An alternate high water put-in for Short Creek. Required levels are only a guess, look at the put-in rapid. If it is running well, then the run is generally doable. Outflow from the Albertville sewage system makes this run a multi-sensory treat. The first rapid is a gas, most of the rest is II/III. Joins Short right above Short Creek Falls. Watch for wood.
This run only runs when many fun things are going off all over Sand Mtn, and only makes sense to run if combined with Lower Short, unless you have already made another run that day and desire a quick dessert. But, in the very rare case when other things are not running due to localized rain, this is a fun option. This happened once a few years ago. We were working the cell phone. Sauty was too low, we did not feel like Town, and Scarham was pretty low too. So this was highly amusing in concert with a high run on Lower Short at 2.4'.
Gary Holder, Dave Branham, John Parker, Marty McCleary, Don Stringfellow, and I ran Drum March 7. Drum flows into Short just upstream of the falls. We put in at Rice Mill bridge. Short was a phat 2.4’, yet since the ranger at Bucks Pocket said Sauty was too low, we decided to give it a whirl. While the others ran shuttle, the pleasant owner of the Rice Mill house regaled us with tales of swimming the creek at this level and inner tubing the entire Suicide section of LRC in his youth. Bruising - but he definitely passes the natural selection test.
The hardest rapid is right at the put-in. What remains of the mill forms a 6’ double drop of and another single 6’ slide mit hole. Dave opted to start out right with an exploratory swim. The rest of the way was tight but not hard class III. Logs were present but I had removed a few on a walk this fall.
The real fun began at the big water. The highest we had previously ran Short was 1.2’. The falls was not small. I took it over the middle. Don and Marty stayed closer to the normal line with not much speed. This did not work. Fortunately their swims were non-eventful. I think Dave went swimtime again somewhere around Grotto but I’m not sure. Hard to keep up with these things. I should mention that this was Gary’s first run down Short. He did very well. Everybody’s eyes were wide at least some of the time.
Just as we were getting out to scout Rock Cruncher, Marty set his boat free. Don took off after it. I took off after Don. Don was “blowin’ and goin’, full to the gunwales and headin’ downstream”. I never did catch Don. Marty’s boat came to rest on a mid-stream boulder just above the confluence with Scarham. After some consultation, Dave decided to dislodge the boat with a rope throw. Yeah, sure. He then proceeded to succeed in one toss. Sadly, only Gary was in his boat at that time and we ended up chasing it most of the way to the lake. Marty had a nice streamside hike.
Short was exciting even without the swims. The named rapids really seemed easier. The unnamed stuff was harder and sported fewer eddies and big holes. For instance, there was no eddy upstream of Grotto. Drum can be run by itself with a takeout at the Short creek bridge above the falls. It is fun but quick mid-range class III with a shuttle so short you can walk it. Drum also has the added bonus of being downstream of one of the Albertville sewage treatment plants. Hey, I know they improved one of them recently, if only I knew which...