The southeast loses valuable tourism dollars during hurricane season, but maybe they should focus on luring hairboaters. Last month, when thousands fled coastal areas, whitewater paddler Dan Gavere jetted to Washington, D.C., to join a group of hairboating pals to paddle rain-swollen rivers and creeks.
The fearless band was “warming up” on the Great Falls of the Potomac when they saw Hurricane Jeanne was coming. They then high-tailed it to Virginia’s Bottom’s Creek and its 800-feet-per-mile descent, which, thanks to Jeanne, was raging twice as high as normal. “It’s so steep and at that level there weren’t many eddies on the side,” said Gavere, also known as Danimal. “If you take a swim there, your chances of getting out of the river are pretty slim.”
One boater decided it was better to walk than run, which in Gavere’s words “was probably a pretty good maneuver at that point.” The rest ran it and somehow came out unscathed. What’s your take on these guys? Make sure you vote below, and find poll results in the Put-In section of the March 2005 C&K.