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Jess' River Trip Log - 2007

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# Date River Section Who Details
1 Mon, Jan 1 Lower Noli - Chestoa to Big Rock Sue, Jeremy 2Fun, around 8200cfs! Crazy day. Waited for the river to peak, found puppies at put-in, Jeremy ran sneak at Radio Tower, main line washed out. Sue swam at large wave/hole at new "funny water" rapid while Jeremy had an asthma attack. Finally got Sue to shore just past next bridge, gave her instructions to walk downstream towards us. Jeremy chased boat, got stuck on strainer, swam, still having asthma attack. He rescued own boat, I instructed him to stay put and get his breathing under control. I chased boat through Hi/Lo ("One Road" at this level). Finally got emptied and to shore at Jackson-Love take out. Took rope, hiked up, swam S. Indian Creek, met Sue, she'd sent Jeremy to car, he'd stashed boat. Sue and I hiked back, swam back across creek, hiked down to boats. She had her paddle, mine was lost when Jeremy swam (I borrowed Beau's old one. I need buy a spare). We finished run. Sue swam once more in ledges, possibly in Industreal Strength Washing Machine (ISW), big hole. She swam to beach at Sawmill, got back in. Jeremy met us at take out. After trip, Sue went home, Jeremy and I went back for his boat, found my paddle in strainer where he'd been hung up. Water level dropped just enough to see it. Took puppies home to find them new owners. Description of rapids: Lots of wave/holes in first rapid below Chestoa, no big Eddy at Big Eddy. Main line of RT washed out, hardly any waves; river right sneak line looked more interesting. Big wave between there and the one at the bridge, might have been at the "funny water" rapid. Don't remember much about one at bridge, far left not bad, that's where I towed Sue down. One Road not too bad, just dodge a few holes. Fast water, hardly any eddies or shore access to recover runaway boat. Fun waves at Blevins. Embreeville, Ghost Eddy not bad. Tongue 'n Cheek ok in middle, beware hole on left half of river. BIG waves below main drop of Big Rock - fun. Powerful eddy behind the big rock.
2 Fri, Jan 5 Lower Noli - Chestoa to Jackson-Love Sue 2Fun, 17-1800cfs, 72 degrees! Stopped by Rushing Waters Outfitters on the way. Great weather, my hands were so hot in the pogies, they were sweating. Sue practiced her roll...all the way down the river, even though the water was pretty cold. There was improvement before we got off, she even rolled up in some of the deeper rapids. I rolled once in the flatwater, just to be "fair". I got one great pop-up that turned into a stern stall at "Beth's little playspot" below Radio Tower.
3 Sat, Jan 13 Nolichucky Gorge - Poplar, NC to Chestoa Sue, Tim, Ruben (sp?) 2Fun, 1700cfs, 65 degrees and sunny! Met at put-in around 1130, on the water around 12ish? Tim hired shuttle driver. I added thicker shims to my knee blocks the night before, seemed to help. Lots of other people putting on at the same time. Many stayed at Jaws after we left. Sue swam at Entrance, got it out of the way early. She also hit a combat roll a little later in the day. I didn't feel like tempting fate, so stayed out of Jaws. Tim got in several good surfs, one nice one w/ handpaddles on. Sue and I ran the right side of Quarter Mile. Uneventful trips through RoosterTail (yay!). A couple rapids below there, I flipped in a funny water, almost flat section and had to roll. There was a HUGE wave on the left side of the rapid at Maggie's Rock. I hit the very tallest point and I'm sure that I caught air off the back of it. (Tim was behind me, and confirmed my suspicion.) I love feeling like I'm flying. I got a better boof at the ledge below than I was expecting, also. Boogie water through Twin Eddies was uneventful. Tim's car was at the campground so they took out there, and I continued on down to Chestoa, changed, then we all went to JC for lunch (about 4pm). Very good day.
4 Sat, Jan 27 Nolichucky - Chestoa to Jackson-Love Bill 2Fun. Forgot my drytop, so we were planning to head home. Stopped by Rushing Waters Outfitters and they were cool enough to let me borrow an IR Semi-Dry top. Lived up to the "semi" part. I was drier than I would've been without. Bill rediscovered cold water...his first trip with a real drytop. Rolling in cold water was a new experience for him that I enjoyed watching since his face showed his surprise every time. I rolled a few times, mostly from squirting both above Chestoa and again at Big Eddy. Hung out at Bill and Amanda's for supper.
5 Sat, Feb 10 French Broad - Ledges Whitewater Park Phillip, Bill 2Fun, around 1800cfs, pretty cold. Lots of pictures taken, will post some whenever Phillip shares the files. Played with icicles found on the river. Wore the boys out as they tried to keep up with my ferrying/attaining/eddy hopping. Heard "We're pulling more weight around than you are" excuses. Bill surfed and posed with a Dr. Enuf bottle for some promo shots we may send to them someday. Flipped at one point and said, "I had the paddle in one hand and the Dr. Enuf in the other, and couldn't figure out which one to let go of."
6 Mon, Feb 12 French Broad - Barnard to Stackhouse Sue 2Fun, 1800cfs, cold. Great day on the river. Led Sue down some harder lines this time, she did really well. I surfed the wave at Sandy Bottoms for quite awhile. Had maybe 10 great surfs, upright the whole time. I'd say some of the rides were several minutes long. I love that wave, fast, big enough I wasn't too worried about burying my bow, easy to stay on, bounced some. I love the feeling of zooming down the face, then carving back to the top. Sue did several peelouts there. Sue got flipped in a hole below there, missed her roll, swam to the side. No more excitement the rest of the trip. Her river reading skills are so much better than when we first started paddling together.
7 Sat, Feb 24 Nantahala - Ferebee to NOC Sue, Phillip, Bill, (Amanda-Photos, shuttle) 2Fun, standard release, not too cold. Bill's first run. Sue's second (the first was apparently not a pleasant experience). Early start, Sue at my house around 0630, Pal's, met Bill and Amanda, left Erwin around 0730, picked Phillip up in Clyde, at NOC around 10ish. Phillip and Bill forgot essential pieces of gear, luckily NOC was able to hook them up. Bill bought shoes, Phillip borrowed a helmet. Amanda drove shuttle in my car, and took pics 9will post some when Phillip shares the files). We found a few small waves to surf. Spent a long time at Surfer's Wave. I had forgotten just how great the wave is. Easy access, super friendly. I had some great surfs, even a paddle spin. Bill tore it up, some surfs so long I wondered if he'd ever get out. Phillip got his first 5 front surfs (on a decent sized wave) ever! Big thanks to the advice of a nice man paddling an RPM. Phillip was stoked, to say the least. Amanda managed to catch the excitement on his face after the first surf. Sue actually tried a few times to get on, just barely losing angle and peeling out instead, but she admitted that trying "wasn't too bad". Paddled out pretty quick after that, since Bill and Amanda needed to be back in Kport by 6pm. Scouted nanty Falls. We discussed two optional lines in detail. Phillip opted to wait 'til next time. Bill and Sue followed my standard line (clip the left edge of top hole and book it right to hit the tongue by the bottom hole). I drove too hard right, missing the tongue, then spinning backwards to slide back onto it. Bill and Sue styled it! Took out at the parking lot on river left. Bill and Amanda took off. Sue went shopping. Ate at Nick and Nate's in Waynesville with Tiffany, then Sue and I headed back to TN. What a great trip!
8 Sat, Mar 3 Noli - Chestoa Bill 2Fun, about 3000cfs, 50 degrees, 20-30mph winds w/ stronger gusts. Put on with intentions of running down to Sawmill/County Line. we had originally planned to go to Big Rock, but changed that with the wind forecast. It was so much worse than expected. Had to brace into the wind. Couldn't hardly catch a breath because the wind was in my face (blowing upwind, of course). Very difficult to get a paddle stroke in because it was hard to punch my top hand out against the wind that had grabbed my top paddle blade. The spray coming off the waves into my face was intense. We eddied even before the bridge and decided that if we had that much trouble making it downstream in a rapid, we were better off not even attempting the flat sections. We walked back up to the car and came back to my house to watch paddling videos. I hate cancelling a trip, but there was almost no way. I was tired just from fighting the little distance we did go.
9 Sat, Mar 10 Nolichucky Gorge Sue, (Ben, with us part of the time) 2Fun, between 950-1000cfs, 65+ degrees, partly cloudy to cloudy and chilly later on. About 1330 to about 1630, around 3 hours. Sue led most of the rapids, working hard on river reading skills. Also worked on some eddies and ferries. Ben was only with us part of the time, as he rushed ahead to catch up with some other folks. Sue clipped a corner of the hole at Snappy, and flipped, but came up with a perfect roll! Quarter Mile started ok, until the second major move, when we both got pushed too far right. I squeaked by the hole, but she got shoved over into the hole, flipped, rolled!, then flipped again near an undercut and punched out. She had a tough swim to get to shore. I caught her boat below Murphy's Ledge, and she got back in there. I need to figure out a better line through that part of Quarter Mile. Rooster Tail was similar. She led, just clipped the hole, huge brace!, but lost it and had trouble setting up, so she punched out. Looked like a pretty brutal swim there. She walked down to where I finally caught her boat. No more major excitement for awhile. Rollercoaster's waves were bigger than we remembered. I ran left side of the beginning of Rock Garden, instead of my usual right. There is a tongue there to follow instead of dumping into Dodo's Hole. Maggie's Rock rapid, more of a hole on the left than a big wave. Below that, I was getting chilled and tired, so picked up the pace and took off through the flatter sections. Wore us both out. Ran Twin Eddies while I was quite a ways in front of Sue, so she had to read for herself. Did well until hitting the hole at the bottom, then was too tired to roll up. Tried, but then punched out. Quick swim to shore that time, though quite out of breath. Once back in the boats, I took off again. Apparently between the campground and Chestoa, Sue flipped and rolled without me noticing. I had noticed that she'd dropped back quite a ways. We got out tired. Ran shuttle (took Ben up to his truck), and went to eat at Johnny Carino's in JC. Dry hair day for me, didn't really do any playing, just eddy catching, picking harder lines, etc. Worked some on using more body rotation/abs with my forward stroke. I will be sore. Great day!
10 Fri, Mar 16 Nolichucky Gorge Sue, Tim 2Fun, started at 1000, rose to around 2000 while we were on it, (peaked at 6,000 that night). Rainy, temp in the 50s, windy for the last mile or two. Put in around 10-ish? Off by 1330, shuttle done and I was on the road by 1400. Sue did awesome! her first dry-hair trip down the Gorge. With Tim there, he led the hard ones and I was able to follow behind and see just how well Sue was paddling. She hit a lot of awesome braces, picked good lines.... Being in the back, I was also able to work a lot harder on my own skills, picking much tougher lines and going for huge ferries and difficult eddies. I hit the line at the second move of Quarter Mile, the key was to start much higher than Tim did (Sue went right). I worked Rollercoaster particularly hard, catching around 6 eddies, alternating opposite sides of the river (i.e. ferrying across that strong current multiple times). I was about worn out before we hit Rock Garden. I hit several huge braces through the run, but, like Sue, never flipped. I think Tim only rolled once, and that was at the small play wave. Again I tried to pick up the pace after Maggie's Rock, but just didn't have the strength to paddle any harder. All I could do was paddle consistently and not lose any of the speed I did have. Made it off in time to drive straight out to NOC and pick up my new paddle before heading to the Ocoee.
11 Sat, Mar 17 Ocoee - Middle Section Bill, Matt (white Prijon boat), Grant (red JK Super Star), (Amanda - Shuttle and Photos!) 2Fun, New Paddle!, standard release level, 40s, windy. Bill's first trip down the Big O. All ran Grumpy's just fine. Bill found a hole somewhere down the left side of Gonzo shoals that was pretty sticky. It recirc-ed him both in and out of his boat. He took a shallow swim, then hopped back in his boat. Broken Nose - catch second eddy on river right, then ferry all the way left and run beside the rock. (Matt didn't quite make the ferry and had an interesting encounter with a rock that I didn't see.) Moonshoot - run just like the raft lines, start middle and work left around the rock. Double Suck - Matt and Bill went far left for the sneak. I led down the main line, just run far left down the channel, hugging the river right side of the rock. Grant came down shortly afterward. I ran the meat of the wave/holes at Double Trouble, line is just to point it straight and paddle real hard. I had a hard time finding the line on Flipper, bounced down river right. Next time, run just left of center. TableSaw - big curler wave at the top angles from river left towards river right. Square up to the curler with left angle and POWER through it, then just keep on paddling through the HUGE waves. Could also run just right of center to avoid the curler. Once again, I ran the meat and came up smiling. Diamond Splitter - again, same as the raft lines, start right, quick move left, then downstream through the waves. Found lots of debris (water bottle, shoes, raft paddle) in the large river left eddy below. Canoeist told us that in the summer that's a copperhead pit, snakes all over the rocks. Accelerator - once again, loads of fun in a kayak...line up straight, take a couple of strokes when the water starts to move, and suddenly you're flying. Cat's Pajamas, just pick a line avoiding the big hole (dumptruck?) at the bottom left. Hell Hole - Again, straight down the middle once you get the go signal from the eddy, and paddle like crazy. The hole itself is almost hidden behind a big wave, don't stop paddling after the wave! Powerhouse - just right of center. Bill rolled several times, but did awesome for his first trip! Grant rolled a lot too. Matt showed us the easier routes down most of the big rapids. Very fun river. I need to make a point of going back more often.
12 Thur, Mar 22 Nolichucky Gorge Bill 2Fun, between 1400-1500cfs. Temp in mid-70s, sunny! Some wind, only noticed in the flats. Surfed first wave. No problems with Entrance. Got pushed right at On the Rocks, instead of taking my usual left line, so just went down the second right channel. It worked. No issues at Jaws, Snappy. Didn't exactly do as well as I would have liked at Quarter Mile. I did go left of Hungry Jack, but I got spun into an eddy I didn't mean to catch, then missed the one I did want. Oh well. Murphy's Ledge was fine. Rooster Tail - didn't go as far left as usual, so I hit the edge of the curler, didn't lean into it as hard as I should've...held a big brace until the waves let up long enough to get my balance back. Bill did the same, but had to roll once or twice. I got a couple stern squirts at an eddy line somewhere during the day. Bill practiced cartwheels all day. RollerCoaster was fun. Didn't do any eddy catching today, just ran it. Ran the river left side at the drop before Rock Garden, beside Dodo's Hole. No problem as long as you ride the tongue down. If in doubt, stay right. The real shallow section of Rock Garden was definitely more padded out last week, but we made it through. Maggie's Rock was fun as usual, love that big wave on the left. Just boogie water from there to Twin Eddies, and no problems there. Good day with awesome weather! Only wore a real thin duofold l/s under my drytop, no dry pogies or head heater. Spring is truly here!
13 Sat, Mar 24 Nolichucky Gorge Sue, Bill, Kelly (Randy's nephew - blue LL Session) 2Fun, 1300cfs. Warm - mid to upper 70s and sunny. Again, the only wind was in the flat sections, blowing upstream as always. Played some at Entrance Wave. I got my first roll with my new paddle at an eddy line somewhere below there - my stern squirt went a bit past vertical. Bill and Kelly played at Jaws some. Bill rolled in the hole, came up still surfing (with his eyes closed) and managed to paddle out. Sue rolled twice in Quarter Mile - once on the eddy line of the first move, second time was at the beginning of the second move, but managed to miss the hole while upside down. Very pretty rolls, both times, especially the secong - so calm! just waiting patiently for the water to ease up for a bit. Rooster Tail, I missed the curler this time, but got knocked over and had to roll at the bottom. Sue leaned into the curler, but still flipped...waited for a chance to roll, but just kept bouncing her head on rocks and swam out. Bill and Kelly both had good runs. I caught several eddies both in Rollercoaster and in the rapid above it. We stayed at the surf wave for a long time. Ate a little, then surfed a lot. Sue got her first several surfs! Also, she did quite a bit of roll practice. I got one or two pop ups. Saw a couple NOC rafts, one stopped and had lunch there by the surf wave. At the Dodo's hole drop, Sue went right, the rest of us threaded the line beside Dodo's. At some point in one of the flat sections, I lunged out to grab Sue's boat to flip her, and she moved just in time. I missed her boat and flipped, had to roll....then laughed, a lot. Similar story at Maggie's Rock. I thought I'd try to do a wave-wheel. Yeah. It would help if I knew how. I got my boat up on edge before hitting the wave...and then sliced right through (under?) it, and came out the other side upside down. I waited for a long time to roll, then missed the first attempt (dang it, need to work on my roll, I guess), and nailed the second. No more real excitement until we got down to Twin Eddies. Sue got way offline, found a rock and flipped, riding the whole rapid on her head...finally gave up on the roll at the very bottom and swam out. She was not happy. To keep her day from being totally ruined, she and I hiked up to run it again. Not a real easy hike, but doable. This time she had a perfect run! We paddled rather quickly to the takeout as Sue needed to get back home. Kelly was kind enough to shuttle Bill back up to his car. There were all kinds of hikers and fisherman all along the river. Two or three people hiked boats up the tracks to Twin Eddies and were playing in the hole there. Definitely a great day to be out!
14 Sun, Mar 25 Nolichucky - Chip's to Taylor Bridge Sue and her kids - Matt and Jessee 2Fun, 1200cfs, 80+ degrees and sunny! Stopped to talk to Chip to make sure it was ok to park in his field. So warm out! I only wore my duofold tank top under my dry top, and was still hot! I probably would've been ok without my duofold pants, in fact I left them rolled up above my knees for most of the trip, only unrolling them when I was swimming (intentionally) at the caves. Back to the beginning - Sue and I both rolled at the put in to cool off. The first little drop went well. The second, not quite as good. Jessee did great, she followed right behind me where I was able to talk her down the whole rapid. Matt had a little trouble steering around some of the rocks, and so got farther behind. Towards the end of the rapid he (according to Sue) hit a little hole sideways that flipped him. Sue was able to hand-of-God rescue him (since he forgot/panicked and didn't pull his skirt). He was pretty shaken up and didn't want to do the second rapid by himnself, so we floated it together. Missed the eddy for the caves, but got out at the beach below and walked up with the boats. Threw rocks, explored the island, Jessee and I practiced our whitewater swim in the current there. Matt escaped the eddy very well, again, following very closely behind me. Jessee flipped somehow and swam out, didn't seem to mind too much. I emptied her boat, brought it back up, then chased her paddle down. We enjoyed the flat section, just floating and playing (although, Matt kept worrying about the last rapid). The last rapid actually went very well. Somehow, there were a lot less rocks than I this level, or at all. They both kept paddling, kept it straight. Matt finally started grinning again when he made it through. He was so proud of "passing" me (I'd slowed down in the runout to be close if Jessee needed help, but I'll let him "win"). Again, just enjoyed the flats...still plenty of current. I like teaching kids. It's a whole different approach than teaching adults (which I also enjoy), but a lot of fun.
15 Mon, Mar 26 Nolichucky - Chestoa to Sawmill/County Line Bill, Adam (my Mutant) 2Fun, just over 1000cfs, incredibly warm, although cloudy. Third day in a row for me! Took Adam along when Jeremy made other plans for the day. Put him in Jeremy's short sleeve rash gaurd and dry top, my duofold pants, skirt, PFD, helmet, head heater, paddle, and boat. I wore shorts, swimsuit, tank top, and my drytop....plenty warm. Bill decided it was time to leave the dry top home. He just wore a couple layers of duofold. He said that the first splash each time, or each rapid was shocking, but he warmed back up very quickly. He rolled a couple times. I got several decent squirts at Big Eddy. Need to figure out how to stop going past vertical and start controlling them better. I rolled 2-3 times there. Adam did pretty well, considering he hadn't been on the river since his kayak camp week back in the summer of '05. He did fine through Radio Tower, though he stopped paddling in the runout, before the rock. He flipped in the Ledges, just before ISW (Industrial Strength Washingmachine). I don't know whether he panicked and forgot to pull his skirt, or really thought he could handroll. Either way, he let go of the paddle and pulled his head up out of the water trying to get air. Luckily Bill was nearby and was able to give him a T-Rescue. We all missed ISW, Adam paddled through one of the lower holes, but did fine. Good day.
16 Thur, Mar 29 Nolichucky - Sawmill/County Line to Big Rock (Chip's) Jason (Ego), Bill, Jeremy (My Mutant) 2Fun, just over 1000cfs, 1.88' on the foot gauge. Tried to go easy on my shoulder (tweaked it some during a backdeck roll attempt last Tuesday at the pool), but still felt it some. Also, didn't take it as easy as I could have. Surfed some at Blevins, still an awesome fun wave, but I think it was better last summer during kayak camp (higher water). A couple other surfs. Jason was training Bill. Jeremy helped by jumping out of his boat above Big Rock and making Bill rescue him. (Saw solo playboater at BR, not wearing a PFD because "it wasn't in the truck". A little disturbing....)
17 Sat, Mar 31 Nolichucky - Sawmill/County Line to Big Rock (Chip's) Sue 2Fun, just over 1000cfs, didn't look at the gauge, didn't want to disturb the fishermen. Sue borrowed my spare paddle. Shoulder felt good at first, until my second sidesurf in a little bitty ledge hole. Didn't think beforehand that facing the right would put all the bracing and power strokes on that arm. I felt it then, and for most of the day...not bad, but it was there. Sue enjoyed all the little surf waves. They come in a good progression. The first is super easy to catch, very, very friendly. (I'm not counting the wave near the sidesurf's surfable, but not nearly the quality of the others.) The second a little harder to catch, but still very friendly and slightly bigger wave that's even more fun to surf. This is the one that Sue didn't want to leave. I think she would've stayed forever if I hadn't shooed her off. I knew Blevins was just downstream and I couldn't wait to get back on there. We spent a long time at Blevins. Sue got blown off the wave the first several times she tried. I rigged up a rope to help her (and me!) back into the eddy, but it wasn't quite long enough for her to catch where she often ended up. She walked up the island at least 3 times. She finally got a couple good surfs on there, I know once she figures out how to control the surf, she'll be unstoppable. I'm loving the control I'm starting to feel on that wave. I can stay on for a long time - one surf started as Sue got out of her boat below, and ended as she was getting back in at the wave after walking up. I'm not quite ready to take my paddle out of the water to try to spin it, but I can get a short toss in occasionally. Once we finally left Blevins, we boogied through the flatwater and on down to Big Rock. Stopped below Big Rock for a bit to watch the Swiftwater Rescue team/class work on Live Bait rescues.
18 Tue, Apr 3 Nolichucky - Chip's to Taylor Bridge Sue, Matt, Jessee, Matt Money (SuperFun), Brenda (EZ) 2Fun, about 950cfs, 80 degrees and sunny. No swims or flips for anyone! Kids made it through everything upright on their second trip. Brenda did great for her first trip in her own boat (second trip ever). We played at the caves for awhile, throwing rocks, exploring, swimming. Saw a small banded water snake at the beach below the caves. Didn't make a big deal of it since it was trying to hide. Matt M. did some squirts and pop ups at the eddy line by the big rock below the caves. Played a lot in the flat sections. I tried my first roll since tweaking the shoulder, no problems on the left side. Actually the shoulder did really well, only hurt when pulling on straps to tie down boats afterward. Brenda did three flatwater rolls...excellent rolls, even though she complained about getting wet. Good day.
19 Sat, Apr 14 Nolichucky Gorge - Poplar to Campground Sue, Rebecca Morrow (Mutant), Jed Mallard (Nomad), Bryan Hogan (Mohawk OC-1) 2Fun, just over 800cfs, 60+ degrees, cloudy, windy (but blowing downstream)! Sue did awesome! Upright all the way through the main line at Quarter Mile! She conquered Rooster Tail with a better line than I had, until a sneaky little hole at the very bottom of the rapid hit her sideways. She had a perfect roll, though! My contact apparently had a hole in it and maybe scratched my eye. It burned and hurt pretty bad. It came out before lunch and I found the hole. Felt better briefly, but the relief didn't last long. So, I paddled half blind and distracted by the burning. I took an Ibuprofen and a Tylenol when I realized there were some my kit. Didn't help. I wasn't the most "fun" person to paddle with, so I'm glad the others were there to keep the trip fun for Sue. I'm glad she had a good day.
20 Thur, Apr 19 Nolichucky - Chestoa to Sawmill/County Line Phillip, Bill 2Fun, just over 1300cfs, spit rain off and on all day. Good fellowship, hanging out, talking about anything and everything. The run itself wasn't too eventful. Phillip swam making the turn into Big Eddy, but self-rescued. No swims the rest of the day for him, he ran Radio Tower very well. I didn't play much. Bill, of course, did play quite a bit. He hit 4 ends on his flatwater cartwheels! I went for the boof move at Hi Rd and didn't do it very well, but managed to stay upright.
R1   Nantahala - Ferebee to NOC Orientation Class Rainy, cool. Wore drytop and pants. Some of the guys in the class who'd already been through guide school guided. Good relaxing trip.
R2 Wed, Apr 25 Nantahala - Patton's Run to NOC Nanty POD Training Class I guided from the top, through Patton's and down a mile or two. Also got a little more stick time later on. We really just worked on water reading skills and boat maneuvering on this trip.
R3 Wed, Apr 25 Nantahala - Ferebee to NOC NOC POD Training Class Worked a lot more on strokes, raft handling, lines, etc. I guided through Nantahala Falls and was able to stick the "A" line with no help from my crew! Very nice.
R4 Thur, Apr 26 Nantahala - Patton's to "Ledges" NOC POD Training Class Each person guided the section between Ferebee and the Ledges once during the day, focusing on catching eddies, peelouts, and ferries. I took the second or third run and did ok on my turn, not outstanding, but ok.
R5 Thur, Apr 26 Nantahala - Ferebee to "Ledges" NOC POD Training Class We ran shuttle, ate lunch on the bus and did it again. Did I mention it was cold and rainy all day long.
R6 Thur, Apr 26 Nantahala - Ferebee to NOC NOC POD Trainin Class Ran shuttle, did it all over again, this time we dropped off the instructors at the "Ledges", so they could ride the bus back for hot chocolate, while we continued on down and met up with them again at the Falls. They rejoined us, and showed us how to clean "A" line without needing to use the crew. Stefan didn't even spill his hot chocolate that he'd sat on the raft floor.
R7 Fri, Apr 27 Nantahala Falls, a lot NOC POD Training Class We ran the Falls 14 or 15 tims on this day. We had 4 rafts available, but only used two at a time. Once all 4 were at the bottom, we'd shuttle them back up on a flat bed truck and do it again. We ran the truck up at least 4 times. Each trainee (7 of us) got 3 runs down the Falls. The first run was supposed to be "A" line. The second, catching 3-4 eddies on the way down. The third was with a full crew (5-6 plus guide), and trying to catch all the eddies. I did really well, I think. I was nervous about catching the eddies, but it worked out well. I had some issues with the one below Billboard rock, but managed to squeak in each time. I was really tired from walking up that trail so many times. After we'd each gotton our three runs in we had a chance for some "fun runs". The boys took a rental raft that had been left, and thought they'd try to surf all the holes. They managed to lose the guy who'd been guiding in the ledge hole, had to pull him back in before top hole, and then give him a paddle since he'd lost his. It was entertaining to watch. Then, we stacked three rafts on top of each other (the second upside down and perpendicular to the others). You'll have to see the pictures to believe it. Somehow the two guys who could reach the water managed to take us down "A" line, although we almost got clotheslined on the trees at the top left. Once past the Falls, we got stuck on several rocks, but worked our way off and on down to rentals to put the rafts up. Then we had to wade and swim by the foot bridge. That water is so cold. At least it was warmer than the day before, but still even with dry pants and top on I was cold and fairly wet. The pants definitely leak at shin level, maybe the gasket seals.
R8 Sun, Apr 29 Middle Ocoee (10:00 trip) Susan (another trainee) We followed a one boat trip led/guided by Jeremy, with a couple KG's (kayak guides) along with us. Susan had worked on the Chattooga, so had good raft control, but I had more experience on the Ocoee, and knew the lines better. Between us we made a pretty decent team.
R9 Sun, Apr 29 Middle Ocoee (2:00 trip) Rode with Miss Judy, a 30-year Ocoee veteran I didn't do any guiding, just watched how Judy handled the raft, interacted with her crew. She was really good to talk me through why and how she did what she did so smoothly. Quite impressive to watch her guide. We saw a bald eagle fly over us!
R10 Sat, May 5 Middle Ocoee (10:00 Trip) Rode with Jeremy and a group of FBI men I guided very briefly at Gonzo's Shoals. Jeremy took over after I got us really stuck on some rocks. I got the "stick" back below Diamond Splitter and kept it until we got to the takeout. I did alright on the lower section. I guess I just needed to warm up. Jeremy helped tell me where the line was, but let me get the raft there. I did get pushed pretty far over to the left at Powerhouse. I got $10 when Jeremy split his tip with me.
R11 Sat, Apr 5 Middle Ocoee (2:00 Trip) Rode with Crisler some young army soldiers The army kids never quite got the teamwork thing down but were a fun group. The guy in the front right was funny, he'd stuffed the front pocket of his raincoat full of goodies like beef jerky, candy bar, camera, etc. He lost his camera for a bit, but it floated back to the back of the raft while Crisler had us surfing the hole at Double Suck. I stuck it in my pocket and gave it back after the trip. I need to look at the training sheet at NOC to remember what I guided on this trip.
R12 Sun, May 6 Middle Ocoee (10:00 trip) Rode with Crisler and a family of 5 The family were great paddlers from the beginning. The kids and parents alike seemed to have a great time. I took the stick through Hell's Half Mile, Double Trouble, Left-Right-Left, Squeeze Play, Flipper, the Doldrums, Hiawassee Shoals....I think. Crisler took over at Surprise Ledge and finished the trip. I messed up at Flipper and found the flipper rock, but we got lucky and all stayed in the boat, and it upright. Whoops. Need to start a lot more left. Most everything else went well. I got $5 when Crisler split his tip with me.
R13 Sun, May 6 Middle Ocoee (2:00 trip) Rode with Crisler and a bunch of middle school Jewish girls I did the put in talk and lake instruction, or tried to. The girls really didn't listen at first. They got better as the day went on, but it wasn't an easy trip. I guided Hiwassee Shoals (except Sneaky Pete and Surprise Ledge), Table Saw, Diamond Splitter, Western Flyer, Accelerator, Cat's Pajamas, Hell Hole, Powerhouse. I still got pushed left for Power house, managed to not go too far left, still hit the holes head on, but would like to be a lot further right. Crisler says I need more angle, I was too straight with the current. At some point Crisler was comfortable enough with me guiding, that he was sitting on the front of the raft facing the girls, not even holding a paddle. He rode like that through Cat's, Hell Hole, Powerhouse....maybe a couple others before those, too.
21 Wed, May 9 Nolichucky Gorge (to Chestoa) Sue 2Fun, very warm, wore drytop, but might have been ok without. I was so scatterbrained that I left my paddle in my car at the takeout and didn't remember it until we were almost at the put-in, so I had to handpaddle down. I did pretty well, tried to paddle smarter rather than harder. We kept moving, not paddling hard, but not stopping for anything, really. I tried to stay in the current as much as possible to save energy. I handpaddled all the way to the campground, and traded with Sue for the last mile or so. Dry hair runs for both of us! That was real nice since I'd never handpaddled the Gorge and Sue had not done it in the Huck. I was not nearly as sore afterward as I would have expected.
R14,15,16 Sat, May 12 Middle Ocoee (Ocoee POD Training) Crisler (trainer), Lauren, Chris, Brian, Tyler 3 trips down the Middle Ocoee. Lunch between the 2nd and 3rd trips. I think I guided through every rapid at some point during the weekend. Not very well, but we made it. Swam Accelerator at some point. Did swimming ferries at Staging Eddy and Jump Rock. I still don't swim well. I did enjoy the "deep swim" at Cat's Pajama's, though. Did it 3 times, alhtough the first was the best. Who knew you could go so far under while still wearing a PFD.
R17,18 Sun, May 13 Middle Ocoee (POD Training) Crisler, Lauren, Chris, Brian, Tyler I wore long sleeves, mostly for sun protection as it was pretty warm outside. We worked on rope throws at jump rock and Tablesaw, yes, everyone had to swim Tablesaw. I hardly spent anytime at all above water during my swim. I got really cold on that second trip, and was unable to warm up even during lunch in the sun. Usually that's a sign that I'm getting sick, so I didn't go on the third trip, ran their shuttle for them instead. Finally warmed up in the van in the sun.
22 Mon, May 14 Nolichucky - Chestoa to Jackson-Love Matt, Brenda, Will, Nathan 2Fun, 700-800cfs, warm for being 5/6pm. First kayak trip I've taken without a drytop this year. Just wore a short sleeve duofold. The water has really warmed up. Brenda and Nathan had never done this section of river. Will had done it once last summer during kayak camp. Brenda was really nervous about Radio Tower, but she (and everyone else!) did great. I had her paddle down right behind me, with Nathan next. Since Will remembered the line, he came behind them with Matt sweeping. All the other rapids went great as well, we took our time and picked easy lines, Matt and I traded the lead back and forth easily. Before Hi/Lo Rd, Matt and Nathan were playing, trying to bury their bows and stand up. Will felt left out, so I let him try my boat. He stayed in it until the takeout (through Hi Rd!). Brenda's thinking about getting him one. That left me in an's been a long time since I paddled such a long boat. It wasn't hard really, except that I didn't fit at all. It was actually kind of nice to have the speed while we were at Hi/Lo Rd. I was able to paddle back upstream to get into better rescue position. Will ran Hi Rd first behind me. He didn't paddle through it and leaned upstream when he got turned sideways...flipped. He tried to roll once, but it didn't happen (different boat, in current, brought his head up). But, he stayed in (and calm enough) for a rescue! I told him he made my day when I saw his hands come up waiting for my boat. Brenda and Nathan did great coming down Hi Rd (and Matt, of course).
23 Sat, May 19 Nolichucky - Chip's to Taylor Bridge Sue, Matt, Jessee 2Fun, around 620cfs. A little cooler than it has been, low 70's. Dressed the kids warm and didn't do any extra swimming. They did great. The only flip was Jessee at the second rapid. There was a large rock that a lot of the current pushed into. Matt had bounced off as well, but did lean into it, so he was able to stay upright. Jessee pulled her skirt and Sue was right there with her to get her to shore. I emptied the boat and we went on. We have a lot of fun in the flat sections. I do need to remember to get a small ball we can play with there. Didn't stop at the caves, didn't have time.
24 Thur, May 24 Nolichucky - Embreeville to Big Rock Tube Trip (Bill, Matt, Matt Cox, Nathan) 2Fun, first tube trip of the year! Low water, around 560cfs...I'm afraid we're in another drought year. Pretty warm. Handed out all my warm clothes, everybody seemed to do pretty good. Nick went in an RPM w/o a skirt. Mandy C. took a sit-on-top. Bill led. Good trip, although Yakko got pretty bruised up. Nick broached on a rock just above Big Rock. I got him off upright, but his boat filled up with water. We had him get out and swim through the main drop. Recovered his boat afterward. Hope it rains soon. And often.
25 Sat, June 2 Pigeon Sue, Rebecca Morrow, Hannah, her husband, Brian, Angelina, another couple guys. 2Fun, only wore short sleeve duofold shirt...water still pretty cold, cloudy and overcast. I played hard at House Rock (squirting and rolling) and a Razor Rock. Started getting cold after that. Added a whole new challenge to the river, for me. How to run even the harder rapids without gettting wet. Saw Sarah Jones, Henley, Dr. Chamness on the water.

25 Kayak,
18 Raft,
43 Total

9 River Sections, 2 States 27 Different Companions
(does not include raft trips)
Life is Good!

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