Saturday, August 29, 2015

Rafting North Carolina's Nantahala River

After our six day Sierra Club Outing kayaking Fontana Lake, the participants decided to raft the nearby Nantahala River. In this photo, our guide Quock brings Marika, Matt, and Laura through one of the many rapids of the Nantahala River.

The raft trip begins just below the dam, and since the water is released from the bottom of the dam, it is very cold. Greg, our leader, and David and Don share the second raft with me, and all of us were wet and a bit cold the entire 3+ hours. Greg has guided down this river many times and endeavored to give us an exciting ride, bumping off boulders, spinning the raft around in rapids, and choosing the more adventurous routes through the rock-strewn river.


All are smiling broadly as Quock successfully brings his raft down over Nantahala Falls, the class 4 rapid at the end of the run. We all watched from the shore as other rafts came through the falls, and also enjoyed watching the kayakers who were playing in the fast water and practicing Eskimo rolls. Some rafters were even carrying their boats back upriver to re-run the exciting falls and rapids.


In the photo below, you get an idea of the lush vegetation and majestic scenery along the river, just as we are about to plunge down another waterfall..

Greg brings us down Nantahala Falls rapids via the more exciting route and our raft appears to be under water as we paddle and try to stay in the boat. Though wet, we were all exhilarated and glad we had decided to spend the additional hours on the water after our six days of kayaking. Greg enjoyed it so much he intends to include the raft ride as part of next year's Sierra Club Fontana Lake outing.


The intrepid rafters:

(l to r) Don, Matt, Marika, Laura, Quock, David, Chuck, and Greg 

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