Author Topic: Rafting at the 2016 National  (Read 19187 times)

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Offline Ranger Jim

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Rafting at the 2016 National
« on: October 10, 2015, 10:02:18 pm »
In a fit of insanity, I volunteered to head up a whitewater rafting trip as a part of the 2016 National Rally festivities. I looked into the possibility of three different rivers that are (reasonably) close to Helen, GA. (1) the Ocoee, site of the 1994 Summer Olympics, (2) the Chattooga, a National Wild & Scenic River, site of the filming of the movie DELIVERANCE, (3) the Nantahala River, site of the 2013 Freestyle World Championships.

One river, the Ocoee, was eliminated almost immediately as it is a dam controlled stream (TVA) and doesn't run on the day we were considering. The other two are still very viable and each offers it's own unique attractions.

First the Nantahala. The run itself is ~7 miles in length offering Class 2-3 rapids. It parallels US Hwy 19 for virtually all its length. It is (IMO as a former raft guide) very beginner friendly; so much so that it is possible to simply rent a raft with a paddle, PFD, and helmet, climb on the outfitter's bus and go rafting. For the less adventurous, you can also get on a trip with a guide for every raft. It's a really fun trip. Lots of splashing, screaming, grinning. There will likely be a LOT of rafts on the river.  There is no meal provided but there's a plethora of eating establishments near the end point and you're only a few miles from the Tail of the Dragon if you want to make a couple of runs on it. It's about 75 miles from rally central over some really nice riding.

Next the Chattooga. A National Wild & Scenic River (since 1974), administered by the US Forest Service, the Chattooga forms the boundary between SC and GA. It is a free-flowing river so its levels are subject to the whims of Mother Nature. The raft trip would encompass about 12 miles and most of it is within areas classified as "WILD" (these areas are treated like wilderness). There are strict limits on the number of boats in a trip and also the number of trips an outfitter can make per day so as to insure the visitor has a "wilderness experience." Rapids encountered (based on "normal" water levels) will be in the Class 2-4 ranges. Access to and egress from the river corridor will require about a quarter mile hike and you will be expected to assist in transporting the rafts, paddles, etc in and out. Once you get to the disembark point it's all downhill but once you get to the take-out point it's all up-hill. Rafters will get to run many of the rapids seen in DELIVERANCE but rest assured that the only perverts you will encounter are people you already know. There will be a picnic lunch provided. The Chattooga is about 1 hour (45 miles more or less) from rally central.

I'm working with a couple of well respected outfitters and will get back with some pricing numbers but for general info:

1. The self-guided Nantahala trips will be the least expensive (a bit less than $25/person)
2. The trip on the Chattooga (where every boat has a guide) will be the most expensive (more than $45/person)
3. Trips on the Chattooga will likely have an absolute ceiling on numbers (kinda like the train in Cortez)

Who's IN and what would you prefer?
« Last Edit: October 11, 2015, 12:47:24 am by Ranger Jim, Reason: Wrong symbols »
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Offline connie_rider

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Re: Rafting at the 2016 National
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2015, 11:43:42 pm »
I'm in! I'm in!!!  (My vote: You said "Deliverance" was shot there, and class 2-4 RAPIDS on the Chattooga,,,  I vote Chattanooga!!!!!!)

Ride safe, Ted

« Last Edit: October 11, 2015, 11:54:15 am by connie_rider »
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Offline Andy-WV

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Re: Rafting at the 2016 National
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2015, 11:37:04 am »
I am in, Chattooga preferred.

Offline millerized

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Re: Rafting at the 2016 National
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2015, 01:02:33 pm »
Haven't done it since Ohiopyle in 94, but give me a few minutes to think about it.
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Offline connie_rider

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Re: Rafting at the 2016 National
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2015, 04:19:58 pm »
Come on Ya'll.  We need some enthusiasm.   I know we've had a blast when we went Rafting at the other Nationals!

Jim can't make arrangements without knowing how many to make arrangements for!

So,,,, If you think you'll be at the National, and if you think you'll raft with us.

Let Jim know!!!!

Ride safe, Ted
 
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Offline The Pope

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Re: Rafting at the 2016 National
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2015, 08:49:53 am »
I am in, Chattooga preferred.
+1  Rafted it several years ago. And no, I did not hear any banjo music!  :nananana:
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Offline Paulie

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Re: Rafting at the 2016 National
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2015, 07:30:23 pm »
I've done both, fun stuff fer shure! :great:

vote is for Nantahala, but will do either 1

Offline Bigfoot_16

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Re: Rafting at the 2016 National
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2015, 07:43:49 pm »
Count me in for the Chattooga. I've run category 4 and 5 rapids on the Colorado River in Colorado before. The 4s were pretty boring with a good guide - meaning we didn't get stuck in any rapids. Our guide had us so well trained that we easily negotiated all of the rapids. The key is to follow the guide's commands to paddle like mad as you approach the rapid so you get past the submerging downforce part of it quickly so the water doesn't fill the boat.

Do they rent dry suits or wet suits? Sounds like fun! What are the water temps like that time of year?

Thanks for organizing this!
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Offline Ranger Jim

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Re: Rafting at the 2016 National
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2015, 08:00:39 pm »
The rapid classification system on the Colorado (through the Grand Canyon anyway) is unique to that river. A Class 4 rapid on the Chattooga and a Class 4 rapid on the Colorado are similar only in that they are both filled with water.

Water temps at the time we'll be running (JUNE) will be in the 70's (cool but not OMG! THAT'S FREAKING COLD!). Wet suits are not typically available during the summer months but could probably be had (I wouldn't recommend one though).

Rafting the Chattooga there will be a "hard" limit of 30 persons/trip and the outfitters can only run 2 trips/day so that means will only be 60 spaces.
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Offline Ranger Jim

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Re: Rafting at the 2016 National
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2015, 08:00:17 pm »
Chattooga will be the more expensive river to run. Currently looking like it could be as much as $75/person. There's also an absolute limit to the number of spaces (30/trip, outfitter can run 2 trips = 60 spaces).

Nantahala will be MUCH less expensive ($35/person) and the spaces on a trip are greater. If you're adventurous enough to go without a guide the cost drops to $17/person.
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Offline Gypsy JR

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Re: Rafting at the 2016 National
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2015, 09:32:38 pm »
I'm in, with a guide.
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Offline Alan_Yucius_FL

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Re: Rafting at the 2016 National
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2015, 11:36:59 pm »
   

  I'm interested!    This event take place regardless of rain or shine, right?    Do they EVER CANCEL because of flood waters?   Not concerned w/getting wet on the raft but more concerned w/getting there on the bike w/BAD RAINS.  What is cancellation policy?  Thanks  ALAN in S. Fl

Offline Ranger Jim

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Re: Rafting at the 2016 National
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2015, 11:41:49 pm »
I'll have to ask about their cancellation policy. I will say it would be VERY unusual to have to cancell a trip due to high water.
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Offline Alan_Yucius_FL

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Re: Rafting at the 2016 National
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2015, 11:44:49 pm »
I'll have to ask about their cancellation policy. I will say it would be VERY unusual to have to cancell a trip due to high water.


   Thanks Jim.   :great:

Offline AlanJ

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Re: Rafting at the 2016 National
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2015, 12:48:58 am »
Hey COG Members,

The Nantahala is nothing more than a wide creek or small river that runs kinda swiftly for a beginners rafting trip with one decent large  rapid drop at the very end before take out, however it is very close to the Smokey Mountains and the great roads around it. The Ocoee is the "real deal" near DuckTown with helmets and guides required in all rafts. Sorry, I have never done the Chattanooga.  Hope this helps.

AlanJ

Offline Ranger Jim

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Re: Rafting at the 2016 National
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2015, 06:52:28 pm »
New update - Wildwater Ltd. will be providing us with rafting opportunities on the Chattooga River. Cost will be $50/person (normally $89/person so this is a real deal). Lunch (picnic sandwiches, etc) will be provided.  This river was declared a National Wild & Scenic River in 1974 and most of the trip flows through very wilderness like terrain.  In 1971, it was the location of most of the whitewater scenes in the movie DELIVERANCE and you'll have to opportunity to run many of the same rapids that are shown in the movie.

This being a National Wild & Scenic River (administered by the US Forest Service) the outfitters are under some constraints. There is a limit of 30 people (not including guides) on each trip. Outfitters are also limited to only two trips per day. Trips run about one hour apart. This is to preserve the "wilderness" experience as much as possible. That means there will only be a total of 60 spaces.
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Offline Fais

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Re: Rafting at the 2016 National
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2015, 07:38:07 pm »
For those unfamiliar with rafting in these parts:

There is usually a looooooong line of buses waiting to drop off groups of paddlers at specific entry points - then the rafters raft in a traffic jam of boats.

Primitive rafting the way Jim is setting it up is much better
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Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: Rafting at the 2016 National
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2015, 08:58:02 pm »
sounds tempting...
I've done the New, the Yough', Cheat, and Ohio Pile, last trip I did was Upper Gauley with my wife.... on the last "release day" of the season... and that pretty much did both of us in... that was class V, but as it rained most of the 5's were closer to 6's..... omg.... have a great video of our trip, everytime I think about doing another one, momma and I watch it, and say.... maybe not.. :rotflmao:

that river looks pretty tame, so hopefully I can coax her into it.....

coincidently tomorrow would be the day we hit the Gauley, back in '02
iirc

wet suits were a necessity......

now I have to go watch that video again.  :rotflmao: :motonoises: :rotflmao:


carnage vid I just found...

« Last Edit: October 16, 2015, 09:28:51 pm by MAN OF BLUES »

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Offline Alan_Yucius_FL

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Re: Rafting at the 2016 National
« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2015, 09:13:10 pm »
  Check this out.   Skip past the ad.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5036dzfJRWA

Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: Rafting at the 2016 National
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2015, 10:27:01 pm »
ok

just posting back, momma and I watched this stuff, and sat and talked.... a regressed... and said WTF was I thinking of when we did this.... folks DIE doing this, and we were paying for it?????


yeah, now she is saying, "ya know, we lived, and maybe just maybe, I'll do it again, but, WTF were we thinkining???? "

looking good....
man, after watching carnage on the rivah, I just have to say I must have been really stoned on those adventures.. yep, really stoned... iirc, I was reaaly stoned.. up till the last one..... where i wasnt.. omg, that was the major problem.... maybe being stoned was a good thing hope we get prop 3  pushed in in Ohio
 :rotflmao: :rotflmao: :rotflmao:

just kidding...
 :rotflmao: :rotflmao:

oh, the only time I had someone "controlling" a raft, was on the Gauley... notice in the vids, from the guides helmet cams, how many times the rafts flipped upside down seconds after his hand grabs the side ropes.... we were told never grab those... heheheheheh
they flipped those boats every time they could, and even hooked ya with the paddle handles, and tossed ya outta the boats...  :rotflmao: :rotflmao:
now I know how I ended up on the bottom while cruising thru the "box of fuzzy white kitties" on the Gauley... >:( :rotflmao: :rotflmao:

another vid, with music from my fav band Clutch....

pillow rock



« Last Edit: October 16, 2015, 10:55:51 pm by MAN OF BLUES »

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Offline connie_rider

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Re: Rafting at the 2016 National
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2015, 02:31:51 pm »
Now,, that's what I call,,, "a raft ride" !!!


To the newbies,,,, (explain to Momma) the raft Trip Rich posted is a lot rougher than we will experience 
(But, we may have a few swimmers).  ((ie; I plan to throw MOB out of the raft  ;)))

Jim sed;  There is a limit of 30 people (not including guides) on each trip. Outfitters are also limited to only two trips per day. Trips run about one hour apart. This is to preserve the "wilderness" experience as much as possible. That means there will only be a total of 60 spaces.

Which means; Get your name on the list! 
Jim, I'm in for 2 {me and my Bride})

Who's next?  (C'mon,,, are ya skert?)   :104:

Ride safe, Ted

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Offline Gypsy JR

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Re: Rafting at the 2016 National
« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2015, 01:34:42 am »
In, with a guide.
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Offline Old Man on a Connie

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Re: Rafting at the 2016 National
« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2015, 01:55:38 am »
Will it be something like this?
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Offline connie_rider

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Re: Rafting at the 2016 National
« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2015, 04:36:39 am »
Will it be something like this?

Nah, she looks better in a bikini than you!

Ohh, "too much visualization"..... My eyes, arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!

Ride safe, Ted
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Offline Bugnut

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Re: Rafting at the 2016 National
« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2015, 09:41:36 pm »
Count Missy and I in for sure. Don't care what variety, I just want to float!

Mike