Echols Dorm: Brick Wall By Side Door
US National White Water Center, Charlotte NC
The US National White Water Center (USNWC) is located in Charlotte, NC, and offers 5 water sport and 10 land sport activities (including mountain biking and rock climbing). This trip is for white water kayaking, and is for intermediate paddlers. Although they have a section of flat water for paddling and rolling practice, their rapids are aggressive enough that you need to have intermediate skills to successfully navigate them (as in upright). I’ve heard, in fact, that the staff will interrogate (maybe too strong of a word) you as to your river resume/experience before selling you a pass. So because of that, and the fact that this will be my first time there, I will have you added to the waitlist upon joining this adventure so I can screen your skills. To go on this trip you need to have paddled at least class 3 rapids numerous times and have no problems executing a flat water Eskimo roll.
For more info about the USNWC check out: http://usnwc.org/
The itinerary is a little up in the air. I plan to leave mid day on the 23rd to drive down to “basecamp”: Nephew’s place near Greensboro, which is en route to and ~1 hour from, Charlotte for good eats, good times, and a place to crash for the night. The park’s gates open at dawn but the water gets “released” from 11-5 on the 24th and I plan to spend most of that time paddling (may take a break or 2 and grab some food/drinks at the “River’s Edge Bar and Grill”).I might try to get to the center early to check out the trails. After 5 we’ll grab some food and hit the road to be back to town at around 11pm.
**Please sign up even if you can not leave when I plan to. I don’t know how many my nephew can accommodate, but there might be other options. Fellow club member and kayaker, Josh Brooks, has a brother that lives in Charlotte (used to raft guide at the USNWC) and may have space for us/you on his floor for Friday night. This means I might be able to organize a group to depart later on Friday to crash at Josh’s brothers. Or we might find a camp site. I’ll solidify these plans before next Friday…
In case you are wondering about the paddling: they have a man-made river with cement structures to act like rocks to create the rapids. The put-in is just outside of where we check-in and get our passes, and then at the take-out is a conveyer belt to tote you and (in) your boat back to the start. How cool is that?! There are 2 channels that flow at different times: a “Wilderness” channel and a “Competition” channel. The wilderness channel has 2s, 3s, and 4s, is longer, and offers more play than the comp channel, which is 3s and 4s and is where they hold races. Before heading down you will need to print and sign a waiver. To do so please click on this link:
The cost to just kayak is $25 for a day pass. They also offer Allsport day passes for $54 in case you are considering doing another activity (I’ll probably bring my mountain bike, and should be able to use their trails for free since I have my own gear, according to the person I chatted with on the phone).
You should bring: You boat/gear if you have it, signed waiver (see above), money (for pass, food, etc), snacks, water, sleeping pad and bag (if you have them), other toys if you intend to partake in other activities (like bike, climbing gear, etc).
The Club provides: Boat/gear, boat/gear transport, seat in car, ga$, some money for food ($2/4/6 per person for B/L/D), lodging costs (if it comes to that), sleeping bag and pad, tent if need be, bike if you want to check out the trails with me.