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I moved to Rock Island, TN after spending years here in our RVs,
starting in 1997. This is my favorite place to paddle and if it weren’t
for this place, I would not likely have a house at all. Typically we have
great mild weather in the winter, lots of water, and incredible playboating
in my backyard, as well as class 5 rapids, lots of local creeks, our own
waterfall, and very secluded. This year we got hit with a drought where it
stopped raining in May and didn’t rain for 6 weeks straight, followed by
below par rain for all of july, August, September, October, and November!
December is now well below par too! What this means is that the dam that
holds the lake back hasn’t been released since June, except for three days
in August when I was in Europe. However, with the leaves down, and the
turning of the tide, we are starting to see the normal trends of warm fronts
bringing up moisture from the Gulf and mixing with the colder air from the
west to create rain that sweeps across the southeast in bands, sometimes
sweeping up right over the drainage area, but most often crossing us with
3-12 hours of rain, followed by cold dry air. Well, that just happened,
twice, and now the lake is high enough that they released for a few hours
yesterday morning (6-9am). We woke at 6am at 20 degrees and we got on the
water at 6:45 am. I wore my IR uni-suit, and my IR dry pants and dry top
and Rand Skirt. I also used my Glacier gloves (that Jay Kincaid created-
aWesome!!!) and my IR scull cap and Astral Willis Vest. The All-Star with
the Happy Seat, Happy thruster combo keeps you dry and warm (air insulates),
and the Sweet Cheeks is perfect for keeping your butt warm, and the thigh
pads keep you insulated from the boat. Still, it is COLD at 22 degrees!

Dane, Nick, Emily and were on the early shift and then Justin Owen showed up
followed by Stephen Wright. By 8:15 I was ready to get out and by the time
we all got to the truck we were having issues using our hands to do

Nick stayed with Justin and Stephen to paddle until 9am. As you can see
from the photos, Dane is driving now. He can drive a stick as well, but
the Landcruiser keeps him from being overwhelmed in traffic. We aren’t
quite ready to go to sleep in the back of the RV while Dane drives cross
country yet, but working on it!

It will be Monday before the next release- looks like 37 degrees, awesome,
an Indian summer!

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22 degrees out but the river runs
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Dane and Emily finished trying to get their hands to work again to get undressed
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15 years old now and with a permit to drive
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Dane is now driving Emily a little bit scared in the back