Wilson Creek Gorge
May 18, 2013
Level = -4 and -3
WC Getaway


A great last minute trip to Wilson Creek with Joe and John.  Joe and I originally planned to paddle the French Broad with the SRVCC gang, but the level was a little high and more rain was in the forecast, so we started scrambling for another option.  I sent Trent a message Thursday night letting him know that we were going to look for something a little lower, then got on the phone with Joe to figure out what we could run.  I was open to anything, as long as camping was involved.  Joe called John, who had WC on his to-do-list, so we made that our destination.  It poured on us for most of the drive up, so I was a little worried that we would find Wilson too high as well.   Instead, it was a comfortable -4, perfect for John's first run.  The river was uncharacteristically quiet with few other boaters on it. The first lap went well for everyone, although a boat stuck at the top of 10ft did push all of our lines a little too far left.  Following the first lap, John headed up to Mortimer to set camp while Joe and I continued to paddle.  We could tell that it was definitely beefier and later learned that the level had risen about an inch.  We both planned on getting closer to the boat stuck at 10 ft this time and it caused both of us issues.  I ended up boofing right over it, flipping and swimming.  The rest of the run was pretty fun with the extra flow.  Joe and I made the drive up to Mortimer, quickly put our tents up, then headed back down to Brown Mt Beach Resort for some trout sandwiches.  And as we did many, many times over the weekend, we ran down to the bridge to check the gauge.  We joked that we should just set our chairs up at the bridge and watch it.  Back at camp we rigged up a tarp between our vehicles and sat around talking for the next few hours.  When it was time to turn in, I discovered that my tent was under water.  I pulled the 24 foot tarp out and staked it tight, which worked well to stop the flood.  Things were still pretty wet, but I was tired enough for it not to bother me.  Following a night of heavy rain, we decided to hike into Harper's Creek to see the falls rather than run the river.  Now I have a new drop to think about running.  It looks like a really fun big drop.  The hike, the paddling, the company and the camping were all great. 

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