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Old 02-11-2014   #1
bobbuilds's Avatar
x, x
Paddling Since: x
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,634
tips and tricks traveling in the SE

Well, the trip is planned, and the crew is set. We leave for the SE mid-week next week.

I am looking for last minuet trip advice for traveling in the SE in the winter. This will be my first trip, and in the winter months of feb-march. I am not familiar with the roads, so any advice on closures or spots to be aware of would be nice.

The plan is to start in KY for the NPFF, then head south for the BSF Cumberland, and down to the Emory Obed system. From there on to the tellico, cheoah, Nantahalla etc...

Is there anything you can share to check out or stay away from? I hope we find free camping, people to boat with and places to shower while we are out there.

Any advice is appreciated, thoughts or ideas on what to see while we are there.

Thanks in advance, and I plan on finding those thick bologna sandwiches smoked and covered in BBQ sauce.

mmm, mmm, brown.

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Old 02-11-2014   #2
kayakfreakus's Avatar
Steamboat, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 887
Hope you have a good tour, prolly worth a post on boatertalk might get more local responses since you have a gameplan.

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Old 02-11-2014   #3
Arkansas during the off-season Nomadic during the summers! :), Arkansas & Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 945
We have a sweet hotel we stay at for BSFCUM but I can't remember the name. Depending on the day there may be good stuff in Arkansas when you pass through.
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Old 02-16-2014   #4
River Gypsy
Swannanoa, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 255
Unless you are staying in the SE until 3/15, NPFF and Cheoah will be mutually exclusive options because they occur on the same weekend. The only Cheoah releases are on 2/22 and 3/15.

As for road closures, I believe that the roads in the Catoosa Wildlife Management Area in TN (Obed-Emory) will be closed through March (see page 54: ). This is not a deal breaker, because you can still do many of the runs there. The shuttle for Daddy's Creek will be LONG because you have to drive all the way around the WMA, and you will have to paddle out the Obed because the DBT access point will be closed. You will also only be able to run the Obed by paddling Daddy's down into it.

The Blue Ridge Parkway in NC is closed right now, but it could open with enough warm weather to melt the ice off - maybe as soon as a week from now, assuming we don't get more snow/ice (828-298-0398 for info).

Finding people to boat with is easy down here - there are paddlers everywhere.

For info on showers and free camping, check the chapter and area info blocks in my River Gypsies' Guidebook ( ). If you car camp for free at the BSF (near the O&W Bridge), remember that you need to get a backcountry permit.

Now start doing a rain dance!

Hope you have a great trip-
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Old 02-16-2014   #5
bobbuilds's Avatar
x, x
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Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,634
Thank you all for your replies.

Leland, I have your guide books, along with 50 SE runs, and WW home companion. I appreciate you mentioning the road closures to be aware of.

We are dancing for rain!
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Old 02-17-2014   #6
Los Alamos, New Mexico
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 30
One of my all time favorite free car camping spots is along the upper nantahala in the national forest. you will turn off the main road running along the river to get to the put in for the main/lower section. Keep on going up that road past the put in then past some private property. you'll see tons of spots along the river, and shouldn't have any problem scoring them this time of year, especially during the week. pass up the first few, as they get better the further up the road you go.
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Old 02-17-2014   #7
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,407
"I plan on finding those thick bologna sandwiches smoked and covered in BBQ sauce."

BBQ Bologna is indeed good stuff
But when in the Georgia area, try a outside meat pulled pork sandwich along with a bowl of Brunswick Stew.

You might decide to stay!

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