About shep

open boat paddler, ACA whitewater instructor. Amazingly, I'm now sort of one of the old guard.

Basic paddling class for FLFR volunteers

Needed:  Veteran paddlers to help conduct a basic paddling class for teens who volunteered at Friends of the Locust Fork Day at the River.  July 26, 2pm-8pm, at King’s Bend. Class, possible short float trip and a cookout included.

A group of teens (older girl scouts, mostly) helped FLFR at their annual Day of the River event.  In return, FLFR is organizing a basic class, cookout and general fun day at the river. We’ve been asked to provide the instruction.  We need open boaters and kayakers. No ACA certification required, just a desire to pass on your knowledge.

We’ll do the  class in the pool at King’s Bend and a short float on the Locust if we have some water. Then dinner at King’s Bend in the evening. Let Shep know if you can help out.

Day at the River


Day at the River is June 21. This is an annual event run by the Friends of the Locust Fork River for kids and families who live near the river.  It’s a day of outdoor education, conservation instruction and fun.  The BCC provides the fun.  We teach kids how to paddle, put them in boats, and let them get on the river….in a gentle pool at King’s Bend.  And we usually get most of them soaking wet.

We’ve been doing this since the very first Day at the River, about 15 years ago.  It’s a great chance to remember just how much fun rivers can be.

We need volunteers, boats, PFD’s (especially kid sizes) and paddles.  Event runs all day, from about 8am to 3pm.  Its fun and a good chance to help our friends at FLFR.  Let Shep know if you can come help, and if you can bring boats and gear.  We need lots!  Rec kayaks especially.

Volunteers needed at Cahaba River Society Fry Down

We’re looking for volunteers to hang out at the Cahaba River, eat catfish and drink beer.  Oh, and represent the BCC at the Cahaba River Society  festival, Fry Down.  It’s Sunday, Sept. 29, noon to 4, at Trussville Springs, in Trussville.  We need BCCers to bring boats and gear to arrange along the riverside.  The idea is to introduce festival goers to paddling.  If the water in the river is deep enough, folks (kids, especially) might enjoy getting in a boat just to see what it feels like.  The river is pretty shallow there, so we’re not talking about a river trip….just floating around in a pool.

The CRS Fry Down is a fundraiser for the Cahaba River Society.  It features a competitive catfish cooking event.  There are 12 teams that will be competing, and the public is invited to sample their efforts.  We’ll also have a beer garden, featuring brews from all of the local breweries, Good People, Avondale, Cahaba, Beer Engineers and Trim Tab (their debut, in fact).

Entry to the festival is free for those working the BCC booth, the catfish is free and the beers cost just $5, for a good cause.  There will also be food vendors on site, if you aren’t partial to catfish and fixings.

I’m hoping to have 3-4 people staffing the BCC area.  Let me  know if you’d like to spend a delightful Sunday afternoon hanging out at a river, with good food, beer, music and company.  Contact Shep if interested.

Fall Colors trip

The annual Fall Colors trip is scheduled for the last weekend in Oct., Oct. 25-27.  Camping at River Rats in Tennessee.  We’ll do the Hiwassee River on Saturday, Oct. 26.  There may not be water there on Sunday, so hiking is an option, or other area rivers, assuming any are running.  Bring boats and boots.   Let Shep know if you are coming.

Locust Fork Day at the River, June 15

Join the BCC at Day at the River, put on by our buddies at Friends of the Locust Fork River.  They invite kids from the Blount County area to the river for a day of instruction, investigation, discovery and fun.  The BCC has been part of this event since the inception, about 15 years ago.  We do a limited amount of paddle instruction, then let the kids jump in boats and go paddle around in the pool below the racecourse at Kings Bend.  We need BCC folks there to lend a hand, help a kid get in a boat, do some teaching and keep an wary eye on the kids.  Oh, and we usually manage to swamp most of them at some point, which is the highlight for most kids.

We need volunteers, boats of all kinds, paddles, PFD’s (especially kid sized) and smiling faces.  Saturday, June 15, 8am-3pm.  Lunch will be provided.  King’s Bend on the Locust Fork.  This event is always a blast, and a great way to give back to the community. Contact Shep, bshep@uab.edu.

Join BCC at Cahaba Brewery Cahaba Fest!

Cahaba Fest, brought to you by Cahaba Brewing.  A fundraiser for the Cahaba River Society, Saturday, May 11, from noon to 5pm.  The BCC will have a booth with information on the club, trips and paddling classes.  Come enjoy the bands, a bounce house for the kids, and plenty of great beers from Cahaba Brewing.  Free admission, proceeds from beer sales (and skee ball) go to CRS.

Cahaba Brewing taproom on 3rd Ave at 27th Street.  Parking available kiddy corner from the taproom, on 27th St.

Cahaba River trip with Randy and Gordon from Cahaba River Society

***Meet at Gold’s Gym, the Colannade, at 8am on Saturday, March 30***

Paddle a stretch of the Cahaba River with Gordon Black and Dr. Randy Haddock of the Cahaba River Society on March 30.  This will be a fun and educational paddling trip, to learn more about  our local river.  The Cahaba is the most biologically diverse river in the Southeast. We’ll take time to learn a little about the uniqueness of the river along with its role in recreation, habitat and clean drinking water as we paddle along.  We’ll learn about the stresses the river is under, and the efforts underway to preserve and protect it.  Paddlers will also learn about the Cahaba River Society, and hear about ways to join and support CRS. We’ll decide just what stretch of river to do as we get closer to the date, depending on water level.  Anticipate moving water, Class I trip, suitable for tandem canoe, rec kayak or just about anything that floats.  Contact Shep for more info. bshep@uab.edu

March Meeting, the Cahaba Blueway

Learn about the Cahaba Blueway, a plan to create a water trail along the corridor of the Cahaba River, Alabama’s longest free flowing river.  The Blueway is a project of Alabama Innovation Engine, the Nature Conservancy, the Cahaba River Society and other groups, to boost tourism, eco-development and preservation of the river.