Monday, February 8, 2010

Shooting the Dillsboro Rapids

I don't know if they were the Alabamian paddlers that Commissioner Cowan warned us about, but sure enough the whitewater crowd descended on the remains of the Dillsboro Dam quicker than flies on a cow pile.

With the water flowing at a decent clip, it looked like they were having a lot of fun paddling through the notch that was cut out of the dam last week.

Pretty cool.

A hearty "Paddle or Die!" (or whatever you're supposed to say to cheer them on.)

The next chapter of the story has begun!

This moment has been highly anticipated by many. From an August 9, 2009 New York Times article, "Dams Go Down, Uncorking Rivers for Kayakers":

River by river, old dams are being dismantled at a rate of about 40 a year, according to American Rivers, a nonprofit conservancy in Washington that advocates for dam removal. While that’s good news for fish and wildlife, it’s also benefiting paddlers like Mr. Kuthe who are flocking to these uncorked rivers in search of newly formed whitewater rapids and other paddling adventures.

Many of these dams were erected decades before kayaking and rafting became mainstream sports. So when a dam is dismantled and the water recedes, mysteries are revealed. Will a Class V rapid emerge from a drained reservoir? Will a trickling ravine turn into a gushing torrent or an impassible waterfall? First descents can be claimed, new challenges charted and overcome....

Tuckasegee River, Dillsboro Dam, North Carolina The Dillsboro Dam along North Carolina’s Tuckasegee River was approved for removal by the federal government in 2007. When it comes out, it will open up a Class II run and allow for a possible whitewater park (Dillsboro Merchants Association;


Anonymous said...

who is the paddler?

GULAHIYI said...

I have no idea. I don't speak whitewater, so I just stand back and watch instead of bugging them with stupid questions.

Looked like fun, though.

Anonymous said...

I'm a flatwater paddler. No helmet necessary. Old Town canoe, comfortable clothes, camera, and a sack of sandwiches ('Pines BBQ, jalapeno pimento cheese, bologna and potato chips w/mustard are standard). I just wave at these whippersnappers when I see 'em, but we dont usually cohabit.

And Cheetos. Cheetos are proven to be at least 20% REAL FOOD.

Also: no Spandex in the boat.


GULAHIYI said...

Well, '74, that's certainly more my style of boating. Soon enough, if it hasn't already happened, the whitewater folks will have some vulgar name for the former Dillsboro Dam site..."The Gutcruncher" or "The Ballbuster" perhaps. But it's only expected to be a Class II, so maybe something a bit milder. I'll admit they have a mindset I don't understand. Apparently, despite the economic difficulties resulting from last year's departure of the tourist train, some of the Dillsboro merchants aren't too happy about the prospect of becoming a destination for paddlers. I'm surprised that they're perceived as being that much more objectionable than any other type of tourist. But I thought I was the only person who found them anything less than charming. I guess I'm not alone on that, after all.

Anonymous said...

Having seen the video of the kayaker capsized by a goose attack, I smugly noted to myself that not only would a flatboater have maintained his equilibrium, but I would have offered a Cheeto or bit of a sandwich to the passenger.