Spring has always been one of my favorite seasons. The weather is getting warmer, the wildflowers are blooming, and the days are getting longer. In the Southeast, spring also means rain and kayaking.
One of my favorite things about kayaking is exploring new runs. Spring rains make this possible, along with moving to a new region four short years ago. When rain is in the forecast, the first thing I do is check my work schedule. Unfortunately, I do not have a flexible job where I can take off at a moment’s notice for a rainy day. Next, I check the radar and see how much rain is coming and in which area. Then it’s all about waiting for rain, crossing my fingers I’m off work, finding some partners in crime, and making it happen.
So far in 2018 I have had 9 personal first descents of rivers and creeks in the southeast, and I hope this number will continue to grow throughout the year. My favorite so far was a creek called Little Possum, just outside of Chattanooga. This run has it all, with waterfalls, slides, big drops, and gorgeous plateau scenery. And of course a log-choked paddle out to even the field.
Next time it rains in your area, I challenge you to try something new. Reach outside your comfort zone and paddle that creek you’ve been thinking about for years. Or perhaps run an old favorite but at a different water level. Seeing and exploring new places is one of the great and unique aspects of paddling. Enjoy the rains!