Blue Hole Summer 2002 Roadtrip Diary

Here's the final diary for my 2002 journeys up to Tennessee and to Blue Hole. :)

2002 Summer Roadtrip Diary

Dates Plans Comments
June 9-10th Roadtrip Including Sunday, and Monday the 10th Spent Sunday evening and all of Monday at Blue Hole, overnighting at Gabrial's place in Cleveland (but also doing some drum-jammin' over at Dirk's). The water was refreshing during the day and comparatively warm at night, since the air, while in the 80s, was quite dry. Met many cool people and saw some familiar faces, including Jason, one of the "Triple J's" from 2000, and a group of four guys from SC and NC -- Jason, Ollie, Jeremy and one other -- who were rafting-guides at Outland Expeditions who invited me to crash at their camp. If I hadn't gotten in touch with Gabe or Dirk, I would have. Two weeks later, we would meet these guys again. :)
June 16 Sunday-only Roadtrip Made I took my friend Jason Homesley up for his first visit, in my brand-new car, which I bought on Saturday. We drove up late that night, got a hotel room and spent all of Sunday at Blue Hole. Alas, the temperatures were chilly and the Sun hid behind clouds most of the day after a promising start; we both used wet-suits (Jason wasn't in the water too much). Jason also did some hiking. There was a lone scuba diver in the deep part who very kindly let one guy named John, then me, "buddy-breathe" off his auxiliary regulator -- a very strenuous exercise indeed when wearing a buoyant wet-suit. :) Late-Sunday featured the arrival of the Church of the Weird Hair-colorings. :) Some pics, including some taken afterward of my new car, are in this gallery.
June 21-23 Friday-Sunday trip w/rafting! I was able to get Friday off work, and so Brad G. (a Blue Hole veteran from two years back) and his friend Nick, visiting from Texas, came along. Spent a great Friday at Blue Hole and saw an oft-seen chap, Asa, 23, who sports really kewl wolf and 8-arrowed-chaos tattoos. Then we went whitewater rafting on the lower Ocoee on Saturday, then back to Blue Hole on Sunday (it was a bit cloudier/chillier but still fun). Terrific time! Since I'd spoken to four of their rafting guides two weeks before, we went to Outland Expeditions for Saturday's trip, and they recognized me as soon as they saw me. Jason ended up being our guide and did a great job. Well-worth $32.50, which is cheaper than I expected for a walk-up price. Two pics of our raft taken by Outland are in this gallery at the end (they are pretty big). Three kids-in-the-tunnels pics from two weeks before, plus about 18 pics of the Upper Ocoee running high through Blue Hole on Saturday (easily five feet above the non-Saturday flow, quite awe-inspiring), plus pics taken from our raft and afterward, are in this gallery. We left a bit early on Sunday to catch my friends in Bella Morte at 9 Lives Saloon in Atlanta that night; pics are here.. Awesome weekend all around!
June 30-July 1st Roadtrip Made I had July 1st off, so I went up by myself this time for Sunday and Monday. Lots of sun both days but no rain on Sunday and just a passing sprinkle on Monday, although both days saw nearby thunder and false-alarms. Saw Asa again on Sunday (he of the wolf-and-chaos tattoos) as well as a lot of cool people. On Monday, I spent 7 solid hours in the water and made a foray up to "Little Blue Hole," which was otherwise deserted, and got some pics, as well as some suntanning. Back at Blue Hole I spent much of the rest of the day with another guy I'd met before, Jared, and his niece, sister and bro-in-law. Overnighted at Gabrial's in Cleveland but our deeply-laid plans for eating at Jade Palace were foiled by Gabrial's running out of gas in his 1972 Ford Pinto (!) and then his dad's complete botch of finding where he was becalmed.
July 3-4 Roadtrip Made I broke my own rule! :)
I arrived at Blue Hole on Wed. July 3rd only to discover that the water was high due to dam maintenance, scheduled by TVA at the most inopportune time. (Their damn maintenance was also slated to keep the river high on the 4th, too.) See? I didn't call ahead to make sure the water was low, like I was supposed to. :)
I got a few more pics of high water at Blue Hole and then went down to Mac Point Beach on Parksville Lake, which was a poor substitute indeed for Blue Hole! Went with Dirk over to Red Clay State Park, then I went to Jade Palace, then I picked up fireworks for the Fourth. Did some jamming at Dirk's place but opted to drive home late Wed. night instead of staying over, since Blue Hole would again be unswimmable on Thurs. the Fourth. Went up to my mom's for cookout and fireworks (sans mom) on Thursday. Decided to scrap Blue Hole plans for July 6-7 to give me and my car a break. :)
July 14 No Roadtrip made I stayed in town and got other things done. --Or tried to. :)
July 21-22 Sun. and Monday Roadtrip Made Great weekend (well, delayed a day) and great weather. Drove up late Sat. and stayed at Gabrial's, as he was off work on Sunday and wanted to go up to Blue Hole earlyish on Sunday and take his 3-yr old daughter. Warm weather, warm (but pretty cloudy) water. Met John again -- he was the other guy who scuba'd, back on June 16th -- and got a pic of him with his 11-yr old nephew Zak and his sister. Also saw Asa again on Sunday. Blue Hole was pretty crowded. Went to Jade Palace that night with Gabe and his kid and stayed at his place overnight again. Got an earlier start on Monday and went up to Little Blue Hole for tanning, etc. Went back down to Blue Hole; a big passing storm dropped some rain but it never thundered too close. Eventually met up with Kat, Dirk and Sierra. After a while I followed them down to the waterfall below the parking lot, and had fun diving underneath it and got some pics. All in all, a great weekend!
July 27-28 No Roadtrip I'd foolishly bought a ticket for Ozzfest....BEFORE seeing the scheduled start-times (outrageously early in some cases) and bands' set-lengths (20 minutes? Sheesh). Yet more reasons why our own metal festival is better. :) I had to stay in town to scalp my ticket on Sunday.
August 1-4 Thurs. and Fri. Roadtrip Made I got August 1st and 2nd off from work in exchange for two days later in the month, which I can't take off now since I'll be in a class. Great weather both days, it never rained at Blue Hole itself and a close-passing storm on Friday helped clear the area. :) Water was quite warm -- almost too warm -- as the flow was greatly reduced. Overnighted at Gabrial's once again and jammed over at Dirk's after leaving Blue Hole on Thurs. July pics, including Jared, the waterfall, etc., are here.
Aug. 10-11 Sunday-only Roadtrip Made Roadtripped up for a one-day excursion 'cause I needed an escape from class at work, and took roommate Adam up for his first visit to Bluehole. He enjoyed it a lot, especially the deeper sections. Saw John again along with his nephew Zak and his sister, who appear earlier in a pic. Also saw Kat there again. Water was a bit higher than the last visit and a bit colder, but not bad; visibility was only fair after Saturday's full flow. A fun day followed by dinner at Outback in Chattanooga, since Jade Palace had closed. :(
Aug. 17-18 No Roadtrip I was too busy with Dragon*Con website updates to go. :(
Aug. 24-25 No Roadtrip I was too busy with preparations for Dragon*Con the following weekend. Also, Dream Theater/Joe Satriani/King's X show was on the preceding Saturday evening and I was too exhausted to go.
Aug. 31-Sept. 1 No Roadtrip It was Dragon*Con, a little soiree for 20,000 of our closest friends, and what a great time it was! :)
Sept. 8th No Roadtrip I was too tired after a late night and a show, Shadow's Fall, the previous night. :)
Sept. 14-15 No Roadtrip My plans for a Sunday-only roadtrip were spoiled by Tropical Storm Hannah: lots of rain and clouds. Oh well, we REALLLY needed the rain!
Sept. 21-22 No Roadtrip More rainy weather across the Southeast. Keep saying to yourselves, "We really need the rain." Like a mantra. *grumble*
Sept. 28-29 No Roadtrip There was a Record Show here on Sunday, so I had to be here. :(

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1998 Roadtrip Diary | 1999 Roadtrip Diary | 2000 Roadtrip Diary | 2001 Roadtrip Diary | 2003 Roadtrip Diary | 2004 Roadtrip Diary | 2005 Roadtrip Diary | 2006 Roadtrip Diary | 2007 Roadtrip Diary | 2008 Roadtrip Diary | 2009 Roadtrip Diary | 2010 Roadtrip Diary | 2011 Roadtrip Diary | 2012 Roadtrip Diary | 2013 Roadtrip Diary | Current Summer Roadtrip Schedule |

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