Well, it’s been a crazy month!  From the beginning, I had a feeling it would be crazy.  It all started with what we thought would be a normal day on the river.  It was everything but normal.  We put in at the Ocoee River, like we always do, and being a dam released river we are used to the same flows (between 800 and 1800).  Getting into my boat at the put-in, I hear a raft guide talking about how the upper has just got to the middle and it is surging right in front of our eyes.  We just thought that it was going from 800 cfs to 1200 cfs.  We were wrong!  As we peeled out down Grumpy’s, we quickly realized that it was well over 1200 cfs.  Continuing our paddle down to staging eddy we knew we were going in for a ride, but there was no sign of danger and all the rafts were still operating as normal, so on to Broken Nose we went.  Arriving at Broken Nose was where I realized the water was easily exceeding 3000cfs.  The water was changing dramatically, causing boats to get pushed left into a rock on the left side of Broken Nose.  We eddied out on river right and I heard someone say that they stopped all raft tours because the water was too high.  Proceeding to Slice and Dice, I was telling a friend that I didn’t want to get stuck in the bottom hole between Broken Nose and Slice and Dice.  The good news is I didn’t get stuck in that hole, but I did get stuck in the one above it.  After a surf there, we were having a blast, but with the thought of the river rising in the back of our minds, we were cautious.  We arrived at the rapid Flipper and normally you could boof a sneak on the left or just drop right in the middle for a ride. With the water this high we decided to scout.  Looking at the boof, we were glad we got out.  The ledge that we normally boof was now a low head dam type of hole. We found a line on the far right that was doable, so we went for it.  It turned out to be super fun!  Heart’s pumping and nerves on edge, we stopped at Go Forth to drain our boats and take a breather.  When we pulled up we quickly realized that the water was so high we could paddle all the way under the bridge.  Normally you wouldn’t be able to do this.  Nervous but ready for more, we continued down to Table Saw.   My initial thought was to eddy out above the rapid but my crew was continuing down without stopping.  I followed a friend down and about half way in the rapid I see him getting pushed from far river left on the rapid to far river right, really quickly.  I knew then that I was going on another ride.  I pointed my boat toward river left because I didn’t want the lateral to flip me over.  As soon as I hit that lateral it forced me to the right, really fast, right into the sieve rock and flipped me over.  I went for a back deck roll immediately and failed, so I switched to a C to C for better purchase, and failed two more times.  Thinking I was going to swim down the next couple of rapids, I had to get up. One more roll and I was relieved to get air and paddling hard to keep from going down the next rapid backwards.  Once in an eddy, I needed a break!  We sat and watched raft after raft getting beat down at Table Saw and one even resulted in a tragedy which we were unaware of until we got a little further down river, making the rest of the run a little eerie.  Looking at every boof that we were used to boofing completely under water, we finally came to Hell Hole and boy was it a blast!   During this entire episode I loaned my brand new, never used Jackson Dynamic Duo to my friends for the run, and what a run it was for them.  By the end of the day they were surfing Power House and having a fantastic day on the river. Later that day we found out that the surge happened because of a broken generator.  Apparently they set off warning sirens but only on the upper section and where we couldn’t hear them, at that time.  Running rivers is always a risk, and sometimes can be deadly, but we take those chances for the reward of this sport.  Two weeks later I took my son down the Ocoee River and had an excellent time!  It remains one of my favorite training rivers.Check out the video on the right or with this link  http://youtu.be/YAvLuHbkSsY?list=UU1IWhAV2wQhYEB7-LZXYxww