Home AutoBoof Archives Photos Trip Reports Hurricane Creek, NC

Hurricane Creek 2008 Trip Report

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Photos by Dirty Dave and Clinton Koontz
Text by Clinton Koontz

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The Crew was Dirty Dave and I (Clinton), plans were made Tuesday night to sleep at Big Creek campground and hope that the Pigeon Dries would hold for an AM run. We awoke at daylight to find the Big Creek bridge gauge buried somewhere beneath the swollen creek. The dries were flowing. A look at the raging river from I-40 and a few phone calls for online gauge checks revealed that the Dries were way too high. It was time to go find something else, preferably with a tiny watershed.

That brought us to Hurricane Creek. The plan was to get a quick lap on the half mile run and then the Pigeon Dries should drop enough for an afternoon run. We had no idea what we were getting into. We hiked down to get a look at the last drop and after a quick discussion - “I’ll run that”,

IT WAS ON!

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Where Big Creek Enters the Dirty Bird (AKA Pigeon)

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The Putin

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After the put-in there was one fun drop followed by a lot of shallow, manky sections and river wide strainers. At one point I was broached on a rock and tangled in a rhododendron bush at the same time. After this the creek began to narrow, the gradient picked up, and we found ourselves in the middle of an isolated rhododendron jungle. Every scout from here on out involved some bushwhacking or climbing of some sort.

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clinton kayak kayaking autoboof auto boof waterfall gorman

The Good Stuff

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The first good drop was about a 15 ft slide into a pool, followed by a multi tiered slide/drop into a tiny scouting eddy for the next drop. After peeling out of this eddy you were headed into another multi-tiered drop that fed right into an 8 ft ledge with a very shallow landing.

The river then channeled to the left of a giant boulder and over a blind horizon. This turned out to be a very sweet 8-10 ft boof that required you to drive hard left up on the flake or risk getting pushed and then plastered against the rock wall on the right.

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Next Time

The Portage

A tight boulder garden led into what looked like the most promising horizon yet. My pace quickened walking along the bank as the stubborn rhodo fought back. I saw a slide, into an 8-10 ft ledge, followed immediately by what looked like another 8-10 ft ledge. I felt like a kid in a candy store.

I think I nearly cried when I saw an unavoidable alligator rock right in the landing zone of the first ledge....this isn’t happening…. the second ledge also landed on rock. A little more water would have made this mandatory portage one hell of a rapid. Unfortunately, we didn’t have “more water”.

clinton autoboof kayak kayaking

Clinton Scouting the Portage

After the portage the peaceful gorge was polluted with the sound of passing cars which told us that we were nearing I40 and the final drop that looked so good when we hiked in earlier that morning. It was obvious that the water level had dropped since we last saw it but it still turned out to be just as good as it looked. Micro Creeking sometimes comes with a price – I got a great boof and still managed to crash hard while in mid air into the river left wall.

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The Take Out

The hike out was very, very steep with mud and rocks sliding out from under your feet the whole way up. Hurricane Creek was supposed to be a quick little warm up. It ended up being the highlight of the day.

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Thanks for viewing!

Contributed by:

clinton

Clinton Koontz

dirty dave

Dirty Dave