You know, I *tried* to post this reply Tues nite, and either the forum or my f*(%^$in' computer ate the damned thing!!
ahhh, technology.... <*sigh*>
What I was gonna say then, though, is your skill level isn't problematic or of concern at all. I'm still fairly new to things myself, having only started paddling a plastic boat last fall, then I didn't paddle our winter season here at ALL. I mean, I've got almost 20 years of on-and-off rafting experience and have done numerous trips in the 1man inflatables the past couple of years, but as far as solo whitewater kayaking goes, I'm only clocking in at about 4-6 months of contiunuous paddling (late spring/ early summer of '05) myself.
If you had any desire or ability to make it out one afternoon or whatever that weekend, I think you'd prob. be pretty comfortable, for whatever that's worth? My only concern (well, aside from the fact I only "know" you from this forum and you very well could
be some sort of sickopervertrapistaxemurderer
) is your age: while I think you'd be very at home with the personalities and overall skill level of folks on this trip, I'm not sure how close we are in age to you? The other two folks who'll be with me in NC are both very down to earth, welcoming, great individuals: the guy is 35 and has some whitewater experience, but he's fairly out of practice (by a few years), the chick is 31 or 32 (can't remember which... what a great friend I am, right??
), has essentially no river background to speak of, but is about the most free-sprited, fun, bohemian girl you'd ever want to meet. I'm not certain if significant others or other friends are tagging along, but out of the three of us, I'm the youngest at 26.
I do know that NOC does regular rentals of the solo inflatables/ duckies on the rivers they run, and I've done the Nantahala in those myself several times over. They're very rugged and stable, and I don't think you'd have any problems... and, it'd be just enough to let you start getting comfy with a paddle again while still giving you a good taste of the river. NOC runs numerous guided trips, and because the gorge is nice year-round, there are always a number of (more experienced) people on the river, especially on the weekends. In all honesty, that's
the thing I'm most concerned about on this trip-- being the person there with the most "experience" (I'm only clocking in at about a solid II+/III boater right now), when I'm used to being the one relying on the folks I regularly paddle with.... all leagues better boaters (III+/IV+) than I am!
(my usual paddle buddy/ main teacher is a guy who's off running V+ creeks when he's not baby-sitting my newby ass!)
Just give it some thought and keep in touch, and if you decide you might be interested, feel free to touch base with me here. I probably won't have all the kinks worked out until our girlfriend gets back from her summer clinic (around Aug 14, I believe?), but do feel free to PM or post anytime between then and now, 'kay?