Whitewater Kayaking The Nantahala River

Jul 10, 2013

Even though I've mentioned it a few times before, this bears repeating . . . 
We've dreamed about kayaking the Nantahala River for the last three years.
We happened to come across the river on a drive from Asheville back to Josh's dad's home in Georgia a longggggg time ago. 
It was slightly misting outside, and we ended up on the winding road through the mountains of western North Carolina following alongside The Nantahala.
We were surrounded with greenery, and excuse the extreme cheesiness, but no other word describes it like the world magical.
Maybe mystical is more accurate.
Basically, it was like fern gully minus the bulldozers plus a river full of white water rapids and kayakers galore.
I thought it was a dream.
It was pretty much just the biggest tease ever considering we were leaving to go home the next day, and it was January.
Anyways, going back to this river has been topping our to-do list for the last few years.
To say I had high expectations would be an understatement, and usually I'm leery of having that type of attitude going into a vacation because I don't want to be let down.
The trip couldn't have been more perfect.
The river was just like I remembered (minus the misty haze that made it appear almost fake the first time around)
The pictures most definitely don't do the beauty justice (also, I only had my cell phone, so don't get let down by the incredible iPhone quality photos throughout this post)
We rented our kayaks through Nantahala Outdoor Center.
We opted out of the guided tour down the river (even though after watching the terrifying safety video, we almost reconsidered, but I'm glad we didn't because we managed fine on our own)
The company was great to work with, and the rentals included wetsuits and a drive to the drop off point.
Even though we weren't as skilled as these fellows, we still got to experience some Class III rapids. 
Of course, we got suckered in to buying the professional photos.
After our trip down the river, we begged them to let us go back up and do it all again (why can't it be more like snow skiing?) but unfortunately we couldn't.
Instead we had a perfect little river lunch of BBQ sandwiches and Sweetwater beer back at the Nantahala Outdoor Center.
I didn't want to leave.
It was all I could do to try to take in every single perfect moment while we were there.
. . . and then we found a really cute Appalachian Trail sign and walked about 10 feet up it so we could say "we hiked the Appalachian Trail"

Real life Appalachian Trail hiking sticks.
We nearly stole one until we figured other people may genuinely need them more than us.
Maybe next time!
We'll be back oh so soon.


Kelsey said...

That looks AWESOME! I know my husband would love to do that. We hiked about 10 miles of the Appalachian Trail last March and it was incredibl(y painful)

Audrey @ An Aud Blog said...

My second date with my fiance was whitewater kayaking in IK's. He's a whitewater guide. We were on a HUGE river, the Salmon River, and it was terrifying. I definitely swam a class IV rapid, and have never tried it again.

Fortunately, it wasn't a deal breaker for us, since I still will whitewater raft with him :)

Diana, Down Home Traveler said...

That looks like so much fun! I seriously want to just skip out of work and go kayak somewhere! I know the Appalachian Trail as The Long Trail from back in Vermont. A ton of fun to hike!

Unknown said...

Oh my gosh how fun! I've always wanted to try kayaking! It looks like a blast :)

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