Line Creek – June5, 2001. Mark D’Agostino
(C-1), Dave Curry (OC-1).
“It’s 7:03, you’re wasting cubes!”
That was the message on my office answering machine when I walked in at
7:04AM. I immediately returned Mark’s call. I was told to get
my ducks in order and meet him in 5 minutes, the creek was running down
and we had to get there post-haste.
In a few minutes, we were barreling
down Highway 231 as fast as the Dasher’s little wheels could turn.
Our destination, Line Creek, flows off the southeast side of Sand Mountain,
just down the road from Sardis, if you know where that is.
We checked the level at the take-out.
It looked a bit low, but we figured we could get down it if we got started
quickly. After changing clothes and a short shuttle we had the boats
on the water and were scraping downstream on about a 20CFS trickling creek.
The first mile was awful.
We broach-hopped from rock to rock and shoal to shoal. Mark’s quote
of the day: “This would be fun if it didn’t suck so bad.” As we moved
downstream, the creek got a bit steeper and began to channel down somewhat
and a few small feeder creeks began to add at least a bit of volume to
The second mile was considerably
better, at least in a relative sense. It consisted mostly of a large
number of slides and drops. It was a bit like running a dozen Powell
Falls at 50CFS (we dragged a bit). Some of the slides were near vertical
and were even at least a little bit technical.
At the beginning of the third mile
we climbed out to scout and photograph an interesting triple drop that
was a total of about 15 feet. Mark made me climb up the bank and
hang precariously just so I could get a good picture of him running the
third drop. From there down, the paddling got considerably better.
At one point, all the water flowed into a tunnel between two big rocks
and into a massive undercut with a Class III drop at the end of it.
Mark thinks this place may be called the Icebox. Unfortunately, some
trees were jammed between the rocks, so we had to portage about half the
The last mile was a hoot.
It consisted of several Class III-IV rapids that varied from a five-foot
drop with some pinning potential to several slot rapids that were pretty
technical in nature. I was happy because, with the volume as low
as it was, there was absolutely no push at all. You could paddle
up to a drop, look over the edge and then either push or paddle back if
you didn’t like the looks of it. The only thing bad about the last
mile was it was over too quickly.
With a little bit more water, Line
Creek should be a real gem.