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By Boyd Ruppelt

Every March nearly a hundred river rats of various skill levels take over Pickett State Park on the Cumberland Plateau in TN for an event put on by Memphis Whitewater. They take over the bunkhouses of the "Group Camp" in the park, eat delicious, hot meals, and kayak during the day. Jackson Kayak sponsors the event and our local Jackson Kayak dealer, Outdoors Inc, comes in full support while we raffle off the Jackson Kayak of Choice for American Whitewater.

This year started with relatively low water levels and a sudden ice storm on the plateau… with a power outage and mass cooking in the fireplace, the kids and families kept hiking and boaters kept finding things to paddle. A tight-knit feel swept over the crowd as we shared our stories from the day and huddled around the fireplace with our favorite family, the Salomons, who cooked for everyone…even for the Jackson Kayak team’s vegetarians 😉 They are the heart of Creek Week and keep it alive from year to year… Suddenly the rains came and creeks rose and some rose more than just a little… the power was back on and spirits were high.

Trips went to a variety of places including the Tellico, Cheoah, Clear Creek, the Obed, Island Creek, Crooked Fork, Big South Fork, and more! The highlight is always Saturday night though, where awards are given for things like the most boats bought this year, the best carnage of Creek Week, and the most improved since last year. And every year the motley crew of kayaker & canoers, northerners & southerners, easterners & westerners, beginners & creekers, young & old, all pitch in to support american whitewater for the chance of winning the grand prize of any Jackson Kayak of their choice….

Even with our North cumberland ice storm, park area power outage, and resulting smaller crowd the Jackson Kayak Raffle raised nearly $1400 for American Whitewater! A HUGE success for any paddling festival or event! Even more, it was another successful Creek Week with more friends made and plenty of awesome new memories with all our friends…

The raffle winner this year was Marc Bell who I understand is getting himself a brand new Allstar or Superstar!

Boyd & Sam 🙂

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a group of 17 kicking the week off right
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a group shot with his wife and Brian of Outdoors Inc
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Boyd with the raffle winner, Marc Bell
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Samantha loving her Little Hero