It’s been awhile since my dad and I kayaked on whitewater
so we were excited to hear that the Missouri Whitewater Association (the kayaking club in Missouri), was headed to North Carolina for the “Guest Appreciation Festival,” at the Nantahala Outdoor Center for some boating.
On Thursday 9/25 my dad and I embarked on a journey to North Carolina for our kayaking adventure. At about 5:30 a.m. we finally had to stop to get some sleep. After a good night’s rest we got on the road again with only about an hour and a half left on our trip. Unfortunatly, we arrived too late to kayak on the river, but we did get to spend some time hiking on the Appaliachian Trail, which was really cool.
On Saturday we finally got our chance to go out on the river, and i was really excited. We headed out at around 9 a.m. and got on the river at around 11 a.m. The Nantahala isn’t too difficult of a river, but for my dad and I, it gave us a run for our money. There are some pretty good waves that crest at about 8 feet that you have to plow through or else you’ll get tossed around like a rag doll. I flipped my twice during the course of the day and had to eject from my boat and swim to shore, which is called a swim. The big difference between a beginner and an expert kayaker is a good roll, (being able to get rightside up underwater). It was pretty humbling to see these great kayakers surf on these waves and be able to pull off flips and cartwheels in these tiny boats. I still have a ways to go.
The best thing about kayakers though, is that they really don’t seem to have any egos and are all really patient and helpful. There’s a common saying in the kayaking world, “We’re all between swims,” which basically means everybody has to eject from their boat and swim to shore eventually, so no worries about it happening.
On Sunday my dad and I decided to try something new, whitewater rafting. Basically, you and six other people are on a giant inflatable intertube in some heavy duty water. That was a ball, we all had a great time and nobody got bounced out of our boat. With rafting there really isn’t any pressure on flipping, so it’s just a relaxing and exciting experience.
Well in a nutshell, that was my kayaking adventure. I have a lot of room to improve, but i still had a blast and I can’t wait to get back at it.