Monday, July 9, 2007

Weekend of Rivers

The weekend after July 4th, I headed down to the WNC & Tennessee region with Mike Covey. We had unfortunately not been able to make it down to Week of Rivers. So, instead, we decided to do a weekend trip hitting the Ocoee on friday and the Pigeon on saturday. After picking up Will in Asheville, the three of us hit the water and began the ferry across Grumpy's Ledges around noontime. Being my first time down, I decided to focus on the Ocoee's continuous whitewater and take advantage of the many playspots rather than taking lots of photos. I did stop by Hell Hole, after taking out, to catch a few shots of the locals shredding the hole.

Loading up after a long workout on the Ocoee

The scene at Hell Hole

Carving across the foam pile

After a night in Asheville, we headed to Tennessee once more to hit the Pigeon. This river is a little slower paced but still has many great playspots. Our boats were pointed upstream down many of the rapids to catch as many waves as possible on the fly. The "Dirty Bird" was definetely full of play but the water did taste a little funny.

Put-In at the Pigeon

Covey surfing the hole at Lost Guide

Will at Lost Guide

Battle Wound from the Ocoee

One highlight of the trip was that I met Rob Peerson, the designer of Wavesport Boats. He designed both of my new boats, the EZG and the Habitat, as well as the Narrow's raceboat, the Momentum, which he was paddling that day. He and his buddies were a friendly group to chat with in the eddies. By the way, thanks for the boats, Rob.....I picked those two out after months of extensive demoing, and I am enjoying every minute on the river with them.

Rob Peerson surfing the Momentum

Chit-Chat in the Eddy

Overall, it was a great weekend on the rivers. Thanks goes out to my mentor Covey for taking me to two such great play rivers and our guide Will who, with the memory of an elephant, recalled every major rapid down the Ocoee even though he had not paddled it in ten years. If this drought continues in the Southeast, I have a feeling I'll be heading back to Tennessee before too long.

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