The Mayo River
September 27, 2015
Moores Mill Road on the North Fork to Anglin Mill Loop Road
Just an awesome time and a fantastic level for the Mayo. Lots of ledges to side surf, holes to bounce around in, swirly water to ender in. Paddlers were myself, Joe, and fellow Mt Airy paddlers Stephen and Devon. It was the first time either Joe or myself had made the North Fork run in years and it was a PFD for Stephen and Devon. The whole run was great, but most of the action fell below the confluence, as one would expect at this level. Still, there were some great side surfing spots early and often on the North Fork section. I had a blast at the Elevator Rapid, falling from it to a nice wave just downstream from it. Some great waves were upstream from the bridge as well.
At the Boiling Hole, I fell into the trap of letting a camera get me in trouble. I saw Barrett sitting with a camera at the water's edge at the boof ledge and drove my boat in that direction, yelling "Hey Barrett" as I hit the lip of the boof ledge, angled toward shore. It was all fun and games till I landed in the pour over. Not a terrible place to be normally, but at 3.5 feet, I would have rather parked my kayak somewhere else. The pour-over back flipped the Jitsu and gave me an awesome upside down ride. I could feel the water pounding the bottom of my hull, so I knew I was still in the same spot. I waited around for a few seconds, then reached as deep with the paddle, hoping to find some current that would pull me out. Then, as if by miracle, I was sitting upright. I swear I did not roll. I was not even setup to roll, had not even thought about trying to roll while still in that hot mess. But there I was sitting upright staring straight into the soul of the hole. With a laugh and a yell, I back-paddled like hell, then looked around to see where everyone else was. Joe and I ran the S-Turn, which was fantastic. I loved the waves and holes over there. We all converged at the beach and were all smiles. We immediately started hucking the boats back up for another run through the Boiling Hole. Stephen and I opted to try a middle line, since it looked fun. The muddy water had hidden how shallow it was though, so it was not nearly as fun as we had hoped. Joe and Devon were setup to run the Boiling Hole line again. With Joe eddied out on river left, Devon headed in, but was too far to the left. As he hit the boof ledge, Devon was recalling the steps to nailing a boof stroke, but it was too late, he went over and into the same pourover I had landed in earlier. We saw his boat bouncing around, then we saw a paddle pop up. I was filming, but when we did not see Devon, I turned the camera off. He eventually popped up near the end of the rapid after taking a wild underwater ride. The boat and paddle recovery turned out to be another highlight as it provided some big laughs. It was just too good of a day to not be in a good mood. After setting shuttle, Joe headed back to Greensboro, while the Mt Airy crew went for another adventure at Fall Creek.