Jess' Trip Log 2006

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# Date Location Who Notes
- Jan 1, 2006 Lake - Warrior's Path Me New Year's Day river trip fell through, so I paddled on the lake.
1 Mon, Jan 16 French Broad - Barnard to Stackhouse Randy (S6), Jo Pasqua (Stubby), Jason Onks (M3) Mutant, Roughly 2500cfs, temps in 50s, dry hair day for me.  Tried to get all 4 of us surfing the same wave below Sandy Bottoms, fun, but goal not achieved this trip.  Good to get back on the river, it'd been too long.  Quite sore the next morning.
2 Thurs, Apr 6 Nolichucky - Chestoa to Jackson-Love Matt (borrowed Super Fun), Sue Kennedy (ezg), Kristen Dean (huck), Jeremy (my mutant) Beth's G-Force, Forgot level - 1500ish?, scouted Radio Tower, Kristen and Jeremy swam anyway... a bit cold.  Both swam in new ledges (funny water) below the one below Radio Tower.  Sue misunderstood directions for Hi Rd drop, attempted three rolls! before swimming. 
3 Sun, Apr 15 Buffalo River, Arkansas - Steel Creek to Erbie Ben and Erin Eudy (Katie the dog), Danny and Daniel LeFever, Ben Simms, Chester Jones, Will Gosney Borrowed Phillip's Dagger Genesis (whitewater canoe), 13-14 miles, empty boats (camp set at Erbie, night before).  Long day, lunch at trailhead to Hemmed In Holler.  Ben Simms hiked in, everyone else rested or headed on.  I had headache that made life interesting for last half of day.  Scenery was worth the lack of water.  Great Easter trip.
4 Mon, Apr 16 Buffalo River - Erbie to ???   Waited while 3 hour shuttle was run, tried to stay cool.  First day paddling with loaded canoes.  Actually lessened the wind effect in mine (Phillip's).
5 Tue, Apr 17 Buffalo River - ??? to ???   Got tossed into shallow water, landing on my neck.  Didn't hurt nearly as bad as it could have.
6 Wed, Apr 18 Buffalo River - ??? to ???   I got head start, kept the lead to myself for first 3.5-4 hours.  Awesome solo paddle.  Rest of group caught up around noon.  15-20 minute lunch, then arrived at camp around 1300.  Played in the water, sometimes on thermarests, Erin and Ben fished, Danny napped.  Erin and I hiked to the top of the Narrows, stealthily tossed rocks into the pool beside camp below, then convinced Ben E, Will, and Daniel to come up.  Ben, Erin, and I walked up gravel road on other side for a ways.  Really neat "crevice" trail up to the tallest part.  Lightining, rain, hail that night.
7 Thur, Apr 19 Buffalo River - ??? to ???   Pulled my shoulder muscle, had to go easy for rest of day.
8 Fri, Apr 20 Buffalo River - ??? to Tyler Bend   Slowly warmed up shoulder for first 44 min to an hour, then came up to speed - did well as long as I avoided draw strokes.  Ben E took my boat while I tandem-ed w/ Erin for last mile or two.
9 Mon, Apr 24 Nolichucky - Embreeville to Big Rock Matt, Sue Kennedy Beth's G-Force 5.9, roughly 2900, 2.82 ft.  fun trip, fast, worked on ferry skills with Sue below Embreeville. 
10 Sun, Apr 30? Nolichucky - Chestoa to Sawmill Sue Beth's GF, Sue swam above ISW, had to tow boat up to Sawmill
11 Sat, May 6 Nolichucky - Embreeville to Big Rock Bill Beth's GF, 2.54, roughly 2200 cfs, training trip, also played a lot...squirts, etc.  several rolls - Embreeville and below Big Rock while playing.
12 Tue, May 9 Nolichucky - Chestoa to Jackson-Love Sue Beth's GF, 1500ish, I squirted and rolled in rapid above Chestoa, Sue greatly improved her eddy catching skills, learned to front surf, took the correct line at Radio Tower...great trip for her.  I tried to boof at Hi/Lo and got stuck, pushed back the first time, penciled down into the current the second time, somehow didn't flip.  Straight from the river to roll practice.
13 Fri, May 19 Nolichucky Gorge - Poplar to Chestoa Kelly Keener (P4C) Mutant, 1250ish, great trip!!!  Dry hair day for me.  Found quick sand at the put in, Kelly sank in over his knee, wind blew really hard upstream, pretty much had the river to ourselves.  Great level, not too pushy, but padded out.  Saw a deer swimming across the river!  Dinner at River's Edge afterward.  I really need to paddle the Gorge more often!
14 Thurs, May 25 Nolichucky - Embreeville to Big Rock Matt, Bill, Jeremy, Jason O., 1/2 of staff in tubes Mutant, 1.8, good trip.  Mandy C and Brendon surfed in Tongue-n-Cheek a bit (out of their tubes).  Some people a little cold at the end, in spite of the warm clothes we lent out.
15 Fri, May 26 Nolichucky - Embreeville to above Big Rock Matt, Bill, other 1/2 of staff in tubes Mutant, 1.9, Chelsea swam at T-n-C, had to swim down through shallow section, I felt bad for her.  Thundered out before Big Rock.  My paddle stolen while I was helping rest of group up to road.  Jessica Fin. ankle twisted. 
- Mon, May 29 Nolichucky - Embreeville to Big Rock Matt, Bill, Jeremy, several outside tubers I tubed with handpaddles, 2.0, good trip. 
16 Wed, May 31 Nolichucky - Embreeville to Big Rock Matt, Bill, Jeremy, inpost staff Mutant, 1.95, had to wait an hour and a half for a storm to move by.  It never hit us, just went around.  Finally got inpost all the way through Big Rock, though.  They enjoyed it.  Mandy O and Denise swam, but were ok.  Jeremy flipped at the rocks below Big Rock and finally rolled up after 3 attempts.  In trying to get to him, I tried to rush through Big Rock and managed to hit the hole at the same time as 2 tubers.  Went through somehow, with Scott's shoe under my arm and in my face, only holding my paddle in one hand.  It was interesting but worked out alright.  Roger had an allergic reaction to something at the put-in, that ruined his trip for him, I hate that.  Otherwise, I think everyone had a good time.
17 Wed, June 7 Nolichucky - Embreeville to Big Rock Matt, Jeremy, Phillip, Tree House, Eagle's Nest and Hammock Huts groups Mutant, 21 Tubers
18 Tue, June 13 Nolichucky - Embreeville to Big Rock Matt, Jeremy, Phillip, Andy and Mandy in canoe Mutant, 2.1ft, 1300-1400cfs, 22 tubes
19 Sat, June 17 Nolichucky - Embreeville to Big Rock Retreat group Mutant, 1.6ft, 1312cfs, 9 tubes
20 Mon, June 19 Nolichucky - Embreeville to Big Rock Bill, Travis V, Matt, Jeremy, Eagle's Nest and Tree House groups Brand new Jackson 2Fun!!! 1.52ft, 20 tubes, I got trashed at Ghost Eddy
21 Wed, June 21 Nolichucky - Embreeville to Big Rock Phillip, Jeremy, GHP 2Fun!, 1.51ft, 12 tubes
22 Sat, June 24 Nolichucky - Embreeville to Alfred Taylor Bridge Bill, Matt, Travis V., Nick, Amanda F, Kat 2Fun!, 1.56?, I surfed wave at Tongue-n-Cheek, I love the 2Fun!!!  Surfing is so controlled, and addictive.  Nick learned to roll in flat section.
-- Mon, June 26 Noli - Chip's Kayak I - Bill, Beth, Don N, Will K, Terry, Jonathon, Allison, Daniel, Samantha, Wes 2Fun!, worked on wet exits and rescues, getting more comfortable in boats.
23 Wed, June 28 Nolichucky - Embreeville to Big Rock Bill, Beth, Don N., Will N., Jo, Travis V, Terry, Will K, Jonathon, Allison, Daniel, Samantha, Wes 2Fun!, 2.44ft, 1 swimmer below Big Rock (victim of the eddy line), quick rescue.  Big waves above and below Big Rock!
24 Thur, June 29 Nolichucky - Chestoa to Big Rock Bill, Beth, Don N, Jo, Will N (until lunch), Travis V., Terry, Will K, Jonathon, Allison, Daniel, Samantha, Wes 2Fun!, 2.08ft, NO SWIMMERS at Radio Tower or Big Rock!!!  S. swam at Big Eddy and above the new "Funny Water" rapid.  W.F. swam at the "Funny Water".  W.K. waited for a rescue at the Ledges.  I surfed Blevins forever!!!  Fun green wave, felt so in control, didn't need the paddle to carve it up, it was all in the knees!
25 Tue, July 4 Nolichucky - Embreeville to Big Rock Matt, Phillip, Jeremy, work group, Centipede 2Fun!, 1.54?
26 Wed, July 5 Nolichucky - Embreeville to Big Rock Phillip, Patrick, Eagle's Nest and Tree House 2Fun!
27 Thur, July 6 Nolichucky - Embreeville to Big Rock Matt, Jeremy, work group 2Fun!  2.2???
28 Mon, July 10 Nolichucky - Embreeville to Big Rock Matt, Bill, Water Fun 2Fun!, 1.65
29 Tue, July 11 Nolichucky - Embreeville to Big Rock Matt, Patrick, Tree House and Hammock 2Fun!  1.6
30 Wed, July 12 Nolichucky - Embreeville to Big Rock Philllip, Andy, Eagle's Nest and GHP 2Fun!  1.6
31 Thur, July 13 Nolichucky - Chip's to Taylor Bridge Bill, Travis V. 2Fun!  1 swimmer at 1st rapid, MIR swam peeling out into 2nd rapid, none at 3rd.  Had to wait out storm on the island by caves, then race hard to take-out...pull boats up hill...load trailer.  Very tired afterward.
32 Mon, July 17 Nolichucky - Embreeville to Big Rock Bill, Jeremy 2Fun!  1.37???
33 Tue, July 18 Nolichucky - Embreeville to Big Rock Jeremy, Travis V., Mandy C in SOT 2Fun!  1.38
34 Wed, July 19 Nolichucky - Embreeville to Big Rock Jeremy, Travis V. 2Fun!  1.34
35 Thur, July 20 Nolichucky - Chip's to Taylor Bridge Jason (Meghan H, Mandy O) 2Fun!  Great relaxing trip.  Left before lunch, ate sandwiches at the caves.  Swam and played a lot.   Still pulled boats up hill.  Still sore afterward.
36 Sun, Aug 13 Nolichucky - Chestoa to Jackson-Love Sue 2Fun.  1500??  Most water we've had in awhile.  Nice change.  Played some, but not too much.  Found random surf wave on river right of rapid before Hi/Lo Rd.  Spent 1/2 hour there.  We both got some roll practice.  Sue ran Lo Rd.  I was going Hi, then saw great surf wave in middle, made crazy ferry just above a big rock, then washed over the wave sideways and missed it anyway.
37 Tue, Aug 15? Pigeon - Power Plant to Hartford Randy (S6), Jo (Stubby), Don Washburn (4Fun), Jason (S6?), John Gass, Matt Money (SuperFun) 2Fun.  Normal release.  Moved quickly to keep up w/ camp people who were rafting.  Kristin, Brenda, Diane, Shandi rafted.  Got a few squirts, several rolls while playing, or attempting to play.
38 Fri, Aug 18 Nolichucky - Big Rock Sam Galbraith (GRide) 2Fun, 400ish, mostly squirted eddylines, both sides of center eddy.
39 Sat, Aug 19 Nolichucky - Chestoa to Sawmill/CL Sam Galbraith, Ben Simms (OC1) 2Fun, 400ish, low, but runnable.  RT entrance was especially rocky, bounced down just right of center, then ran normal line.  Rock shelf at bottom doesn't seem to be undercut - hope it stays that way!
40 Thur, Aug 31 Pigeon - Power Plant to Hartford - TN/NC Sue, Tim (LL CR), Bill Paddled through tropical storm Ernesto.  Rained during drive, quit until we put on, poured the entire way down river.  Bill tried out Razor Rock.  Sue got a few rescues.  Tim had a little trouble with his roll and sliced his shin open during a swim at Double Reactionary.  I added a first aid kit to my boat after this trip.  (Was used to carrying camp's.)
41 Fri, Sep 8 Lower Gauley! - above Koontz to Swiss - 12 miles Tim (LL CR), Sue 2Fun!, I survived!  I was super nervous about this trip, but it was awesome!  We snuck Koontz Flume, and Upper Mash, ran main lines on everything else.  Huge, huge waves and holes (luckily all holes avoidable).  Tim thinks the level was slightly higher than normal.  Only rolls I did were 1 when attempting to surf (didn't try that again) and show Sue the "right way" to do a peel-out....actually showed the wrong way.  I wasn't exactly on my line at Lower Mash and missed the eddy I wanted at PSH.  Sue had 3-4 combat rolls (Upper Mash,...), and 2 swims (Junkyard, Heaven's Gate).  Pretty awesome for someone who's only been paddling 5 months.
R1 Sat, Sep 9 Upper Gauley! Extreme Expeditions - Justin (guide), Sue, Richie, Kristen, Dan (Tim paddled nearby) Great trip.  Lots of fun in a raft, no desire to do it in my kayak.  Great guide, he took big lines, but did it well - we never had a swimmer out of our raft.  4 huge surfs.  Most memorable being in "Hungry Mother".  Raft was almost vertical, front two practically underwater.  We were in there for awhile, still no swimmers.  Sat on "Postage Stamp" to watch carnage at Sweet's, lots of it to see.  I got to guide through a couple easy class III's.  Some one (not me) had told Justin that I'd guided on the Ocoee some.  I miss guiding.  Maybe I should try again next summer.
42 Sat, Sep 9 Lower Gauley! above Koontz to Swiss Tim, Sue, Scott (helped w/ SWR a couple years ago) Another awesome trip.  Almost didn't go, tiredness from the rafting was the primary excuse.  Practically a "dry hair" day for me.  (Not counting roll practice in the flat sections.)  Should have rolled at Heaven's Gate...instead held a right hand brace for much, much longer than I should have....wanted to be able to say I hadn't had to roll while running anything, tho.  Sue had an AMAZING roll in Roostertail/Rollercoaster/something.  She rolled on the upstream side as a 6-ft wave was trying to push her the other direction.  Scott and I were very impressed!  I had much better line today in Lower Mash, and caught the eddy at PSH!  Super tired later, but it was well worth it.
43 Sun, Sep 24 Lower Gauley! Koontz to Swiss Tim, Sue (Kristen - shuttle) 2Fun, Rained most of the trip.  Different water level, possibly higher.  Skies cleared up afterward.  Rough day for Sue, she rolled into an extended sidesurf (swam out of the top hole) on Koontz.  Second swim in Junkyard.  Have to say, she had dynamic swims - huge "pancake" at Junkyard.  I think she swam at Heaven's Gate as well.  She had many combat rolls, though.  The first in Koontz, another (3 attempts) at Lower Mash, on at Diagonal Ledges....I'm sure I've left some out.  I had several rolls (3), tried to catch a wave, ran through a hole, peeled out at the dynamic eddy rapid at the end trying to get to help Sue.  Tim gave her a rescue she didn't necessarily want - resulting in a black eye for Sue. 
44 Thur, Sep 28 Lower Nolichucky - Chestoa to JL Sue (handpaddled) 2Fun, handpaddled roughly 780cfs, threatened rain, but never did more than sprinkle.  Worked a lot on eddies, boat control, peel outs.  Clean runs for both through all rapids. Got through in plenty of time to make it to an interview in Kpt.  (met at 0930, on by around 10, done around 1130)  All in all, a good run, wish we had something that close, short, but a step harder.
45 Fri, Sep 29 Lower Nolichucky - Chestoa to JL Bill (new Wavesport ZG) 2Fun, close to the same level as yesterday.  Colder.  Squirted a bunch at Big Eddy, rolled once or twice there.  Caught 28 eddies in rapid before Hi/Lo, Bill got 20!  Both ran Hi Rd.  First trip in Pogs this Fall/Winter.  Didn't necessarily need to, but time to start getting used to it again. Good trip, love seeing people move from beginner student to very competent boater.
46 Wed, Oct 4 Lower Nolichucky - Chestoa to JL Sue (handpaddled), Phillip (Wavesport Z) 2Fun, 560ish?  I have a sore back, so meant to take it easy.  I'm not good at taking it easy, though.  Did ok until halfway through the first rapid.    Then, started surfing easy waves.  Pretty good surf wave at Radio Tower...surprised me how good it was.  Small "pocket" to surf (no carving across it), but if I found the right spot, could stay on for minutes and watch the water race by below me.  So, I kept going back to do it again, probly 5-7 surfs, some longer than others but I caught it each time I tried.  I didn't do any difficult routes from there down, but Sue worked hard on eddies.  I did sort of half show Sue how to do a squirt at the rapid before Hi/Lo, meant to only give her the idea, ended up actually squirting a little.  Phillip did awesome!  He looked pretty hesitant/nervous, but stayed upright the whole trip.  Pretty amazing for his first river trip in a kayak rather than canoe!
47 Sun, Oct 8 Noli - Gorge put-in to Jaws (hike out) Sue, Bill (joined at the end), (Amanda hiked in with Bill and took pictures) 2Fun, started with a little confusion about whether Bill was meeting us and where, but eventually Sue and I paddled down to Jaws, and Bill and Amanda hiked in and hooked up with us at On the Rocks, followed us to Jaws.  At first I was disappointed, it appeared there was nothing to play on at this low level (just under 600cfs).  But, eventually I went up and stuck my bow on the small green wave...and had a really fun surf!  I played myself out from that point on.  I can't believe my sore back let me play that hard.  Guess it's finally getting better.  I accidentally surfed into the hole on player's right 3 different times.  I still don't like holes.  Survived each trip, but not without quite a bit of fear the first few times.  I could've surfed the wave for hours and hours on end, even though, on each surf, I could feel water pouring through the sleeves of my drytop.  Sue did great!  I don't think she's ever tried to surf anything that size before today.  She got some decent time on the wave, under control.  Within a few more trips she'll be tearing it up.  I rolled twice (tricky currents once you wash off the wave).  Sue had a few rolls, got really tired by the end and pulled out just before I got to her.  Bill went up to get in his boat and paddle down with Amanda watching.  He got there just as we needed to leave, but they stayed for a bit longer.  The hike out just about killed me, had a nice big red spot on my shoulder from carrying the boat.  We barely got off the bridge before a train came through.  I can't imagine what it would be like to get stuck up there with a train.  All in all, this was a great day.  We need to do this again soon!
48 Sat, Oct 14 Pound River (Flannagan Dam) to Upper Russell Fork, VA (Take-out at Garden Hole) Bill, Sue, Scott (?), Doug (LL Airhead), Mark (long boat), Jeff (Prijon), Becky (WS Diesel) 2Fun (until about half-way, then Sue paddled my boat, I took her EZG).  About 900cfs.  More fun than I remembered from '02.  Maybe a step above the Lower Noli, but not as difficult as the Noli Gorge.  Near the beginning were some fun surf waves, good-size and green.  Wide enough to carve back and forth on several times.  I love my 2Fun!  Surfs better than the GF or Skip ever did!  Caught the first on the fly, then got off so others could play, only to realize there was no eddy access to that one.  Got 2 really fun surfs on the second...out of 6-7 tries.  I need to work more on ferrying onto waves, I did well until I got almost to it, then lost my angle.  Enjoyed watching Doug surf it.  Sue tried once or twice to get on, almost had it.  Later I found a little sidesurf hole that I actually got a few spins in before it power-flipped me.  Also, somewhere there was a good eddy line that Bill and I spent a lot of time squirting.  Out of maybe 10 tries, probably got 9-10 squirts and about that many rolls...time to work on controlling the squirt better.  (previous was all done in my boat, switched with Sue after the squirt spot.)  20 Stitches was fun.  We scouted.  I ran it in Sue's boat,  once again realized how much I like MY boat.  I missed a difficult eddy in the middle that I wanted to get into, other wise ran it well.  There was a wave at the bottom that I wish I'd been in my boat for.  Jeff swam, lost his drain plug while emptying the boat.  Luckily I had some duct tape.  Doug, Sue, Bill and I split up and hurried out so Sue could get back home.  There were a few more rapids, but nothing too difficult.  Short hike up the hill.  Loaded boats and I rode in the back of Doug's truck to the put-in.  Would love to come back with some more time to play some of the features (and in my boat!)
49 Sat, Oct 21 Nolichucky Gorge - NC/TN Sue 2Fun, 1100cfs, see Blog entry and video.  Beautiful day.  Peak of the Fall Foliage season.  I swam....ruined my streak. 
50 Sunday, Oct 29 Nantahala - Ferebee to NOC Phillip (SuperFun), Lauren (Jefe), Ricky, Carlyn and her brother, Chester and Susan Jones, Mark Hicks, Carol, many others 2Fun, release, good day, tried drytop from NOC, later returned because it was the wrong size.  Ended up running the Falls backwards alongside a raft that had slowed down in the top hole.  Phillip hit the meat of the hole and was backendered into a swim.  Was really cool to be with a huge group of P4C folks.
51 Sunday, Nov 4 Pound River (Flannagan Dam) to Upper Russell Fork, VA (Take-out at Garden Hole) Sue 2Fun, 303cfs (Pound), 664cfs (RF).  First section really scrapy, good surf waves no longer there.  We paddled fast (lots of flatwater) in order to make it out by dark.  Put on around 1540, off at 1700.  Not bad for about 5 1/2 miles.  After the RF joined in above Bartlick Bridge, there was a lot more water and the gradient picked up as well, i.e. much more fun.  Note: There are 4-5 rapids after 20 Stitches, not just one.  :-)
52 Saturday, Nov 11 Nolichucky Gorge - Poplar, NC to Chestoa Bill, Travis V (xxx), Jack Wright (long boat) 2Fun, about 1800cfs.  Weather started out warm, cooled off at the end, first drops of rain at the take-out.  Surfed wave under bridge several times, fought through hole in Entrance, then flipped on some rocks in the center.  Rolled.  Stayed upright through On the Rocks (Bill got a closer look at the rocks).  Didn't play in Jaws, did take some video of Bill, Travis, and some other boaters who were there.  Didn't take the best lines through Quarter Mile, but ran upright.  Spent a lot of time at a surf wave/squirt line about 2/3 rapids above Rock Garden.  Had several good surfs, some HUGE squirts (one "flapjacked" me hard), and one good pop-up that no one else saw.  Rolled several times playing there.  Ran right instead of Do Do's hole.  Bill flipped at Do Do and rolled up.  Paddled pretty hard at the end to get to the take out.  
53 Tuesday, Nov 14 Nolichucky Gorge - Poplar, NC to Chestoa Bill, Sue, Tim (LL CR) 2Fun, about 1650cfs.  Much cooler than Sat.  We all surfed the bridge wave several times.  Ran Entrance and On the Rocks clean this time.  Still stayed out of Jaws.   Got a little video of Bill and Tim surfing it.  Sue swam at Snappy - between Jaws and QM, dropped into a hole sideways and didn't quite paddle out of it.  She probably got a few bruises from that swim.  We all ran different lines down Quarter Mile, Bill and Sue right, me left, Tim in the center.  All clean.  No problems on Murphy's, RoosterTail, etc.  Stopped and surfed for quite awhile at the same wave as on Saturday.  Still some great surfs.  The key was to keep carving in order to keep your bow out of the water.  I leaned upstream once - rolled.  Didn't do any squirts here today.  Took and interesting right line just below there, looked creeky.  I didn't do it well, flipped w/o noseplugs, and took a hit to the helmet before rolling up.  No scars.  Everyone else was smart and went left.  Ran right side again, instead of Do Do.  Sue followed.  Tim and Bill ran tongue through Do Do cleanly.  I got center broached in the end part of Rock Garden, trying to ferry.  Took awhile, but finally managed to use my paddle to push off another rock to get myself out of there.  No more drama after that.  Did paddle fairly quickly out after Twin Eddies.  Sue and Tim took out at the campground.  Bill and I went on to Chestoa.  I was hungry, so went to Sonic before driving shuttle.
54 Thursday, Nov 16 Nantahala - rapid below Ferebee and down near NOC Phillip (Super Fun) 2Fun.  Fairly chilly, gloomy.  Nanty was running high!  The first rapid below Ferebee was actually pretty fun.  Much more "beefy" than normal.  Also, too much for Phillip (still very new to the kayak thing).  We decided to hike back to Ferebee and drive down to the store to work on skills there.  Good idea.  Phillip was able to work on and improve his ferry and edging skills.  Also, surfed a little in a small wave near the equipment shed.  NOC is special-ordering my drytop from Kokatat, should be another 6-8 weeks.
55 Monday, Nov 20 Nolichucky - Chestoa to JL Sue 2Fun.  Downright cold (temp in JC was 37F) and windy.  I tried to squirt in the bottom of the rapid above Chestoa and flipped.  I'm now reacquainted w/ winter boating brain-freezes.  Sue led through every rapid.  Found the holes at RT, but fought through upright.  She even eddy-hopped through the one above Hi/Lo Rd.  I took Hi, Sue ran Lo. 
56 Wednesday, Nov 29 French Broad - Sec 9, Barnard to Stackhouse Sue, Jeremy 2Fun.  Roughly 1730cfs.  Warm day.  70 degrees at the end of Nov!  Water temp cool but better than last week on the Noli.  I handpaddled, as I don't have a spare paddle for Jeremy.  (Except for the two hours spent at Sandy Bottom - I borrowed my paddle back while he stretched his legs on shore.)  Jeremy rolled (2 attempts) halfway through Big Pillow.  Sue led most of the river (except Big Pillow, a couple small ones).  Pretty awesome for her first trip down it.  She picked great lines, too - had a dry hair day.  We spent forever at Sandy Bottom, I surfed the wave maybe ten times.  Usually didn't stay on long, but had some good ones.  The trick was to stay in the trough or it would wash me off the back.  Sue was nervous about the eddy line there, so spent her time peeling out across it, working on confidence.  I rolled the very last time I tried to surf the wave.  No major brain freeze this time.  Great trip, good weather, got to watch a "student" show off how much she's learned, see my brother get back into kayaking, test my handpaddling an awesome (Fast!) wave...  We'll have to come back again.  (I did earn sore arm, shoulder, and back muscles from this trip.  Strangely, my right elbow was the worst, it ached all that night.)
57 Sun, Dec 24 Noli - Chestoa to Sawmill/County Line Sue Mutant, around 1300-1400cfs.  Chilly but sunny.  New drytop was nice and dry!  Sue led the whole way, even below JL where we usually take out.  She swam after attempting a ferry in the main flow at RT, was pushed up on the pillow that forms at the point of the rock ledge....didn't lean into it.  Saw dead dog in a trash bag at the takeout.  Reported it.
57 Kayak /Canoe + 1 Tube + 1 Raft Trips 10 Different Sections, 5 States,
1 Swim :-(
48 Different Companions + 1 dog + tubers Life is good!