Oh, how fun a 149-mile, 13-day French Broad River rafting trip can be! It’s darn hard, too, but overall it was SO fun!
Before we get into any details (see my upcoming Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine article for those), and before we do any meet and greets or speaking engagements (see bottom of post for details on those), we want to take a moment to sincerely thank our partners and sponsors who helped make our French Broad River trip SO MUCH BETTER!
Here they are, in alphabetical order:
Aloha Hot Dog Company – for their enthusiasm, ice, aloha bracelets, and tiny commemorative paddles. So fun!
Appalachian Coffee Company – for supporting our caffeine habit (Bean’s nickname is “Bean” for a reason). Mmmm, coffee.
Astral Apparel and Footwear – for keeping us safe with new PFD’s (we figured ours were both at least 20 years old) and for keeping us comfortable in river shoes. A side note: Bean wears her Astral Mary Jane’s to work, too. Fashion AND function, right?.
Asheville Outdoor Center – owner Davewave met us with cold beers and ciders. We shared our journey and he shared his amazing artwork with us while giving us a tour of his awesome facility. Then he stepped up and handled our second portage with us around the two dams in Marshall. We are SO grateful for his generosity AND that we have a new friend.
Coffee cArts Studio – Pauline helped us out by freezing gallons of water for our coolers. Thanks, Pauline!
Cosmo Farm – for being our first shuttle bunny, our friend, and for providing those last three eggs we needed. We are incredibly grateful to you for so many reasons, Allen!
French Broad River Campground – Glenda and Bill were amazingly helpful to us as we arrived by boat to their campground. We are SO grateful to them.
Headwaters Outfitters – we started our trip from their sandy beach. With hugs and well-wishes from David, Debi, and the staff, we began our 13-day, 149-mile journey. We are grateful to Headwaters Outfitters for keeping their part of the river so clean AND for having a very nice private campground along the way.
ICON Coolers – We were thrilled to partner with the N.C. based company making coolers that WORK. Our ice stayed frozen for days and days. And when it was gone, the water stayed freezing cold for days after that.
Lazy Otter Outfitters – Leslie and Matt answered the call for more water with a huge cooler for us to replenish our supply. They hooked us up with two LOO t-shirts, too!
MountainTrue – talk about starting this whole mess! With RiverLink, MountainTrue has created the BEST paddle trail guide/map EVER. Plus, their campsites are AMAZING – good signage upon approach, picnic tables, and very clean porta-jons. Their camps were a pleasure to stay in.
Oskar Blues Brewery – I mean, who can say no to great beer? Yukon was one happy camper with their support of his beer habit.
Pitch Pine Organic Farm – we ate fresh veggies the whole time we were on the river. Lettuces, broccoli, kale, kholrabi, and radishes. Carrots for salads and stir fry dinners. We ate like kings and healthy, too. Their CSA boxes are HUGE and delicious.
Pura Vida Adventures – The biggest thanks to owner Joe and his girlfriend Ellen for picking us up in Tennessee when we completed our journey AND for keeping our animals safe, fed, and happy while we were gone. A million thanks!
River Link – Together with MountainTrue, the paddle trail guide can’t be beat! When there wasn’t a MountainTrue campground, there was a RiverLink one. So grateful for their work on the French Broad River.
The Hub/Pisgah Tavern Employees – from catching a ride at Sierra Nevada, to their general enthusiasm and support for the trip, we are so grateful to the folks at the Hub/Pisgah Tavern for always being AWESOME.
If we left anyone out, it was an oversight on our part and we sincerely apologize.
This trip was amazing because of the friends who stepped up to help and because of the new friends we made who stepped up, too. We couldn’t have done it without ya’ll! #peoplearegood
Want to hear more about our French Broad River rafting trip and how we did it?
- Upper French Broad Riverfest at Champion Park in Rosman, NC, Saturday, June 18th from 10 am – 3pm
- REI Asheville Talk on Tuesday, June 28th from 7 – 8:30 pm
- RiverLink Salon (Open Forum) on Friday, July 15th from 3 – 5 pm. We’re part of a panel discussing the French Broad River, which will include Chris Lechner, a guy who paddle boarded the entire FBR in one shot like we did (and we are really looking forward to meeting him and comparing notes!).
- Read Bean’s piece in Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine (August issue, I think) about how a big river trip through Grand Canyon changed our lives and how we’re using this French Broad River rafting trip to welcome change again!