Good Gauley!

Octane 85 Gauley River

Setting up for Pillow Rapid, Upper Gauley. Photo: Shawn Alexander.

After two years of hearing all the talk about it, I finally got to go to my first Gauley Fest. What better time to hit the Upper Gauley for the first time, right? And what better boat to do it with than the octane 85? A crew of 12 open boaters hit the upper on Saturday of the festival almost bright and not early enough for Mark Z.. I’ll be honest; I was a little nervous peeling out of the put-in eddy. The Gauley has the big-water and beatdown stories that can put the fear of God in you. Continue reading

The Green Dream

canoe Green Narrows

Futrapper, Keith Clark, and me scouting Groove Tube. Photo: Michael Lewis

The Green River Narrows is one of the most iconic steep creeks in the Southeast. Most paddlers see it as a right of passage and daydream at least once about running it. After three years of kayaking and just a summer of open boating, I finally saw the creek at the November 2012 Green Race. I watched as kayaker after kayaker cut between the narrow channel of the Notch and sailed off the launchpad of Gorilla Rapid into the whitewater chaos 16′ below. From that day I started to dream. Continue reading