Monday, June 8, 2009

The "Nasty" Nantahala

This weekend Brandon, his cousin Rudy and I drove to Bryson City, NC to make our first and DEFINITELY NOT last trip down the Nantahala. It was a beautiful day and a great ride through some beautiful country down HWY 64. We pulled into the NOC, Nanatahala Outdoor Center just around 3:15, looked around the store and then asked where we need to go to rent some duckies (funyaks that are sorta like mini-rafts) and catch a ride to the put in. Of course no one asked to help us out when we came in otherwise we might have found out the information I'm about to share with you in a more timely manner. When we finally got to the outpost we found out that they stopped rentals around 3:00 and were not running any more shuttles. Now, this typically wouldn't be an issue, however Brandon was the only one planning to go down in a kayak. Rudy and I were going to have to rent a ducky. They refused to help us out but told us they would love for us to come back the next day.
Needless to say, we turned around and left seeking another outfitter to help us with our journey... considering we had driven for almost 2 hours specifically to go down this river. We stopped at another location, of which I don't know the name and she told us the same thing, they weren't sending out any other trips or shuttles, however there was a little place down the road that they thought might be able to help us out. So once again, we all piled into the Sequoyah and took off. We came to a little family run outfitter by the name of Paddle Inn ( who, after hearing our problem, QUICKLY equipped us with all the gear we were missing (pretty much just 2 duckies and a life jacket) hussled us into the van and put us out right at the put in for the Nantahala. All this took about 20 min. tops from beginning to end. The trip was fantastic and although the water was FREEZING we all had an INCREDIBLE time. When we came back the shuttle was waiting for us at the pull out to take us back to the outfitters and immediately showed us our pictures. "Mom" gave us a deal on our CD since we were the last 3 boats of the day and I've included a few of those pictures.
All in all, if you go down the Nantahala and want to go with someone who cares about the people more than the "busisness" of rafting we HIGHLY recommend going with Paddle Inn. I'm sure that the employees would have liked to have gone home on time but they put our needs above theirs and sent us out later than normal anyhow. We plan to go back again soon, especially after we found out that they designed and manufactured their own line of boats. It really was an outstanding trip!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Sounds like are so brave! This is not my normal idea of fun but the way you write about it makes me want to give it a try...almost!