“Save the Planet: It�s the Only One with Chocolate!”
-as inscribed on the trashcans at the 2008 Asheville Mountain Sports Festival

You know a good festival when even the trashcans are inscribed with great sayings! The 2008 Asheville Mountain Sports Festival was good, and so much more. And Endless River Adventures was psyched to be part of the festvities.

The festival was staged at Asheville’s Carrier Park, alongside the French Broad River. Still in its formative years, the Mountain Sports Festival is already creating its own cool identity with a unique feel, which is important in a town that hosts so many well-known festivals every year.

This year�s visit was a first for Team ERA. Toting demos of the new “Wave Sport Fuse Family” [and our tent stakes�which was fortunate since the wind was super strong!!], Brandy, Whitney, Linc and Juliet, collectively set up the ERA tent alongside some super folks. It was a pleasure to hang out with the likes of Black Dome, Diamond Brand, our friends at Landmark Learning, Blue Ridge Tree Climbing, the soon-to-be REI of Asheville, NOC, of course the funnel cake/polish sausage/cold beer booth–and many more interesting vendors.

While there were definitely some of the typical festival highlights (tie dyed shirts, great music, hoola hoops, good hippy veggie wraps�) the best part of the festival was the mix of attendees. There were lots of families. And we did note that moms and dads are totally uninhibited hoola hoopers when they are doing it alongside their little ones! A good number of “new” Asheville residents from places like Florida and Ohio were checking things out, along with a whole host of long-term established Ashevillites. It was a super fun mix hanging out listening to music on a beautiful sunny day.

Highlight of the day for us was hosting a rolling session. With about twenty folks showing up at Southern Waterways just down the road from Carrier Park (thank you Dave for sharing your put-in/take-out with us), we hosted an introduction on kayaking/rolling. Our first volunteer to try a wet exit was Scotty (nine years old) followed by his sister Amy (eight years old). They were followed by Tiger, Rodney, and a whole host of grown ups all fired up to check out the intricacies of tipping over and rolling back up. Wet exits were covered; and then for anyone who was interested, a walk through the technique of rolling the kayak. Our time was too short and those interested too many to do as much as we would have liked – but it was a great session . And it was a good thing that it ended when it did or brother/sister team of Scotty and Amy might have taken off in kayaks down the French Broad. We sincerely thank everyone who joined is for the rolling session.

And thank you Asheville Mountain Sports Festival for including Endless River Adventures. We cannot wait for next year!