Wednesday, March 05, 2008

High Side of Good

Yo' I'm Adriene

Checking in from the southeast (good ole North Carolina) after one of the biggest rains (and well needed) that we have gotten in a good while. It rained seven inches in Transylvania county, meaning the Toxaway river was on the "high side of good". So this was a special day for most of us on the river as it was Daniels birthday and we were on one of his favorite rivers of the southeast. Two days later, we returned to this nutso beautiful river at a more manageable flow (lower) even though it was still raining. The pictures from this post are from two different days.

Toby and I sitting at the put in, waiting patiently for our homies.

I skipped class for this fabuloso day, it was sunny and the s*^$ was running. Still got up at 8 am, due to my phone exploding and having to get up to get ready to go. I went to my daily trip to Breugers Bagels for a bagel (of corse) and some coffee that tastes like french toast... no.... really. Heath got to the put-in and looked at the gauge before us, it was high. That was all he said, and to meet at the take out. Got shuttle set and headed to the river, I was shaking in my cute little grey IR drysuit, cause I was skeert...

The put-in slide, fastest I had ever gone in my boat.... until later in the same day...

Good ole' Billy Murphey finally decided to get back into his kayak after being hurt for what felt like forever. His perfect curles put him in the perfect spot on the put in rapid.

The Toxaway river is the third steepest river in the southeast after Road Prong and Ravens Fork respectably. It flows out of Lake Toxaway over the dam that created the lake.

The first really significant rapid of the day is called Pungee stick or better known as Mini-Gizer. If you look real hard at this picture there is a person in this picture. Think it might be Drew Duvall but paddles all look the same when theres water everywhere.

Hmm.. Toby playing in the tube at the top of Mini-Gizer.

Drew about to get in at Energizer at high water, one of the scariest rapids that I have ever seen and still wanted to run.

Drew firing up Energizer at high water, sooo scary!

On the low day at Energizer, I never really thought that pictures could do this river justice and I still feel the same way. These rapids will be the biggest rapids you see and you still want to run them. Words of wisdom said by big brother Drew.

Energizer from the bottom, really shows how steep this river really is. This is such an odd shaped canyon. At some point in the 1800's a dam broke above this gorge and caused 135000 cfs to come flying down this magnificent area. To stand at the bottom of this so California-esque river and imagine that much water comming down was very....terrifying.

Feeding Trough, so the name of this rapid is perfect. It gets really tight in there, scary tight, that much water should not go through such a little spot. Papa Murph showin me how its' done, he didnt even mess his curls up. :-)

Land bridge. This rapid is odd, a rock fell into the river at the top (where the kayakers are) and made...well a land bridge. There is a substantial amount of water going under the rock that and we seal launch off it. When we hit the water off of the rock we are going down, the water is going out, it feels like a roller coaster going over the top of a mountain when sitting at the back of the train. You get that whiplash affect. Im not sure if that makes sense...

Directly below Landbridge is Wintergreen. Daniel always said "You can only run a rapid blind once". Thus Drew and I routed into this rapid blind. Well Drew had seen it cause he had paddled the river before but, I had only seen it on pictures and its a lot bigger when you are all the way at the top where that teeny tiny person is standing on river right, or when you think it just a slide and there is really a 20 foot drop at the top. Amazing rapid, 80 feet, and it doesn't even hurt.

After Wintergreen there are no more slide rapids or really class five rapids except for the one mandatory portage that is a ways downstream. I followed Pat down the rest of the river and to get out for the portage is on river left. He had me catch an eddie on river right and try to do this hairy ferry across the river to get to the mandatory eddie catch to portage. I got into the eddy, but I got turned around by the guard hole and got surfed back into the middle of the river. Pat had enough time to get out of his boat and try and catch me. He didn't get to me so, I pinned myself on river right to avoid running the supposedly "unrunnable" rapid. Hoping to maybe get out of my boat on river right. That didn't work and I got thrown over to river left where Toby was standing just telling me (he was more yelling) to go right and paddle hard, really hard. I got right as fast I could, boofed hard and flipped at the bottom where there was a log pile. I hit my head, one, two three, the third hit was the hardest and I had a goose egg on my head even. So that mandatory portage, has now been run. We named the rapid Yo Adriene, catch that F*$%ing eddie!

So in the end even screwing up and running the mandatory portage turned out ok. The days on the Toxaway were fantastic and I made it out with just a bump on the head (thanks to the FNA full face helmet), and a very good lesson learned. Keep your head on as straight as you can when the s%$# hits the fan and remember its about paddling in a beautiful place and hanging with your homies.

Thanks to everyone at Liquid Logic for your support and help, when I really have needed it.

Peace out from the "Beasty Easty". Happy and warm paddling!!