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Upper Big Creek 2008 Trip Report

upper big creek kayak autoboof

Photos by Steve McGrady
Text by Chris Gorman

It was Thursday 03/06/08 and plans of running the Linville were soon smashed as everyone backed out due to high water. After seeing the level, Nick was the only one that still wanted to fire it up, I swear that kid is from Idaho. Everyone else’s medium level is his Low. If Nick says a river is gonna be on the “high side of good”, you might want to re-think your options. I kid…kind of.

nick fires up action alley kayak autoboof
Nick David boofs over the third drop in Action Alley

This is exactly what happened when we woke up that morning and found that the Linville hadn’t dropped down to a level deemed reasonable by us rock crunching southeastern boaters. So we did what comes natural to us, we found a river with barely enough water to float and we drove there.

Big Creek was the destination and the crew consisted of Steve, Nick, and I on Thursday (03/06/08). It was about 2.7ft when we drove over the gauge.

Big Creek is a classic smokey’s river, it reminds me of paddling out west; Steep and Continuous. As the Great Lincoln McNultey once put it, “This is real kayaking, you are kayaking full throttle from put-in to take-out.”

Tired from kayaking for 3 days straight, Steve and I were inclined to call the hike off early and put in at Midnight hole. Nick wasn’t having it, he was snapping the whip on the trail and after a couple extended breaks, he got us to the bridge. I am glad he did, that upper section from the bridge to monster is super fun. The top section is just a tad bit steeper than from Midnight down. It reminds me of the west prong.

chris gorman contemplating his next boof
The author contemplates his next boof

Midnight Hole

chris gorman of AutoBoof Productions kayaks Midnight Hole on Upper Big Creek
Chris narrowly escapes the rock of death

Nick David kayaks Midnight Hole on Upper Big Creek
Nick testing out the High water line on a Low water day

Action Alley

Our run down was pretty average. Cruising at a steady pace with nothing but the roar of whitewater and our own thoughts echoing through our heads. We stopped here and there for some photo opportunities; you know how us kayakers love to photo slut.

Here is Nick rocking out Action Alley

Nick David kayaks Action Alley on Big Creek
First Drop

Nick David kayaks Action Alley on Big Creek
Second Drop

Nick David kayaks Action Alley on Big Creek
Third Drop

Nick David kayaks Action Alley on Big Creek
Baby Gorilla

chris gorman of AutoBoof Productions kayaks on Upper Big Creek

The Author Cheesing for the Camera

Good Lines mean Good Times