Archives for May 2013

Just Another Day at The River

With summer here. Max and I decided we would like to live in a house instead of our tent this summer. The following is a description of what morning was consistently like for the past three summers. Not much will change living in a house other than we will use sinks and likely smell better.

I sit up while reaching for a nearby water bottle and sip slowly to wet my lips. I find my hand slip inside my dry bag that doubles as a suitcase and fumble inside for my toothbrush. Still in my sleeping bag I sit up to brush my teeth – the one hygienic ritual I refuse to go with out – I open the tent flap and spit into the grass. From my cocoon I clearly see the verdant mountaintops of the Nantahala Gorge as they rise above the clouds that roll in like clockwork each night only to be chased away by the sun each day. From our tent it is only a five-minute walk to the rafting outpost where we work.

I look at my watch as a ray of morning light invitees itself inside the tent. I climb out of my sleeping bag and nudge my brother signaling it is time to wake from the night and let go of the comfort a sleeping bag provides in the moments of dawn – We have been told before, “Boys, If the sun is up and you ‘re still asleep your burning daylight.” A bird chirps as we step into our clothes and the day begins to slowly come alive. Clarity and focus exists in the early morning. As thoughts of coffee enter my mind I look over to see that Max is topping off my mug as I finish dividing breakfast in to two bowls, being careful to make sure it is evenly split between us. We pull our kayaking gear off the cars roof racks testing it for dryness, an anomaly in the Nantahala Gorge. Max stuffs his things neatly into his gear bag not forgetting to include his lunch. I do the same. After breakfast an unintended concert born out of habit begins, we simultaneously sling our gear bags over our shoulders. Coffee mugs in hand we walk down the hill to the outpost

The past three summers we could have lived in a house complete with a washer and dryer, a normal kitchen, running water and a bathroom. But we opted for something different, something simpler.

Just another day at the river.


High Water Nolichucky

I had just graduated college in the rain. Thank you rain gods. We watched river levels rise over night and in the morning everything was blown out so we rallied for a great time on the Nolichucky River at high water. We think it was in the range of 7,00-9,00 on the first lap and 13,000-16,000 on the second lap.

Even the rain didn’t dampen the celebration of my graduation!


Max is all smiles as he charges into a wavetrain characterictic of the rest of the Nolichucky river at floodstage.

We met up with Jes Paulino to enjoy the fruits of the rain gods. Here Jes is dropping into quater mile on the Nolichucky River. I did not take pictures on the second lap since the water was higher my focus shifted to dodging full size trees floating downstream with us.