Once again Jim and JoAnn Caudill led their annual paddling trip on the Tuckaseegee River in southwestern North Carolina. This year we went during mid-week from July 11 – 14, 2016. Also on the trip were yours truly (Bob Laney), Larry and Brenda Anderson, and Max and Jane Joines. The river is dammed upstream and the flow is usually too low to produce whitewater rapids. The river managers publish the whitewater release dates, which Jim determines and sets our schedule.
We all stayed at the Best Western River Escapes in Dillsboro, NC, on the river bank and its parking lot served as our put-in. Our take-out was the Barkers Creek Access (identified in my 2015 article on this river trip as the Duke Power access).
Jim and JoAnn paddled solo sit-on-top kayaks. I paddled my solo kneeling canoe. The other two couples went in a guided raft. We all went down in our separate crafts Tuesday. Jim, JoAnn and I started Tuesday morning. Then we returned to the parking lot; and Jim and I put for a second trip the same day. Even though the raft was on a separate schedule, by great luck, it sailed past the parking lot right as Jim and I were putting in for our second trip. Later the same afternoon, as we went past the trip halfway point, Jim and I took out to rest at a beach where our raft friends were also taking a break. On Wednesday Jim and I took another morning trip. I learned Tuesday evening that I had been exposed to too much sun. After supper we went to a pharmacy and got me some sunscreen, which I used Wednesday. Despite my sore and heat sensitive skin, I managed not to peel.
You may wonder where are the photos of whitewater rapids? There were plenty of rapids. Unlike last year, I managed not to turn over. The problem with taking photos in rapids is that it requires two hands to operate the camera. And it takes two hands to paddle - for a total of four hands. But I only have two hands total. Hmmm... The result is no whitewater photos. Sorry.
Each lunch was delicious sandwiches, including fresh tomatoes from JoAnn. For supper each night we went to a local restaurant in Dillsboro or Sylva, NC. The weather was nice, the camaraderie was great, the gossip and the tall-tale telling were entertaining, the paddling was energizing, the water was refreshing and a good time was had by all.