a weekend on the french broad

i spent last weekend in asheville, with my friends aaron and jenni, kayaking pretty much the entire time.  paddled a small section of the french broad on friday evening - into the dark, which really was no fun once it got dark.  the worst part about friday night was when we arrived at the take out, there were police everywhere.  we were asked to wait for a detective to question us, an hour and half later - we told johny law why we were there, and found out a body had been found down river a few hundred yards.  crazy stuff.  

once they realized we weren't the murders, only simple kayakers who desperately wanted to go drink beer, they let us off the hook and we were free to go.  saturday we made our way to hendersonville and put our boats back in french broad once again.  we paddled through strong wind and icy rain, but then the sun came out - and everything was  once again peaceful.  we spent the night on an island, close to a river access so that jenni and amadeus (the dog, not the famous classical composer) could join us for the night.  it worked out pretty well, we had plenty of beer to drink, and didn't have to carry it all day with us.  we cooked up some white chicken chilli in the dutch oven for dinner, which may very well be the best dutch oven meal yet.

i was forced to sleep in my tent this trip, as temperatures were near freezing, and i don't yet have the proper insulation to stay warm in a hammock below 45.  i hate sleeping in tents.  hopefully that will never happen again - i am due to receive a few pieces of insulating gear from the folks at ENO in exchange for some lovely photos of them in use.  can't wait to never sleep on the ground again…. 

sunday was a long paddle - we had to do 14 miles, which we did with the wind blowing in our faces almost the entire way - it was brutal.  the highlight of the day, aside from spending the day paddling, was lunch - laughing cow cheese, sun dried tomato flavor, and rosemary & olive oil triscuits.  delicious.  we made it back to the landing around 3, very tired and ready to be done paddling.  all in all it was a good trip, but we will probably paddle a more remote section next time, the last 6 miles or so, through asheville and wood fin, left something to be desired….  enjoy the gallery below.


rain threatens