Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A Little Whitewater!

Gabe returned home from Asheville, North Carolina yesterday; he traveled south to visit his sister, Heidi. They were able to spend time with one another on the campus of Warren Wilson College, where Heidi has just entered her junior year. Gabe had an interview with the admissions office, too. But the two probably had the most fun checking out the streets, shops, and people of Asheville itself. Asheville and Warren Wilson are linked to Simsbury by a common thread. Both communities, although separated by several hundred miles, are part of a geological landscape that, in addition to supporting a typical riparian ecosystem, have some of the best whitewater boating opportunities in the East. Tarrifville Gorge here in Simsbury is recognized as one of the few continuously available whitewater runs in New England. It has been host to many competitive venues in addition to supporting lots of recreational whitewater kayakers and canoeists. So, too, is Asheville a hotbed for the sport. The French Broad and Swannanoa flows are used widely by locals and by students at the college which supports a team. Whether for competition or general recreational fun, both of these areas are, in a word, excellent!

Gabe and I spent about an hour knocking off the rust from our paddle skills and reacclimating ourselves to the different spots to ride some waves, to eddy-hop up the current, or to practice peel outs and Duffeks. A week ago this would not have been possible. With little rain for the past month, the river level had dropped well below the necessary 1000 cfs flow for good whitewater challenges. As it was, the recent rain didn't recharge the groundwater sufficiently and the increased flow of two days ago was already in decline. The link at the FRWA website, which directs the user to the USGS gauge at Tarrifville, indicated only 700 cfs, so things were a bit scratchy, but, nevertheless, fun.

We returned home tired but laughing about the potential to make a "B" level instructional film using the video capability of my little digital camera. The brief segments that we did make were of decent quality and humorous. Gabe might be right, there may be a market for humorous instructional footage to offset the plethora of dryly crafted videos hawking the sport. Maybe you will see us on the shelves someday soon?

No comments: