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There have been all types of firsts here in Tennessee for me as of late. I just got my first real flipturn, my first helix, and the firsts continued last week with a personal first descent of Big Soddy in Dayton, TN and a first decent of a little creek in Cookeville, TN.

I wanted run some new things with the last rains that graced the area so I headed down to Cookeville to meet Tom Hehnan and Adam Kamptner and check out some unrun drops. There is a large triple there that has eluded me for two years…. and it would again this day. Tom, Adam, Tommy (Tom’s son) and I decided to check out a little class three tributary of Blackburn Fork. The run was of special interest to me due to the fact that it had an small unrun waterfall on it. The waterfall wasn’t the biggest, but had a couple challenging lines, especially the left side cascade with a spicy lead-in. Tom was feeling under the weather, so he decided to take pictures as Adam and I tried out the two main lines that were in. Tommy followed suit on the cascade… seal launching past the lead in that wanted to funnel you into a piton, and making the rest look easy. After we hiked up and ran it again, I headed back to make plans for the next day.

That night Caleb Paquette, one of my high school teammates called regarding a run down Big Soddy the next day. Big Soddy has been run many times, but less frequently in recent years. It has gained a reputation for its unbelievably undercut streambed, and the near misses that have taken place there. I took all this into consideration and decided to meet him the next day. I am sure glad I did! We were rewarded with some of the best rapids I have run on the Plateau. Skywalker is one of the best on the ridge that I have run for sure. The whole time I felt like I was engaged in a real life game of Operation… you know the one where you don’t want to touch the metal boundary. Due to the nature of our late day run we were not able to get any pics, but that certainly wont be the case next time. It didn’t really matter anyway, the real reward was experiencing this new run with great company.

Here are some pics of the falls on Bowman Branch