Monday, June 2, 2008

I'm goin' down that river, I'm goin-a take da right hand road...

this weekend brought an impromptu trip to asheville our way. i figured - hey! why pack and clean and get ready to move in 3ish days when i can gallivant off to another state?? it started out when i saw that the hellsayers, a favorite, super-obscure (as in unsigned) band, were playing at a new club in asheville. since all of jim's kayaking buddies are there - i suggested we see the show and crash with them afterwards. he acquiesced, after some convincing.

once there, he was of good cheer. we went out to dinner at pizza brew with luke, lucinda, and jeff (all friends of the kayaking persuasion - but also just good friends). we passed the early evening eating pizza, drinking beer, and otherwise amusing ourselves. around 10:30, jim and i excused ourselves and went to the rocket club for the show. it wasn't too shabby. not the best live performance ever, but it was enjoyable. we made it in around 2:00am, and crawled into bed.

the next morning, we spoiled ourselves with brunch at sunny point cafe - a fantastic, trendy, hippie spot in asheville (aren't they all??). i had stuffed french toast, jim went conservative with the huevos rancheros. afterwards, we all piled into the car for a kayaking trip down the french broad.

now -the french broad is a class III river. not all the rapids are III, there are quite a few class II. but i can't roll yet in a kayak - so once i flip - i'm coming out of the boat. swimming sucks. you lose your boat, so other people have to round it up for you. you sometimes drop your paddle, which someone else has to round up. sometimes you wind up in the middle of the river, stranded on a rock - considering your options for swimming the rapids to the shore/nearest eddy. despite my nervousness, i was surrounded by confident paddlers (everyone above, plus a friend named paul). i ran the first 2/3rd of the river without any problems - no flipping. it was after the hardest rapid on the river that i had my first mishap. i'd made it through the rapid itself with no problem. it was a nifty little rapid - down a small slide/waterfall, with a sharp turn to the right and down a little chute between 2 rocks. i did it beautifully. and then, i turned around at the bottom to look and gloat and plop ! over i went. **sigh** after that, i swam 2 more times, once for no good reason, once in a class III wave that was quite large. after the 3rd time swimming, i felt bad that everyone had to help me retrieve my boat, empty the water, blah blah - although no one seemed to mind in the slightest - so i elected to let jeff take my kayak, and i joined his girlfriend holly in the duckie with the beer.

i had a very good time. i can see the allure of kayaking, but it doesn't hold the excitement for me that rock climbing does. maybe because i'm nervous the whole time - or maybe because i can't roll my kayak yet. i'll probably try it a few more times and see how i do - if i can get the roll down. i'm sure jim can teach me, he's a pro - after all.

and now, we're back to the real world. calling the electric company, the cable internet company, the landlord...packing, cleaning, and moaning. in 3 days, we move away.

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