Sunday, November 13, 2011

What would Wilma do? (wwwd)

Goal to New Orleans: 1865 miles
Paddled since last blog: 70 miles
Total paddled: 158 miles
To go: 1707 miles
Current location: 15 miles west of Knoxville
Granola bars consumed since last blog: 5
Total: 22
Snicks: 4 bars
Total: 14

Since last we wrote, we have found new guidance. Wilma Dykeman has graced us with 137 pages of French Broad history this far. We are reading her book "The French Broad" aloud. In long meandering sentences, not unlike her river, Wilma regales us with a potpourri of historical recollections such as when Thomas Lee "called himself an 'absquatalated Rebel' and advised his friend to flee when 'the lion roareth and the wangdoodle mourneth," and other tales, geology of the river, and local folklore. It's interesting especially because we have been paddling through the places she is mentioning.

After comporting our first 69 miles of consecutive river, Team Shannon (Jack and Jan) picked us up to shuttle us for whitewater sections of river. Due to low water levels, we are forced to put off the rest of the whitewater until after winter.

On Thursday, November 10, Team Shannon shuttled us to halfway through Lake Douglas in Tennessee. 11-11-11 featured sunny skies and a 4-hour portage around Douglas Dam. We took inspiration from the date (and were slowed by the portage) and paddled only 11 miles for 11-11-11.

The next day, currents helped us paddle 27 miles putting us in striking distance of the Tennessee River.

Today, we left the French Broad (but continue to read about it) at its confluence with the Holston to create the Tennessee River. We paddled through Knoxville and ooed and awed at the Sunsphere. Wind forced us to quit paddling for the day at a late lunch with 19 miles ckmpleted for today.

Here is a jumpshot.


  1. You sure know how to make Wilma sound like a riveting character...

  2. LOVE the jump shot. You are frighteningly good at that Liddell. Great intellectual nutty humor. You girls are cruising. May the Tennessee lake paddling be calm and flat. Bette

  3. Love it! So grateful that technology can keep us updated on how you are. Sending you warm, dry and fuzzy thoughts during the rain in the past few days.
    Paddle on and enjoy the wisdom of Wilma!
    Liz G

  4. For those who are curious...
    According to
    ab·squat·u·late (pronounced ab-skwoch-uh-leyt)
    verb (used without object), -lat·ed, -lat·ing. Slang. to flee; abscond.
    As in: The old prospector absquatulated with our picks and shovel.

    Paddle on!