As I sat in the college library distracting myself with a Google image search for “Alabama waterfalls,” I couldn’t believe my eyes. The photos depicted massive punchbowl amphitheatres, overhanging cliff walls, and deep emerald green plunge pools. What I was staring at seemed too good to be true. As my eyes scanned the postcard falls, I whispered to myself, “Those are runnable.“ I promptly set one of the images as my desktop background.
The Blue Ridge is a great place to be a kayaker. The scene is massive, so when contemplating a first D, one must ask oneself, “Many good kayakers have looked at this. Why haven’t they run it?” Apart from the technical difficulties and dangers of the Alabama waterfalls, the challenges also include a six hour drive and properly timing the water levels. During a 2005 recon scout of the area, Spencer Cooke and I looked at the first of these monsters, Desoto Falls. It was definitely one of the largest runnable waterfalls in eastern North America.
Three years later, a window opens. Several winter rainstorms have just bombarded the Southeast. I have been in conversation with Adam Goshorn, a long-time paddler in that area, and he confirms my suspicion that Desoto will be at a perfect level in the morning. A quick call to professional videographer Chris Gallaway, and the crew is in place for an attempt on the monster. . . read the full article!