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 anything.

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!