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Wh itewaters offer f un, treachery
to paddlers who want challenge
By CLIFTON METCALF
Autumn in the mountains traditionally means rest and
relaxation in the midst of colorful scenery. But for
adventuresome souls seeking excitement and challenge,
Whitewater rafting in the Great Smokies is hard to beat.
Some mountain rivers are slow and lazy, suitable for
floating down on an inner tube. But others like the Nan
tahala, Ocoee, Nolichucky, Chatooga and French Broad
are swifter and wilder. These rivers are sprinkled with
rapids which range from boiling cauldrons of foam to
These stretches of boulder-strewn current draw hun
dreds of Whitewater enthusiasts each year to the
Smokies. Some are canoeists, some kayakecs and some
are rafters. A relative handful are professionals; most are
amateurs of novices. But they are all drawn to the rivers
by their love of the excitement and thrill of running the
Most people get their first taste of Whitewater by tak
ing one of the many guided raft trips offered by area
outfitting shops, which also rent canoes and kayaks.
Three of the larger outfitting shops are the Nantahala
Outdoor Center located near Bryson City, the Eastern
River Trippers in Sylva and Smoky Mountain River Ex
peditions in Hot Springs.
Guided trips usually include transportation to and
from the river, professional guides and all the safety
equipment needed. Lunch is also included on longer
trips. Most outfitters offer group discounts as well as
lower weekday rates. '
Since rafting is safer than. Whitewater canoeing or
kayaking, it is probably the best way for a novice to
challenge the river. Any rapid has an element of danger,
but large ones like Accelarator, Double Trouble, Table
Saw and Hell Hole are especially treacherous for the un-.
warry. - , :: V
Not only is rafting relatively safe, but if s also very ex
citing. Your rubber craft bounces from wave to wave as
you strain to keep headed in the right direction. Don't
plan on staying dry; you'll be soaking wet from the spray
in the first 15 minutes.
- There are a few things to remember while rafting. The
first is that you have to keep the raft moving faster than
the current. If you don't the river may sweep the raft in
to a boulder or pull it into a hydrolic, vertical whirlpool.
To accomplish this, there are two speeds of paddling you
may be called upon to perform: regular paddling and
"paddle-for-ypur-life." If your guide calls for the second
speed, paddle fast.
The other thing to remember is that if you should find
yourself floating down the river without the aid of your
raft, be sure to stay upstream of the raft. If you don't,
you could be caught between it and a rock and come out
looking tike the middle of an Oreo cookie.. Don't worry
about catching up with your raft. You can climb back in
when you both reach the calmer water past the rapid.
You may find the water slightly cool this time of year.
But the thrill and challenge of the river and the colorful
foliage of the surrounding hills should more, than make
up for it. , : ''.'.
If you like amusement park roller coasters or log
flumes or just outdoor excitement, you'll love Whitewater
rafting. It's the ultimate in rapid transit. ()
Clifton Metcalf is a contributor to Spotlight.
WO.?-. X. i
If you are going.
Rafters battle against Whitewater,
nature down the Ocoee River. Out
fitters run the rivers through Oc
tober or year-round for those who
want to brave the cold winter
waters. Photo courtesy of The
Mountaineer, Waynesvilie, N.C.
.MilL." dDHJ CAFJ EATT SEAF
served Sunday , Thursday nights
- Crab Lc3 .
;r!cd Fillet cf i
You may reorder any other "ALL YOU CAN EAT" item off equal
or less cost than your orisinal order
Dinners serves vyith hush puppies, french fries and slaw
f ,WS DURHAM
Y - I I RESEARCH
Chapel I triangle
Chapel Hill 557-8227: Durham 544-1791
HOUnS: Lunch: Mon.-Fri. 11:30-2:00
Dinner: Tues.-Sat 5:00-9:00
, TAKE OUT
If you are planning on trying Whitewater rafting
during fall break, you will probably need reserva
tions with one . of the outfitting shops which
organize Whitewater trips. .
Three of the large outfitting shops in Western
North Carolina are the Nantahala Outdoor Center,
the Eastern River. Trippers and Smoky Mountain
River Expeditions. In eastern Tennessee, Sunburst
Wilderness Adventures also offers guided river raft
trips in addition to providing necessary equip
ment. All four ask that reservations be made as
soon as possible, since the available spaces for a
, trip are usually filled the day before the trip. .
Nantahala Outdoor Center, the largest and old
est outfitter, is open throughout the year and is
currently running the Nantahala, Ocoee and Cha
tooga Rivers. The cost per person is $14 for the
Nantahala, $19 for the Ocoee and $36 for the
7-hour Chatooga trip. Discount rates of $12 for the;
Nantahala, $16 for the Ocoee and $30 for the Cha
tooga apply on weekdays to groups of ten or
more. For reservations, phone (704) 488-2175.
Smoky Mountain River Expeditions are running
every day through October on the Ocoee and
French Broad Rivers. The cost per person is $17 for
the Ocoee on weekdays and $19 on weekends.
The day-long French Broad trip includes lunch and
costs $24 per person on weekdays and $26 on"
weekends. For groups of 20 or more, a discount of
$2 per person is given on the Ocoee trips. No dis- :
count is given for French Broad trips. For reserva
tions, call (704) 622-7260.
The Eastern River Trippers are running the
Ocoee and Nolichucky Rivers on weekends
through October, but will schedule special trips
during the week. The cost for either trip is $30 per
person. A discount of $5 per person is given to
groups of five or more, tunch is included on both
trips. For reservations, phone (704) 586-6904.
Sunburst Wilderness Adventures, located near
the TennesseeGeorgia state line, has expeditions
that run on weekdays, weekends and holidays. On
weekdays the regular trips on the Ocoee River
cost $18 per person. The weekend rate is $20. A
special Superburst Trip, which is more challeng
ing, costs $27 and is offered on weekends and holi
days. For more information call (615) 3388388.
The Pcfiele Plcfio tbe ACC
: A Weekly Feature Predicting The Outcome
Of The Week's ACC Football Games.
We Know More About Good Food
Than We Do About Football
The Tigers continue to roll, this time at the Cav's
CLEMSON OVER VIRGINIA BY 17
In our upset of the week, the Blue Devils make it 3
in a row.
DUKE OVER VA. TECH BY 3
The Jackets take another tough loss on the chin.
TENNESSEE OVER G A. TECH BY 6
The Jeckyl and Hyde Terps take their horror show
FLORIDA OVER MARYLAND BY 9
Even without Kelvin, the Heels are too strong for
the upset minded Deacons.
UNCOVER WAKE FOREST BY 13
Serving Dsily 11:30-2:03, 5:C3-8:C0; Home Game Sat., Lunch 11:3012:30 Up The Alley Across Frota fCT3 9422177
Spotlight, October 8, 1981