Thursday, April 14, 2005

What a week of Paddling!

It all began with the recording on Wednesday morning. Tuxedo Hydro station will be operating two generators at 100% capacity from midnight until midnight. We had a fair amount of rain the night before which meant that there would also be a bunch of natural flow in the river, and we were psyched to get out on the Green at a high flow.
250% was the estimated flow which means when you put your paddle on the gage rock that is usually just at the surface at 100% most of the blade is covered by water.
The Jefes had rolled in a few days before and the ladies hadn't had a chance to check out the new boats yet so Whitney and Maria decided it was their turn. After a few minutes to outfit the boats we headed off down the trail and that was the beginning of my week that will rank right up there with some of the best weeks I have ever had.
DAY 1 Super High Green River

Lots of folks have been asking about the size of paddlers that are enjoying the Jefe. I put together a video of the girls along with their stats so you can see the different size folks that have been paddling the boat.
Shane 6'1, 190
Whitney 5'3" 120
Maria 5'7" 140 (3 months pregnant
Check out the video from the green below.
Girls on the Green Video Click Here
DAY 2 Green River with a Newbie

Got to take Joe Carbury from Paddler magazine down the Green for his first run on this day. Taking a good paddler down the Green that has never run it is a bunch of fun because lots of the rapids are good to go on just beta in the eddie above. So the new paddler gets to experience the rapids as a surprise. You only get one chance to look at a rapid in that way. Its only safe if you know the run very well, and the paddler you are leading is confident in your directions. We had a blast. It was stil high from the other day and all the rapids had some good padding on them. Joe even fired up the monkey on his first trip down the river. Which isn't even run at the level we were there by many people and he styled it.
I think he like the Jefe. As a matter of fact he said, "it was kind of like going home." I think its a great take care of you boat.

DAY 3 Horsepasture River

It is really hard to believe that I have lived, and paddled in this area for 25 years and I haven't done this run before. The day before we got an inch of rain which brought the Horsepasture into a perfect level to run it for the first time. This is one of the best runs I have done in this area. It really is a paddling play land. It is fairly remote with a long (4+ mile) hike out from the bottom with your boat, but the rapids, and sceneary made it perfectly worth it to me.

On the Horsepasture you actually earn all your turns. You start with a hike from your car to get to the put in. Then you hike back to your car from the take out so you pay for every rapid you run. It makes you appreciate it that much more. We had an awesome crew which made it sweet as well. Chris Ennis from NOC who paddled in the last Olympics in slalom was paddling a C-1 Gus down the river and styling it. Whitney and Maria of course you all know check out Johnny Utah. Joe from paddler magazine was in town. He was paddling the Yellow Jefe so you can check his paddling in the videos. His buddy Russel came down to join us as well from Louisville. Mefford Williams, Yonton, and I you might know from other videos that I have put up lately.

As a kid I hiked the upper parts of the run with camp groups but never got down into the main gorges. The take out for the run is at the top of one of the coolest waterfalls in the southeast. It looked to me like it was 200 feet tall or more. I hiked down at the end of the run to take a closer look and yes the river dropped of the face of the earth in a near vertical toboggan run of a slide. This alone was worth the hike maybe not with a kayak on my shoulder but the rapids more than covered that price. Check out the videos below.
Horsepasture Part 1
Horsepasture Part 2

DAY 4 Linville Gorge

Yonton, Joe, Russel, and I had put in some big miles the day before so when I looked on the AW page and saw that Linville was at a great level I was a little reluctant because I knew it would be a big day. Linville can be done 3 different ways. One you can put in and paddle all the way out of the gorge which is 12 or 16 miles depending on where you put in. Two you can take out after most of the rapids and hike 3 miles out of the gorge, or lastly you can do the whole trip as a two day overnight.

After the Horsepasture we didn't really want to be hiking out of a gorge again so that was out. We also weren't very interested in doing an overnight trip in the unpredictable spring weather so we decided that a big 12 mile paddle was the way to go.

There are a lot of runs were 12 miles isn't that much but Linville has 9 miles of pretty solid class 5 rapids so it is a long day especially when you add in a 3 mile flat water paddle out.
The weather cooperated perfectly. It was 75 degrees and sunny and the river was a perfect level. I can't even start to tell you about all the rapids. There are far too many to talk about. You start off with a sweet drop into a tight little landing, and then its all a blur. There are a couple memorable ones that are in the video, but I don't know many of the names so I won't even try. Amazingly enough 90 percent of the rapids were read and run, but you do need to be careful because there are some bad places and blind drops that end in sieves. I have done this run 3 times now and they have all been fantastic trips. I would really like to get to know this run well because there is so much awesome whitewater in a single day. There aren't any other runs in the southeast that are that long and have that quality of whitewater.
Then to top off the epic day of paddling we met a bunch of folks in Asheville for a show. The band was called Strut and they rocked a good funk for the night. Got home at 3am. Big Day.
Here is the video from the day.
Linville Video Click Here
DAY 5 Tallulah River
For the past week everyone we knew was talking about heading over to Tallulah for the high water Sunday release. If you don't know the Saturday release is 700 cfs, and the Sunday release is 900, and it is a big difference. The 900 really pads it out nicely but also gives it some push that can be intimidating. So that was the week. Now I have to pay the price and get back to work. Looks like this weekend is shot. Oh well. Fair trade if you ask me.
Put that all together with Overflow last weekend and I am a happy camper.
I should have a story from Marlow and Pat up on the Dries next week and maybe if we are lucky they will have some footage from Big Bus on the Ottawa river. Cheers I hope you all are finding good water as well.

Shaneslogic Comments