Monday, July 12, 2010

Trip Down the French Broad

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Hey guys, this past weekend I took a trip over to NOC's French Broad Outpost so I could take some photos, check out the river, and report back about my overall experience. I'd just like to start off by saying, "Wow, that was a really fun adventure!"You can check out the video I made for a quick summary, or for more in-depth experience report, keep reading!

I left Thursday morning with the intent of rafting the French Broad River that afternoon, seeing a concert in Asheville at Club 828 on Friday night, and then rafting the Nolichucky River on Saturday. I drove through Asheville, stopped at the KFC for lunch to try the new "double down" sandwich (which is basically two pieces of fried chicken with cheese, bacon, and sauce in between - really healthy! ;-) ), and continued on my way to the outpost.

Once I arrived, I checked in, signed my release form, talked with the guides for a while (who were really cool people), and started taking pictures in the time I had left before the pre-trip information and gearing-up session.
Sign Outside the Outpost

Beautiful Flowers Lining the Staircase

Inside the NOC Store

Another View of the Sign and Balcony

Around 2:30, once everyone had showed up for the excursion, we all left "the fort" - the meeting area where release forms are signed and car keys are left - and went over to the gear shed where Lilly, our trip guide, gave us a humorous, informative breakdown on raft safety before we got suited up in PFDs and helmets.
Meeting Area for Safety Breakdown

PFD Storage Room

Once everyone was suited up to go, we hopped on the bus for the French Broad and listened to Lilly crack more of her jokes about "moonshine plants" (corn), the origins of Nascar, and big city life in Hot Springs, NC (pop: 645).

Lilly Crackin' Jokes

About 10 minutes later, we pulled up to the put in at the river, grabbed our paddles and boats from off the bus, and Lilly gave the "duckie" users a short tutorial about leg position, posture, paddling strokes, re-entry techniques, and other basics tips.

The trip down the river started off a little slow, with everyone getting accustomed to their new floating vehicles, but quickly picked up speed after we went down the first few rapids. Unlike the Nantahala, the French BROAD is very wide for the vast majority of it's length, so there is plenty of room for large groups (like ours) to maneuver freely down the river.
Here are some trip highlights:

After an awesome trip, we beached our boats at the take-out, loaded up the bus, and headed back to the outpost to shower and check out the photos. We got back to the outpost around 6:30, and I was on the road again by 7.

I drove down to Greenville, SC to visit some friends that I went to Furman University with last year, and stayed the night there. The next day I drove up to Asheville for an Excision dubstep concert at Club 828 where I actually ran into some old friends and danced from 10-3!

Unfortunately, due to low water levels, my Nolichucky trip on Saturday was cancelled, but I'm not complaining, because I had an awesome time this weekend regardless. If you get a chance to go down the French Broad this summer, I'd highly recommend it!

Thanks for reading guys,

1 comment:

  1. This is a nice blog post. I love the pictures and the details. Keep this up.