Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Laurel Creek Slides

Upstream of the Watauga Gorge put-in lies a tributary by the name of Laurel Creek. From 321 you can look up and see the last drop on the creek, Trashcan Falls. What you don't see is a section of the creek further up the road about a mile or two long that has some of the best slides in the High Country. The week after the Green Race we got a bunch of rain that spiked the Watauga up to around 2000 cfs. With only a three hour break from class I rallied with Alex Hyman and Kyle Irby to go get on something quick.

The Laurel Creek slides were the answer to our quick fix. I had run them once before with Chris Gragtmans at low water, and was itching to get back at a better flow. We got there to find that we were on the tail end of the bubble, but still put-on to run some fast slides that were incredibly fun.

The first slide above the bridge provided a great warm-up for the action below.

Kyle gettin' his slide on. Kyle is a member of the Watauga Rescue Squad, but I think he joined just so he could get the pager. I don't blame him, it's pretty cool and they talk in codes and stuff to sound professional. In all honesty I think it's really cool he's doing it, and I feel safer out on the water paddling with him. Congrats man!

This is about the point in the run where things start to drop out from under you...

Here I am trying to stay on the game at the end of the steepest section. Out of view is the top half of this slide, the full drop is about twice as much as you can see. By this point you're really screaming!!

Alex is not part of no stinkin' rescue squad, he just likes to give 'er. And who can balme a brotha when you got some sweet bedrock to go slip sliding on!!!

Keep 'yer bow up, son.

Thanks to Kyle and Alex for helping take some pics on this fine fall outing.

The next morning I met up with JC Superhuman Adam Herzog at 6:30am at the Linville. As we ran through Drunk Tank it occurred to me that most people were just getting around to munching a bowl of cereal for breakfast. I like cereal, but I also like class V. That day at about 5pm I hiked out of the gorge for the second time, becoming the 7th person to ever run the Linville Gorge (Babel Tower to Conley Cove) twice in one day. Thanks to Adam for helping me out and being patient throughout the day, it was one of the coolest days I've ever had kayaking.

Peace, I'm out like No Doubt,


-Stay tuned to the Team Riot Blog for an Elk River Update...



Blogger ryan sherby said...

The du-bley, that hike is short but painful and steep, but twice, nice update, and wow... your hardness has been acknowledged...

6:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfucking real on the 2er. And my wish is to make it down Wilson Creek in style. Congrats on all you do....and with style.

Best to you.

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude...you the man. Stay safe and enjoy the wild rivers of North Carolina with an obviously good group of paddlers. You are living your dreams!

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cooper Dude ........
I've watched from afar for years and am so proud of how it all came out! You deserve a ton of praise.

Be humble, live large, and lean downstream.


10:17 AM  

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