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By Jez

For full stories and photos check out the JK Camp Blog

After having only about 6 hours of sleep from the night before, Wednesday we woke up bright and early. We grabbed our set of extra dry clothes and were on our way to who knows where. Everyone was making guesses about the next exciting whitewater adventure we were going to have, but none of them seemed to make sense. When we arrived at the Green River in North Carolina, most of us were terrified that our crazy councilors were going to make us run the narrows (Class IV and V rapids made for pro’s only). Finally they spilled the beans and said we were going to paddle the runoff section of the narrows, a lesser, but still very significant section of the Green. Me and the rest of the paddlers started the long, long hike to the put-in. It took what seemed like forever. Once we got in our boats we discovered that creeking down this river was going to be no easy task. We boofed a few boofs, and caught a few eddies, and made our way down to the two big ones. The first one was called toilet bowl. It was maybe a seven foot drop into a swirling hole. The trickiest part was that thirty feet below was the next big one. Hammer-factor was the killer of the day. This huge six foot drop into a twenty foot slide ate some of us alive. Those who dared to decend were shown the proper path by world-class creeker Andrew Holcombe and sent on there way. Luckily, everyone made it out alive. The day ended with a short drive back to camp and a delicious dinner of chicken fingers and Chinese food. Although we are all wiped out, everyone is satisfied with their courageous efforts and ready for one last day of great paddling.


Henry (Huck Southeast Camper)

Falling Creek and Huck’s First Descent of the Gauley River
July 29th, 2009
Today we ran the upper section of the mighty Gauley River. The guys and I had an unbelievably great time out on the river. The first few hundred yards of river were a good warm up, but as the river picked up in pace and gradient we all had to step up our game. The first major rapid “Insignificant” was a major wake-up call for all of us. It was much larger than anything any of us had ever run. We all ran the it exceptionally, and that set the tone for the rest of the day. The next major rapid we ran is called “Pillow Rock”. We all got out to scout it and eat our PB and J lunch. The first group that ran it was Michael, Henry, Robert, and then I, Paul, followed up at the end. All of us ran it perfectly and when we grouped back up at the bottom we set up safety. Michael was ready to retrieve boats and paddles, and I was on the shore with a rope just in case. Thankfully we never needed to rescue anyone. The rest of the river went fairly easily for all of us, with a few of the more difficult rapids really challenging our skills. Today we truly ran a section of river that was nothing in comparison to what we had ever done before. It tested all of our skills and we proved victorious. I can’t wait to see what else this trip has in store for us.

Paul (Huck Southeast Camper)

Staff Update from the Huck World Head Quarters
July 28th, 2009

This trip has been an amazing experience as an instructor. Not only are we pushing the kids we are pushing ourselves as well. We have caught up on sleep and have been well rested for the last couple of days. We have had to improvise on our menu because it was misplaced in Jez’s jacket pocket the entire time. The improvisation has lead to some amazing new combinations of food for our meals, which have been very scrumptious. The kids have learned many new skills so far on this trip from running waterfalls properly to reading white water. They have also had the opportunity to practice new play boating skills on the wonderful wet and wild rivers in West Virginia. Yesterday morning we held a white water rescue clinic where the kids learned about swimming over strainers, setting up a Z-drag mechanical advantage system. We positioned the car in the parking lot to show the kids how strong the Z-drag is and the kids were able to move the car with one person. Overall, all the kids on this trip have demonstrated their amazing skills on and off the river. Of the many amazing things that we have done on this trip, camping 100 yards from the New River put-in has definitely been a highlight on this trip. Stay tuned to read about the exciting adventures from Huck the Southeast.

Bryan Mangum ( Huck the Southeast Instructor)

Huck the Southeast First Half Update
July 28th, 2009

HUCK first half- In the beginning of HUCK, we were very excited to run two great waterfalls, and we knew that we would run maybe one or two rivers that we had already ran. Well, as far as those rivers go, we ran the Ocoee River (with the Olympic section). After that, we did not know what we had coming. We were all thinking of some rivers that we had heard of that were around the area, but with the Mystery Machine, nowhere was too far of a drive. We drove all the way to West Virginia to push our limits in the New River Gorge that was well worth making the long trip here. Paddling this river allowed us to expand our paddling capabilities and get our first taste of what big water is all about. With world class paddling instructors, such as Jez, Andrew, Bryan and Doug, there is always something new to learn, no matter where you are whether you are on land or water. As we do all of this, we are having the time of our lives, while learning new and useful things. We are looking forward to the excitement of running another new river, and we know that everyday will be a surprise. So far, on HUCK, we have all improved a great bit, and we know that this will continue for the next few days.

Joey (Huck Camper)

Huck the Southeast Day 4 New River Gorge, West Virginia
July 27th, 2009

Huck day 4- this morning we woke up left our things where they were, ate. After which Ben then made us play a game of silent football where we earned shirts and extra oatmeal. The instructors gave us a makeshift whitewater safety course. We worked on some z-drags, general rope work. Each one of us then stepped up and pulled the Subaru with a z-drag. After which we ate our lunch and hopped on the New again today, we went back to the new for some more new experiences today was a little higher water, about 5900 cfs. On one of the first rapids Bryan paddled into a massive hole and got worked for up to 20 seconds and swam out everyone worked hard to help Bryan get to the end of the rapid. Later on one the rapids I had been working all day to catch a good wave on the fly and when I did I heard Andrew screaming for me and after a couple seconds Patrick came down the rapid and got sandwiched in between me and Andrew as we stopped for snickers Andrew took his feet out of his boat and we challenged him to go down the last rapid like that. We got to the rapid he set himself up, and as I got off the last wave to see Andrew going down the waves perfectly halfway out of his boat he was barely even trying, it was hilarious. After that we got out packed the trailer and headed back to the campsite.

George ( Huck Camper)

Huck the Southeast Day 3
July 27th, 2009

Huck Day 3- Huck Southeast officially became a misnomer today as we left the southeast and traveled to West Virginia. After arriving at the campsite at 1:00 am last night, we got a luxurious five hours of sleep before waking up and getting back on the road. We were all incredibly tired and a little grumpy as we continued to drive north bound for hours on end. We eventually arrived in the paddling Mecca of the Mid Atlantic, Fayetteville, West Virginia. We got out to stretch our legs and then crammed ourselves back into the van… again. Everyone’s boredom rapidly changed to excitement when we arrived in the New River Gorge. We had a ton of fun in this river with massive amounts of water and huge standing waves. Thanks to the rain that the area had been getting, the river was a bit higher than the ones in North Carolina and Tennessee. By the time we got to the take out beneath the massive arch bridge, we were all exhausted. We were slowly hauling our way up the steep, winding road out of the gorge when suddenly our trailer tire popped. We were all a bit frustrated as we realized that we would have another late night. When we arrived at the campsite, we faced the challenge that we have had with every meal so far, digging through the coolers and trying to find things that go together. We lost our menu and now have dozens of random ingredients. Late that night, Ben Williams brought up Paul Raymond after he overcame a bad case of pneumonia. The whole group was thrilled to have the two join us. After quickly greeting them everyone went straight to bed, exhausted.

Day 2 Huck Southeast
July 26th, 2009

HUCK DAY 2: Today started with waking up and immediately packing the van. The plan was to eat at the house but the food was left in the trailer by the Nantahala Out Door Center. Therefore, we packed the van and headed to pick up the trailer and Andrew Holcombe. Once we were on the road, the excitement to begin paddling increased. However, we made a little detour before we arrived at the river and stopped at Wal-Mart for a little scavenger hunt.

We arrived at the Ocoee River at around 11:30 and from there the fun began. We started by running part of the Olympic section which was a great surprise for all the campers because no one from Falling Creek has been able to run this section. After we finished the Olympic portion of the river, we headed down and ran the lower section that most people were very familiar with from past trips. It was a very long and hard day of kayaking but also very successful. We are now all fed and on our way to are campsite to sleep and get energized for another long fun day of kayaking on another anonymous river.

Michael (Huck Southeast Camper)

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