open canoe whitewater paddling in Tennessee, the genesis of the Blue Hole Canoe Company and his involvement with TSRA. If you missed the live event you can watch the recording on TSRA's Facebook page. Thank you, Bob, for sharing such great memories with us!
Find TSRA on Social Media
Find us on Twitter! Watch us on You Tube!
TSRA Paddler Chat on Facebook is a place where friends and family of the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association come together to talk about boats and gear, plan paddle trips and tell river stories. 
In order TO JOIN THIS GROUP you must:
1) Request to join the group, and
2) Sign a waiver to acknowledge that the trips we plan here are just groups of Common Adventurers enjoying the river together. 
*The good news is that you can sign this waiver once and it will cover all TSRA Common Adventurer trips from now on! 
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Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association
P.O. Box 159041, Nashville, TN 37215-9041

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