First Cheoah Workday a Success
by Tom Hayes (email)
Contributed 08/30/2005 Responses: 0
On Saturday approximately 30 - 40 people worked from 9am until 5pm clearing and removing vegetation out of the Upper (rarely, if ever run) section of the Cheoah. This is the class III-IV? from the Damn down to Joanne's store (the normally used putin). It was a hardy bunch that showed up bright and early on Saturday morning and many parts of the SE were represented. There were folks from GA and TN along with quite a few from NC and possibly SC. According to Bob Hathcock, the volunteer coordinator, we managed to get about 2/3rds or 2 miles of the necessary clearing completed. A good time was had by all the participants as we eagerly imagined what our efforts would look like once water began running through this beautiful riverbed once again. With only 40 - 60 cfs in the river we had to envision the main channels at 850 -1000 cfs and clear 20 foot paths for the main flow. Hopefully we chose well. Volunteers are needed for September 10th still, so don't hesitate to contact either myself or Bob (email@example.com) to pledge your support. I was also able to get some more information regarding the releases and shuttle situation for this fall. All shuttling will be done through the NOC. The bus will cost $10 to ride and will leave from a parking lot in Robbinsville. It will drop everyone off at the put in and pick them up 9 miles later at the take out. No personel shuttles are allowed due to lack of parking. There will also be a $6 river use fee, half of which goes to the Forest Service to help them build put in and take out facilities and the other half going to the Grahm County Tourism Board (to help rent the parking lot in Rville). So make sure you bring $16 if you want to run the river. Since the shuttle goes all the way, it is advisable to have solid class IV boating skills if you wish to run this stretch of river. Also, there may still be vegetation obstructing some of the runnable channels as it is hard to see where the main flow will be in a dewatered river. However, there are plenty of other neat things to do in the area such as watching the boaters from one of the bridges or the Tapoco Lodge, hiking, camping, biking, driving for pleasure, and fishing. I hope that we can make a strong showing on the 10th. This is a great way to meet other boaters and pre scout the river. I think the best description I heard of this river was "the Ocoee on methamphetamines". The river bed is similar to the Ocoee's but with much more gradient. The first release date (Sept 17) is also a day when volunteers are needed. On this date it will be necessary to figure how much more vegetation will need to be removed and from where. Being that this upper stretch has rarely if ever been run it will be necessary to treat it like a sping time creek run, taking it slow and scouting frequently. There may also be loose brush in the river due to our clearing activities. Once again, you can contact myself or Bob Hathcock (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you might be interested.