The Watauga Gorge.It’s been on my mind ever since I started kayaking. It was the run, the one everyone would skip work, reschedule meetings, and ditch class for. It’s one of the Southeast’s whitewater gems, and the weekend I was in Damascus, Va., for Trail Days, the Watauga Gorge was running.We left Sunday morning at the crack of noon (at least, those were our intentions). By the time we were geared up and at the put-in some 45 minutes away, it was nearing 2 o’clock. We waited under the blazing sun, in the heat of the day, panting in our dry suits and half-dehydrated from the previous night’s festivities. I, of course, was feeling ever so nauseous at the thought of the paddle to come and was grateful I’d scarfed an egg and cheese bagel that morning before my appetite had completely disappeared.There was a big group of us going down – 10 deep to be exact. I tend to prefer paddling in smaller groups, but I didn’t mind so much this time; most of the group were the guys who taught me to paddle, the ones who’d seen me come up choking for air, carp rolls, and smack rocks with my face time and again. Whether they were tagging along for front row seats to the carn fest or to act as genuine moral support is hard to tell (although I prefer to think the latter).The “do you know where we are” face above the entrance to Stateline Falls.When we came up to one of the first major rapids, Bump & Grind, I’m sure I was green with terror. It wasn’t that the rapid was particularly big and scary (class IV), but the fact that I was entering the Watauga. River. Gorge. In kayaking, hesitancy kills. I’d psyched myself out for so long thinking I couldn’t handle anything above a class IV, that by the time I was actually floating toward the class Vs, it was all I could do to dip my blade in and pull my boat forward. I got pinned sideways on some inconspicuous rock, sliding down the slot at Bump & Grind backwards, but I was fine. Something clicked, and I finally realized: I can do this. Much like my first time down the Upper Yough, that gnawing nervousness faded and grew to pure, giddish enjoyment.Brandon and Chris giving very similar beta on Stateline.Even as I sat above Stateline Falls in the Chapel Eddy, saying my final prayer before plunging over the lip of the 16-foot falls, I wasn’t nervous so much as stoked; this was by far the biggest stuff I’d ever paddled, and I couldn’t have been happier to be sharing the experience with the guys who introduced me to kayaking. Although my line sucked coming off Stateline and I swam deep beneath the falls, finally surfacing after nearly 20 seconds of being tossed and churned beneath the curtain, my mood was hardly dampened (although I wish I’d stomped it). Until next time Watauga…Coming off Stateline, pre-carnage.
Barbara L. Maness, 80, of Vevay, Indiana, passed away Saturday November 10, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio.She was born September 3, 1938 in Cincinnati, Ohio, daughter of the late Louis C Hill and Rose (Vanoli) Hill.She worked as a Data Manager for Marsh & McLennan, retiring after over 12 years of service.She was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and Right to Life Organization .She enjoyed gardening. In her younger years she enjoyed riding motorcycles. She built a boat and lived there for 7 years. Barbara, along with her husband Richard built the home that she currently lived in.Barbara is survived by children, Douglas Maness of West Chester, OH, Gregory (Anne) Maness of Mason, OH, Pam Ritchey of Good Year, AZ, Cyndi (Jim) Herbert of Cincinnati, OH, Joe Maness, Jr. of Cincinnati, OH; siblings, Louis (Paluli) Hill Jr. of Cincinnati, OH, Rosalynn “Roz” (Jurgen) Siegert; grandchildren, Rowan (Cassie) Herbert, Briar Herbert, Leo Herbert, Lorelei Herbert, Maddie (Matt) Joseph, Sophie Maness; great-granddaughter, Kennedy Joseph; several nieces and nephews.She was preceded in death by parents; husband, Richard A White, brother, Bobby Hill, and son, Roger Maness.Friends will be received Friday, November 16, 2018, 9:30 am – 11:00 am at the St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 203 Fourth Street, Aurora, Indiana.Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 am with Father Stephen Donahue officiating.Interment (at a later date) will follow in the Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Cincinnati, Ohio at the convenience of the family.Contributions may be made to the Adopt a Student Program at St. Mary’s Catholic School. If unable to attend services, please call the funeral home office at (812) 926-1450 and we will notify the family of your donation with a card.Visit: www.rullmans.com
Batesville, In. — The Batesville High School Key Club presents the “January Jackets” on January 31.Residents are asked to bring gently used jackets to the Batesville boys Junior Varsity and Varsity basketball teams. Jackets will be donated to local relief organizations.Students that bring jackets will receive a free popcorn coupon for the night of the game.