We love hearing from folks that have shared time with us on the river! We post their comments up on the board here at the shop, and include them on our testimonials pages on the website. Sometimes a story comes through that needs to be shared even more. Following is a great adventure had by our friend Bryant!
Dear River Rats,
First, let me say that when I was a younger man, the Nantahala and Chattooga, etc. where challenges that were met with a cautious confidence and enjoyed with a relaxed excitement! 40 years later as an older, out of shape guy, I went down your river with an elevated “pucker factor.” I am glad to have listened intently to the owners instructions and warnings. They proved to not only be helpful but where correct in every aspect! I did try and remember every approach and set up instruction but found my over aged brain couldn’t process it all.
While concentrating too hard, I busted my ass 5 minutes into the run over an obscure flat rock. I just couldn’t let go as instructed to do ( this being at the very top and not wanting to lose my gear so soon ) so I got raked over a couple sets of falls until a nice group of guys that were in those little “plastic shoes” rescued me. By raked I mean, getting sucked over into a belly down position which is what happens when you’re trying to hang onto a duckey and paddle at the same time. Not to mention the life vest that I didn’t tightly secure at the waist straps enough and the vest try to ride up around my throat and strangle me. Oh yea, I was freakin!
I got my battle scars on my shins I proudly wore home to Florida and just last week picked the last scabs off. This opening misadventure caused me to journey somewhat paranoid until the next wipe out 2/3 rds down. My buddies encouraging pep talk at a road side eddy was the only thing that kept me going to the big finale. “The Bump” and “The Falls” were next. I ran it superbly and salvaged my ego and I was able to go home victorious!
I remember years ago when I was navigating “Decap Rock” and “5 Falls” where the “Deliverence”crew had battled, asking my little female guide, “how did you get those sticthes on your face and legs”. She answered she got nicked
kayaking the Chattooga at night with some other guides.
The moral of this story is “you have to crawl before you can walk and walk before you can run.” To answer your thank you card, I had a great crawl and I will be back with my sons to see you ERA folks!
I”ll always remember my favorite line from a movie spoken in dramatic fashion (Lewis Medlock aka Burt Reynolds) “You don’t beat it, you don’t beat this river.” I’ll never take 3 feet of water for granted!
Keep up the good work and thanks a bunch for a great time!
Regards, Bryant Ring