“Meet me at your house, Tyler and I saw a beaver dam we want to go check out.” Immediately, I was in. The last beaver dam we hit was sketchy in the most awesome ways: curvy lead up, a solid Ollie over what looked more like a Vietnamese punji pit than a beaver dam, and a sketchy landing in a foot of water (the crashes were way better than anything that was landed).
I arrived at my house to find Corey and Tyler already wedged on the couch throttling the disc tray from open to close on the ghetto X-Box, trying unsuccessfully to get it to work. The day was still young so we wasted a half-hour repeating this technique. Feeling completely defeated, we pushed the disc tray closed one last time and made our way towards the door. “Shhhhraack Chhhing,” the game fired up, but it was too late. The beaver dam mission was on.
We piled into Tyler’s GMC version of the Colorado (I got the pleasure of wedging into the crew cab back seat because I suck calling shotgun) and made our way towards Oak Ridge. If you aren’t familiar with Oak Ridge, it’s a city in East Tennessee with a National Lab built during World War II to work on the Manhattan project. In other words, this place was constructed to help make atomic bombs. There were, and still are parts of the Lab that deal with highly radioactive materials. I remember hearing rumors as a kid of fish with extra eyes and turtles with two heads. Of course, this is not true, but needless to say, it’s not a place where you would really want to spend a lot of time in the water.
After a short drive west we arrived at the dam. The water level was higher than Corey and Tyler had remembered. This apparently was a good thing. Feeding off of their stoke we jumped out of the car, piled in matching Grizzly lips, and walked towards the dam. The dam was damn near perfect: probably 5 feet tall, U-shaped, and relatively deep above and below. Our joy gave way to trepidation when we spotted a beaver meandering around sporting a beautiful eight-point rack of deer antlers. Obviously this is true. As we were walking back to the truck, we were startled by a federal police officer who calmly asked, “Is everything OK?” This dude appeared like an apparition. We informed him that everything was fine and he left us alone.
The police presence is VERY heavy in this area, and it’s sketchy in other ways, too. After all, who wants to risk growing a radioactive third testicle? I guess that could be cool, though.
Who knows? Stay tuned…
Photo Credit: Corey Gray