Tuckaseegee River - May 224-May 30
Submitted By Houston Winbigler
On May 24th, Gretchen and I loaded up for the BCCC’s western North Carolina paddling trip and drove Eastward. Our journey was lengthened by a seemingly endless traffic jam on I40 between Natchez Trace and the Tennessee River. Darkness caught up with us South of Murfreesboro, so we stopped at Foster Falls, a campground located in South Cumberland State Park.
The next morning we awoke and drove to the Lost Mine Campground near Wesser, NC. We camped next to BCCC members Deb Myer and her cousin, Keith Richmond. We thought about hiking or going to Fontana Lake to practice rolling our boats, but we decided to drive over to the town of Dillsboro and paddle the Tuckaseegee River.
Mary Finley drove over from her campground in Topton and we headed for the river. The put in fee is zero and the well maintained public takeout is less than a fifteen minute drive downstream.
We had a great time paddling and avoided misadventures at slingshot and sharks tooth rapids and an unnamed rapid that gives the appearance that one is about to be plastered onto a rock face.
Two days later Russ, Teresa, Spencer and recently graduated and certified Dr. Lauren Drum arrived and joined Mary, Meg, Diana for a replay on the Tuck. The weather was warm and the visibility was great and still the rock flipped my boat and the trip leader had had an opportunity to sheepishly demonstrate self-rescue techniques.
The next day a group paddled the Nantahala river. All of the rubber riders performed well. All of the hard boaters successfully made it to the bottom of the Falls only to be munched by the hungry Bottom Hole except Meg who smiling like a cat ran the falls backward and remained perfectly upright.
Some of us spent time hiking a short section of the Appalachian Trail. Mary and Meg and Diana drove back west and rafted sections of the Ocoee River.