The Tellico Revisited


The Tellico was my first ever creeking/waterfall style river I had ever done back when I was just getting into kayaking. EJ and Clay lead me down the multitude of boots and rapids. Though I have always enjoyed the Tellico it had been 8 years since I had been back there, and it was to for a reunion. My neighbor and friend Albert gave my a call late at in the evening asking if I wanted to go run the Tellico the following morning. It seemed like a great idea and a perfect place to get Emily back our on a river run together with me.

We got up early and drove the couple hours from Rock Island to the Tellico Plains. We we pulled into the parking lot of the Tellico I felt the same excitement as I first did back as a kid. The weather was chilly though the parking lot was still filled with paddlers of all different crafts.

Albert and I met up with a couple more of his friends and some of the Jackson Kayak employees to get a couple funs laps in. After a couple laps we decided to try hiking up Bald River to run the classic falls. It felt like I was taking a step back in history as I reminisced running all these drops for the first time over a decade ago.


My third and final lap was the biggest treat of all, being that Emily and I got to paddle together. She had been running our shuttle and watching our son Tucker during the first two laps, and her and Albert switched out so we could get a run in together. Ever since Tucker has been born it isn’t so often that we get to do a river run together being that one of us is usually on shore watching with Tucker while we take turns paddling out on the river.

I could tell that Emily was a little cold, though she never complained once and kept smiling the whole way down the the bottom. She aced all the lines, including running a new line for her at Baby falls. We finished the day with a high note. I remembered just how amazing the Tellico really is, and with more rain in the forecast I feel like we will be heading back there again soon.

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