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Tallulah Season is Here!

posted October 18, 2004
by Sutton Bacon

article photo 1
Tallulah Season is finally here on November 6-7, 13-14, and 20-21 and here are some important announcments to make this season a success for everyone:

1. SIMPLE BEER RULE
Remember that you are in a State Park where alcohol is PROHIBITED!

2. SHUTTLES
NOC will once again be providing shuttles for boaters from the takeout to the parking area beginning at 12:00. THANK YOU, NOC!

3. RELEASE TIMES AND WATER LEVELS
Releases begin at 9:30 am
when the water in the Gorge is stabilized. The Saturday release will be 500 cfs and the Sunday release is 700 cfs. As always, please cross under the highway to reach registration, and remember that boaters are prohibited in the Gorge before 9:00 or before the registration area is open.

Boater Registration will close at 3:00 pm, at which time a sweep team will enter the Gorge. Please stay ahead of the sweep team and note that the water will shut off at the dam at 4:00. Shuttles will end at 5:00.

4. ON THE STAIRS AND RIVER
Please stay on the stairs!
They are built to protect an endangered species of Trillium, and the protection of the Trillium is absolutely essential in maintaining the current release schedule, and if the Trillium at the bottom right of the stairs continues to be trampled, we could easily return to the permit system.

There is a boat rack at the back of the platform and there will be a volunteer stationed on the platform to direct traffic. Again, DO NOT LEAVE THE STAIRS ON THE RIGHT FOR ANY REASON. Don't go to the bathroom there. Don't put your boat there. Don't put in there. Sorry to be a task-master but this is important.

5. MEDICAL SUPPLIES AND EMERGENCIES
There is a med kit with inflatable backboard on river left at Oceana. For injuries at Oceana, the best access is back up the stairs. For life-threatening emergencies at Oceana, please send a runner to the volunteer at the launch platform who will have a radio, and DNR can respond with the proper response team.

The only other access in the Tallulah Gorge is at Bridal Veil on river right, where a trail acends to Highway 441. Once at the top, the boater parking area is 1/4 mile down to the right.

Access for evacuation at the bottom of the Gorge is unreliable. There is an inclined car at the powerhouse. If you are in need of evacuation before the lake, please send word ahead and DNR and Georgia Power can arrange for evacuation at the powerhouse. There may or may not be a person there on duty, so send word ahead.

6. BOATER CAMPING
The boater camping lot is found on the the right toward the Interpretive Center. The fee is $4 per night, and you can purchase your pass in the morning when you come in. Be sure to pay before you go to bed, otherwise, the rangers will wake you up at 6:30 am to collect your $4! And none of us want that to happen!

7. INFLATABLE POLICY
If you are planning to paddle an inflatable at the Tallulah this season, please read the Tallulah Gorge Inflatable Policy (http://www.americanwhitewater.org/archive/article/722/) before your trip.

8. "THE THING" AT THE TALLULAH -- GRASSROOTS BBQ AND FILM FEST!
Yes, we're going to do it again. The Tallulah River Festival, now affectionately named "The THING," will take place on November 20th at boater camping for $5 per person (all proceeds go to American Whitewater).

Here's what to expect:

  • Free food (we're roasting TWO pigs plus we'll have hamburgers and veggie burgers and sides, etc) and beverages!
  • Videos from amateur filmmakers from across the country!
  • Serious awards and prizes this year!
  • Lots of carnage!

To submit your videos or carnage clips (under 15 minutes, please), or for more information, e-mail sutton@suttonbacon.com.

9. VOLUNTEERS, WE STILL NEED THEM!
Volunteers make the Tallulah possible,
and we still need volunteers to help staff boater registration, parking, and help monitor the launch platform and swinging bridge (in the heart of the Gorge, no doubt). Volunteer shifts are typically thre hours long and ALL VOLUNTEERS GET TO BOAT. Volunteers also receive free parking if you volunteer one day and camping if you volunteer both days. If you are interested, please e-mail sutton@suttonbacon.com.

10. AND FINALLY...THE AW TALLULAH MEMBERSHIP EXTRAVAGANZA!
There's no better time to renew your membership than at the Tallulah, where AW restored flows in the "Niagara of the South" after 75+ years of dewatering. Last year, we signed up over 160 members! Let's do it again!

To help, we're giving away everything but the kitchen sink. New and renewing members receive a GONE TO THE TALLULAH DVD for $5 (compared to $15 for members/$35 for non), a free TALLULAH CUP, plus 50% off of all photos from Downstream Photography, who will be photographing at Oceana!

Thanks, everyone, and see you on the river and under the AW tent at the Tallulah!

Sutton Bacon
309 Vanderbilt Rd
Biltmore Forest, NC 28803-2806