Sunday, July 26, 2015

Camping on River John's Island

At the invitation of our friends Tom and Denise, we camped this weekend upon River John's Island on the Little River in the Wildwood community of Blount County. The island is about three acres, and there is a plaque in the pavilion that says it was conveyed to a previous owner by a Clerk and Master's deed in 1927, which is an interesting piece of history. Sarah is pictured at the south, upstream end of the island.

This is the aforementioned pavilion, and it was the focus of food and socializing when we were not engaged in water activities.

This view is from an observation deck on the north, downstream end of the island. As you can see, the water was a bit muddy from rains late last week. It cleared up significantly between Friday night and Sunday morning. It is about a day's journey by canoe from here to Laura's house, where the Little River flows into the Tennessee River.
River John, quite a nice fellow, is a canoe outfitter, and Tom rented a fleet of seven canoes for those who wanted to float the river. We put in just below Peery's Mill dam, and the trip downstream to the island was about three and a half hours. Sherry, Sarah and I dumped our canoe at a place where a tree was down across the section of the river we were trying to pass through. I was a boy scout, have my canoeing merit badge and was trained as a kid on what to do when your canoe capsizes. Unfortunately, I had not provided such training to my good lady wife and daughter. As it happened, both kept their heads in what could have been a bad situation. We all came up quickly and got ourselves, the boat and one of the paddles to the shore. After quickly bailing the water out of her, we jumped back in and caught up with the other paddle.
A few of us fished, but none of us had any luck. Tom tried again this morning after the water cleared up, but had no takers.

Sarah explores the quieter part of the river on the west side of the island. She said she saw a snake here.

The island also features this cool tree house, which has a futon and a single bed. Both structures have electricity, and the pavilion has a refrigerator/freezer, as well as a nice propane grill that has a stove burner.
River John helpfully has a stop sign to let his clientele know where to get off the river.