Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My First Day at NOC

Hey guys! My name is John Puckett, and I’ll be working as a Marketing Intern for the rest of the summer here at NOC. Let me just start off by saying, wow, this place is beautiful. I just got in yesterday afternoon, and I’m already having a blast.

Yesterday, after I filled out the exciting W9 tax forms, I went over to “Stone House” – the building where I’m working – and met some of my coworkers. The three people I’m working with directly in the marketing department are Barbara, Hannah, and Charles, all of whom seem like really interesting, fun, life-loving people. I definitely won’t get bored at work.

From what Charles described to me, a large portion of my job will involve “gathering content” for NOC (aka taking pictures and video of rafters on 6 of the 7 rivers). In order to take these photos I will obviously need to be at each of the rivers, so as an unfortunate side effect of the job, I’ll need to go rafting all the time… Bummer ;-)

After I left the Stone House yesterday, I wanted to experience the river myself, so I drove upstream a little, parked on the side of the road, and hopped across some rocks so I could sit with my feet in the Nantahala. Wow, that water is cold! It felt so nice sitting there with my shoes off, cool mountain air sweeping off the river and hitting my face. I had my camera with me so I started taking some pictures of the small waterfalls, the contrast between shadow and light on the trees lining the river, and other things in nature when a group of NOC rafters floated by. I was amazed. This is an activity that I will be doing anyway in my free time (nature photography). How sweet is that?!

Chillin' with my feet in the Nantahala

Mossy Waterfall

All in all, this internship seems like it will be an amazing opportunity for me to do what I love, learn about the marketing side of business, explore the field of river sports, and have awesome adventures all along the way. Nice to meet y’all!


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

NOC Staff Dispatch: Paddling for a Cause in the Eddy Flower Vertical Challenge

from NOC Nolichucky River Guide Jeff Clewell

On May 15, the 2010 Eddy Flower Vertical Challenge began. For 32 days, 50 teams from the East and the West will compete to descend as many vertical feet as possible on whitewater rivers, all while raising money for young cancer patients. This is the fourth year in a row that Eddy Flower has teamed up with First Descents—an organization that provides kayak instruction and adventure for young adults who have recently been diagnosed with cancer—to put on the competition.

Myself and fellow NOC staffer Drew Austell are competing in the open division and hope to lead in both "vertical feet" and "donations" through the end of the competition. Our team (The Off the Cowch Team) jumped to an early lead in both categories and has managed to maintain that lead half-way through the competition. With the final days of the competition upon us, we will have to keep a watchful eye on the teams behind us.

Curt Joyce, Drew Austell, and Jeff Clewell, of The Off the Cowch Team, head downstream alongside fellow competitor Susan Hollingsworth, of the Femme 45 team. Photo by Melissa Wilder

Last year's competition came down to the final days, with three teams all vying for the top spot. This year promises to be just as competitive. You can check out the progress of The Off the Cowch Team at the Standings page.

The Miracle Mile stretch on Oregon's Willamette River has numerous lines and countless boofs like the one seen here. Photo by: Curt Joyce

Jeff winds up on a boof stroke to clear one of the many hydraulics in the Miracle Mile. Photo by: Curt Joyce

For more on First Descents, their history, mission, and testimonials click here. If you feel inspired, feel free to make a secure, tax deductible donation to First Descents by clicking here (you can make a donation on Jeff or Drew's behalf or donate independently).

Drew makes "the move" in Lower Zig Zag rapid on the Green Truss. Photo by: Curt Joyce