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Old 03-23-2008   #1
colorado springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2
Kayak/Raft Carolina or Colorado?

Help, I have the dilemna of the century!
I was offered a job at Nantahala Outdoor Center in North Carolina as a guide on the Chattooga river. I also have a job in Vail working as a guide on the Arkansas etc. Where do I go?! I want to be a better paddler (kayaker) but I've only been to NC once and I go to school in Colorado Springs. Where is the best summer paddling? CO, Montana, ID, Washington, NC? I'm Any suggestions as far as rivers, life, etc???

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Old 03-23-2008   #2
peterB's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 567
I worked for NOC on the Chattooga for three years and I live in Carbondale. Safety boating on the Chattooga pushed my skills to a whole new level. Section 4 is a classic and my all time favorite. They do a good job training their guides housing is comfortable, food is good, work is consistent. It is one of the few markets that you can count on work from the 1st of April to the end of October. If you are motivated you can train to be a kayak instructor in one of the tightest programs in the world. You can also paddle everyday. I have also spent most of the summer sitting on the couch in the guide house watching simpson's reruns. That said two hours to the Green and the Ocoee. Otherwise you are praying for rain that seldom comes. When it does the Chattooga watershed holds some of the highest quality paddling anywhere.

Vail has incredible diversity of paddling with in Two hours. You could paddle a different run everyday and still not see them all in one summer. As the season progresses the runs change. That said most of it is pretty high consequence. Because the mountains are so young here there seems to be sieves, pin rocks, or rebar in just about every run. Colorado boaters are comfortable with it and there are some classic runs but after you have paddled in the SE or California you know how chaucey it is here. That said I would not miss this year in Colorado. It will be epic. Anywhere in the west will be the place to be. The one market I haven't worked that I would have liked to was Idaho. My experiences in Banks have been awesome and I think it would be awesome to spend a summer there. In the west you make better money on a daily basis. You get tips, which are rare in the south.

Good options, Good luck.

friend of the fork, knife, and spoon
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kayaking, rafting

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