Sometimes when my phone isn't functioning properly, I turn it off and back on again. I personally don't understand why resetting the phone this way fixes small problems, but it seems to do the trick each time. This past weekend served as a similar reset for me. My lack of paddling thanks to my sprained ankle had become a weight on my back that seemed to be affecting other aspects of my life. It had actually been so long since I had kayaked, and I go climbing so often that I had begun questioning which I enjoyed most... again. Spoiler alert: Kayaking!
Friday night, Jamie and I met up with Adam in Shelby and drove to Lake to spend the night on my families property so we could get a decent start to the day without having to wake up super early. We spent our first day on the river paddling the Upper Green. Familiar territory. Jamie was paddling my [dad's] Dagger Outburst and watching her slice through the rapids made me really want to take it down the Upper sometime in the future. Bayless' was smooth for everyone, but things got more interesting at Wanda's Hole. Unaccustomed to the speed of the Outburst Jamie paddled out ahead, turned sideways, lost all speed, and dropped into the hole sideways. The perfect line. After trying to knock her boat free from the hydraulic I was forced to roll back up and watch as Wanda's continued to munch on her boat and then consume Adam's as well. What made the subsequent, spontaneous synchronized swim even more interesting was that while pulling her [my dad's] skirt to wet exit she ended up coming out of the tube and the skirt managed to stay on the cockpit.
Jamie also managed to provide entertainment at Pinball when she somehow dropped her paddle at the top and was forced down the double drop using only her hands and hips. Amazingly enough, she managed to make it look pretty smooth. We made a pit stop for lunch on a boulder right after Pinball. Adam, clearly thinking the same thing as me, jumped in the water and started climbing back up. Our kayaking trip quickly devolved into a bouldering excursion. I doubt anything we did was (much) harder than V1, but it didn't matter. The atmosphere was new and exciting and was a nice break near the end of the day.
We spent the night at Wilderness Cove Campground, which happened to be where UNCG's Outdoor Adventure program was camping for their kayaking trip. It was an interesting experience being able to interact with friends in passing as they did their thing, while we did ours. A great night spent around a campfire with friends only further set the tone for what was turning out to be a great trip. Sunday morning Adam and Jamie helped me hike into the Narrows, since my ankle was sore from the day before, to run Toilet Bowl and Hammer Factor. The water was higher than it had been my previous two trips down, which allowed me to run a new line down Toilet Bowl.
After warming up on the Class IV and V that bookend the Narrows I was ready to paddle the Lower Green with Adam and Jamie. It was another fun day with friends. Had a great time going off the rope swing and nice to watch as Adam and Jamie completed their Personal First Descents of the Lower Green. With the added boost that neither were forced to wet exit.
|Adam hopping on the Rope Swing.|
|I swear my rope swing dives used to look cleaner...|