Friday, September 25, 2009

One Hour To GAF.....

GAF's about to start. Here are some photos of the gear spread...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

GAF: Where to Park

If you've been to NOC's Guest Appreciation Before, you know there are a lot of people here to catch a great deal. NOC sets up satellite parking lots and runs free shuttles all day Saturday. Most lots are located EAST of NOC on Highway 19, with the exception of the Silvermine Road lots, which are right behind NOC, within walking distance. So if you're coming from the West (via Murphy, NC), be sure to pass NOC to get to the satellite parking lots.

This post is aimed at providing you a visual reference for these satellite lots. In each instance, the lot will be clearly marked with "NOC EVENT PARKING" signs. Lots open on Saturday morning, as soon as NOC's on-site parking fills up.

This is the junction of Hwy 19 with Silvermine Road. Turn behind NOC's Wesser General Store and proceed less than half a mile up Silvermine Road until you come to the first lot, located on your left. The second Silvermine Road lot is a fenced-in field on your right.

Almost one mile EAST of NOC on Highway 19 is the Nantahala Food Mart and the junction with Wesser Creek Road. There are two parking lots accessed by turning onto Wesser Creek. The first is at the Gem Mine. You have to pass the Gem Mine and proceed to the driveway, marked by a sign. Just a few bends of the road away is a lot at the junction of Wesser Creek Road and Dills Road. It's a bit easier to turn around and approach the lot entrance from the south.
The junction of Highway 19 with Wesser Creek Road at the Nantahala Food Mart.

Located just a couple of miles past Wesser Creek Road on Hwy 19, you'll find the Pittsburger Grill (formly PRO Rafting). Their large lot on the south side of the highway will also be utilized for GAF parking. Here's what it looks approaching from the Bryson City side.

In the even of a heavy downpour, we want to make sure these lots don't become a muddy mess. For this reason, lot locations are subject to change. Your safest bet is to arrive early, be patient and park where NOC EVENT PARKING signs are clearly located. They'll look just like this:

Have safe travels and we'll see you this weekend at Guest Appreciation Festival 2009!

GAF Prep Wednesday 9/23

Check out the inflatables getting lined up for the Big Used Gear Sale:

Monday, September 21, 2009

Save Big on New Paddling Gear with GAF Specials at the Outfitter's Store

The time has arrived for our big Guest Appreciation Festival, just three days from now! NOC's famous Outfitter's Store is the nation's largest paddlesports retailer, and these are just some of the deals you can expect to find this weekend at GAF.

Sweet helmets are 35% OFF

Drytops, dry pants and drysuits by Palm are 30% OFF, and they come in great colors

The PeakUK Riverguide PFD is 30% OFF

Peak UK Freeride Drytops are 30% OFF

All Werner and Adventure Technology Paddles are 20% OFF

Purchase any NEW boat and receive $150 off of MSRP! (Includes canoes, recreational and fishing kayaks.)

NOC's Outfitter's Store sale officially begins this Friday at 9am. Store hours for the weekend are as follows:

Friday 9am-8pm
Saturday 8am-8pm
Sunday 8am-5pm

The store's used fleet of demo boats goes on sale Saturday morning at 8am.

Here's a link to our festival announcement in the Asheville Citizen-Times.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sneak Peek: Special Sales on North Face Gear at GAF

This Guest Appreciation Festival, NOC's Outfitter's Store is blowing out North Face apparel at incredible prices. We know you're going to scoop this stuff up, so here's a sneak preview of special sales you'll find at GAF, next weekend

Men's Venture Parka
Anyone who's hiked in the Smokies knows a rain storm can catch up with you at any moment. Whether you're on the ridge to Andrews Bald or in the hollow starting the Bartram Trail, The Venture Parka is the ultimate rainwear piece for any occasion. This popular piece has been updated to include an improved hood for greater coverage.
Your GAF Price: $78
Men's Hedgehog Mid GTX Shoe
Designed for multisport athletes and adventure racers, the Hedgehog Mid GTX XCR is the optimal all-terrain shoe. Designed with a grippy Vibram outsole, this do-it-all speed-hiking shoe offers a mid-cut profile for added support. Break them in on NOC's Flint Ridge Trail!
Your GAF Price: $66
Men's Half Dome Hoodie
Designed with athletic-inspired ribbing at the cuffs and hem, the Half Dome Hoodie is a classic pullover layer for cool weather excursions. Contrasting color logo is screen-printed on the chest. Your lady will definitely want to borrow this one on layover days.
Your GAF Price: $24

Women's Carmen Shirt
Perfect for meeting friends for lunch or hanging around the river on sunny fall afternoons, this soft cotton shirt features feminine detailing throughout that flatters all shapes. Smocking along the back and empire waistline creates a close-to-skin fit. The Carmen Shirt also features a longer torso length provides greater coverage while reaching and moving.
Your GAF Price: $21
Women's WindWall 1 Vest
A sleeveless version to the favorite wind-inhibiting fleece. The WindWall 1 Vest delivers athletic warmth in cold weather and excellent insulation when layered. Great for training on cool fall days at Tsali.
Your GAF Price: $48
Women's Akira Sport Pants
Designed for low-impact use, the Akira Sport Pant is made with 8 percent elastane for increased stretch during workouts. A wider waistband hugs your hips, ensuring a secure fit while squatting, kicking or pivoting. Stitching details accentuated on the outside in contrast color add modern style lines to these timeless pants. All-day cozies.
Your GAF Price: $27
Women's Hedgehog Mid GTX XCR Shoe
Decked out with all the same features as the Men's Hedgehog, the women's version comes in beige as seen at left, and in gray/blue. All-terrain shoe is lightweight, waterproof, breathable and durable with Vibram sole.
Your GAF Price: $66

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Get Set for GAF: Events Line-Up

This year's Guest Appreciation Festival (GAF) features more stuff than we can fit in one blog post. So stay tuned over the next two weeks for special sneak peeks at sale items, pre-GAF contests, park and shuttle information and all the details you'll need to make your GAF visit a success.

GAF 2009 Satruday Event Line-Up
In addition to GAF mainstays like the NOC Used Gear Sale, the Gear Marketplace and Outfitter's Store Sidewalk Sale, Saturday September 26 features an entire day's worth of games and contests. Stick around and enjoy the best fall festival.

Subaru Sumo Thunder Challenge
Subaru sanctions the popular Sumo Thunder Challenge, in front of the Outfitter's Store. Last year, our bracket system pitted two fierce competitors in a head-to-head race (in the sumo suit) toward a kayak, which the winner got to take home.

ShredReady/IR Pumpkin Pursuit
Remember the Headhunter race at the Ocoee? Spencer Cooke will be throwing numbered pumpkins into Nantahala Falls, and contestant boaters will be scrambling to retrieve as many as possible. At Saturday's Woody Pines show, we'll award prizes to the collecters of randomly-drawn numbers.

Dagger Old School Rodeo
Dagger's Anna Levesque and Adam Moates judge the old-school rodeo at the bottom of Nanty Falls. Old boats, old tricks.

LiquidLogic Giant Slalom
LiquidLogic's Woody Calloway will officiate this slalom race, beginning at the boater take out just upriver from Slow Joe's Cafe. Course ends with a splash through the wave and an eddy just above the old steel bridge. Participants rochambeau for prizes.

Jackson Big Trick Competition
International Whitewater Hall of Famer and founder of Jackson Kayak Eric Jackson hosts the Big Trick Competition at the Outfitter's Store wave.

Pyranha Head-to-Head Speeder Challenge
Pyranha brings you a Boater-X style race from the NOC beach to just above the old steel bridge, all in Pyranha's boats.

Video Premieres
Head to the Rafting Center around 4pm for the kayaking cinema, where we'll feature world premieres from Lunch Video Magazine and EffortTV. We'll also roll out the NOC/Dagger Freestyle Shootout 09 world premier and the IWHOF 2009 Inductee video.

Wacky Wild Ride Booth - All day
Take a ducky over Big Wesser Falls, or at least look like you did! Our Photo Finish will have a Wacky Wild Ride booth set up with a green screen, for creative ducky riding photos. Photo sessions are free, and images are available for purchase online. The Wacky Wild Ride Booth will be set up in front of the Photo Finish building, on river left.

Rafting and Paddling
Don't forget that all weekend long, whitewater rafting and paddlers' shuttles will run from NOC to the put-in. Take advantage of rafting and paddling now, because Duke turns off the water on the Nantahala on October 5 for winter maintenance.

Games and Clinics
Set up across NOC are games and clinics that anyone can participate in all weekend long. We'll have the cornhole toss game, climbing wall and slide, fishing programs, water cannon battles, a bouncy house, foamy boat building and racing, throw bag clinics and much more.

Other Competitions - Details coming soon!
We're still working out details on these events, but bet that they'll be lots of fun. I mean, who doesn't want to watch a kayak go through a chipper?

Cash for Clunkers Canoe Return Program
LiquidLogic Boat Recycling
Crowded Canoe Challenge
Attainment Races
American Whitewater Raffle

Flashback: GAF 2008 Images

This happy shopper made off with a sweet Zoom.

The crowd at the Gear Marketplace, now on River Right.

The rochambeau for a LiquidLogic kayak.

The Outfitter's Store Sidewalk Sale

Friday, September 4, 2009

International Whitewater Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, September 26 at NOC

Part of this year's GAF celebration will include the International Whitewater Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, held for the second year at Nanahala Outdoor Center. The hall of fame, otherwise known as IWHOF will host a series of events in conjunction with the induction ceremony on Saturday, September 26. All guests who will be visiting NOC for our annual Guest Appreciation Festival are welcome to attend these special events with whitewater legends.

Here is the tentative schedule of events:

9:30am - Commemorative Nantahala '90 Project RAFT Trip
IWHOF Honoree and NOC founder Payson Kennedy will guide this trip on the Nantahala River, in commemoration of Project RAFT's Nantahala '90 trip. Project RAFT was initiated by American and Russian whitewater raft experts who wanted to create an event to overcome the political animosity between these two countries. First held in Siberia in 1989, Project RAFT next moved to the Nantahala River in 1990. Participating in this year's commemorative trip are IWHOF Honoree Rafael Gallo, who represented Costa Rica at Nantahala '90, and Andrey and Svetlana Kolchevnikov, the son and widow of IWHOF Honoree and Project RAFT founder Mikhail Kolchevnikov.

The commemorative raft trip is open to the public. The trip will me at NOC's Rafting Center at 9am, with a 9:30 shuttle to the Nantahala put-in.

a shot from the Nantahala '90 raft rally

12:30pm - Lunch with IWHOF Honorees
Following the river trip, IWHOF honorees will hold a meet-and-greet lunch at Slow Joe's Cafe. Again, this event is open to the public. During lunch, a slide slow of the 1989 Chuya Rally and Nantahala '90 Rally will be shown on the TVs at Slow Joe's deck area.

5:00pm - IWHOF Induction Ceremony
Tickets are available for this event, held at Relia's Garden Restaurant, by calling NOC (800-232-7238) or through our online reservation system. The ceremony begins at 5pm with a reception, followed by a showing of the 2009 Honoree DVD at 6pm. A formal dinner begins at 7pm, concluding with awards, speeches and remarks.

For more information, visit the International Whitewater Hall of Fame website by clicking here. You can also check out the 2009 inductee biographies and professional accomplishments.

Another Nantahala '90 image. Why wouldn't you take along an accordion?!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Spend Labor Day on the Nantahala

The folks at the Asheville Citizen-Times know what's cool this Labor Day weekend—whitewater rafting on the Nantahala River!

Here is a story from today's Cit-Times, talking about Labor Day fun, as well as information on scheduled maintenance to the Nantahala dam. Here's a portion of the article:

NANTAHALA GORGE — If you've been planning a trip down the scenic Nantahala River, this Labor Day weekend is a good time to hop in a boat.

The class II-III river that cuts a picturesque path through the Nantahala Gorge in Graham and Swain counties will slow down to a nonboatable trickle on Oct. 4, about a month earlier than usual so critical maintenance can be performed on the Nantahala Dam.

“What we're trying to do is balance public recreation needs with essential repairs to the generator,” said Fred Alexander, district manager for government and community relations with Duke Energy. “We gave the outfitters months and months of notice so they could come up with different business plans.”

The Nantahala Outdoor Center, the largest whitewater outfitter in the region, based on the banks of the Nantahala west of Bryson City, is planning events like a fly-fishing competition and mountain biking festival Oct. 16-18 to supplement the lack of rafting, said NOC marketing director Charles Conner.