Wesley’s 2016 Rain Gauge Report

wildwildwes wrote 48 days ago:

The link below is to a spread sheet for my rain gauge I have installed at my house.  It’s a really nice gauge and it measures precipitation to the nearest 1/100th of an inch.  2016 was a little below average since I started recording daily rain amounts, but not far off normal.  Click the link below to view the spread sheet:



Yearly Rain Amount Total History:

  • 2013 = 58.50″
  • 2014 = 41.16″
  • 2015 = 52.07″
  • 2016 = 42.59″

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Nolichucky High Motivation Day: Gorge Guiding & a Triathlon

wildwildwes wrote 149 days ago:

My wife, Jennifer, and I had a very active day on the Nolichucky Saturday, August 27, 2016.  Together with the help of 3 other rive guides we lead a total of 28 paddlers with 7 first timers down the mighty Nolichucky Gorge for the Appalachian Paddling Enthusiasts annual First Timer’s Trip in the morning.  Then we raced in a triathlon known as the Nolichucky Triple Threat in the afternoon.  Needless to say we were a bit tired after all of the day’s events, but we had a great time together and with many friends!

The day started out with Jen and me towing the Jackson Action Wagon to USA Raft to setup a demo for the Triathlon event.  Once I got all the boats set out for showcase Jen and I began organizing the large group to set shuttle for the gorge river trip using a USA Raft bus and some trailers to haul boats up to the put-in at Popular, NC.  The group worked together well to load up all the gear and boats to get moving efficiently.  On the way up the mountain in the bus I gave my river safety talk and explained how we would be breaking into smaller groups with our five river guides when we got on the river.

We were greeted with a warm summer day and sunny skies with temps in the high 80′s when we reached the put-in.  The river flow was on the low side of good at 515 CFS on the Embreeville Gauge, which made for a steeper more channelized run for our gorge first timers.  It turned out to be a fine level for all!

We all slide into the river in the large pool at the Popular put-in and split into our smaller groups.  Then we headed down river to enjoy a great late morning/early afternoon in the gorge.  All 7 of our first timers had a good time and were stoked to complete the run!  Big thanks to all the river guides and sweep/safety paddlers who supported the trip to make it another great success!!

We finished the 9 mile trip Noli Gorge trip around 2:00 P.M. back at USA Raft and that allowed us a couple of hours to rest up and refuel for the triathlon we would be racing at 4:00 P.M.  Jen and I were excited to be racing with our friends Amy Register, Brain Vermillion and Andrea Gass.  Brian & Andrea joined us on the gorge trip that morning also and we decided we needed some sort of Iron APE Award for trying both of these events in the same day!

The Nolichucky Triple Threat is a three part event that incorporates a 3 mile paddle trip down the Lower Nolichucky River, an obstacle course and a 5K Run.

Event website – http://nolitriplethreat.com/

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The race started at USA Raft for the paddling portion (Class I-II) of the triathlon and headed down river to a spot known as Red Cliff below Radio Wave rapid.  I chose to use my Jackson Kayak Karma Unlimited racing boat to GO FAST and Jen used her Jackson Kayak Karma Sm.  Brain and I were there only racers there using racing long boats, so we were the first two finishers in the paddling portion of the race.

Brian and I had to wait for the girls for about 5 minutes to catch up with us once we were out of boats, b/c we all agreed that we would help each other in the 17 obstacles that awaited for us in the course ahead.  The race’s official timing did not start until you crossed a pad leading into the obstacle course.  Once the girls caught up to us we started the obstacle course.  The course proved to be a challenge for sure!  There was many different obstacles in the course that included: a barb wire crawl in water and sand, carrying heavy objects, throwing a large rock into the cockpit of a kayak, 6’, 8’, & 10’ vertical walls, flipping tractor tires, dragging kayaks filled with concrete bags, inverted wall, cargo net, monkey bars, balance beam, 15’ rope climb, and a slip wall.  If you did not complete any obstacle in the course you had to do 30 squat jumps for each failed obstacle.  I ended up doing about 120 squat jumps throughout the course!

After we completed the course Brian had pulled ahead of the rest of us and he took off on the 5K run back to USA Raft.  He is a good runner!  I tried to hang with the girls on the run back, but I was struggling and had to walk several times.  Thankfully the girls were pretty tired too, so I was able to hang with them for the most part.  The run back was mostly on the road, but the last 0.3 mile was on an old spur the Appalachian Trail coming into the Nolichucky Gorge Campground.  I really enjoyed running through the woods in this section of the race and came though the campground to cross the finish line back at USA Raft with the girls finishing in front of me.

Event Results: https://results.chronotrack.com/event/results/event/event-21004

After we crossed the finish line one last obstacle laid in front of us as a bonus and it was to jump across two rafts tied together like lily pads in a pond.  We all did this one at a time hoping from the bank of the pond into the first raft.  Then scurrying across the thorts to jump into the next raft.  Then came the tricky part of taking a big leap from the last raft to the other bank of the pond.  We all finished this final obstacle cheering for each other and we were happy to complete the race!  It was a good time for sure with each other!!

We headed to the river to jump in to clean up and cool down after the race.  It felt so good and a great way to end a high motivation day on the Nolichucky!

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2016 J.A.W. End of Season SALE!

wildwildwes wrote 175 days ago:

The Jackson Action Wagon has had another great paddling season with free demos & spreading the fun of kayaking.  It is now time to sell the current demo boat fleet to make room for next year’s 2017 fleet!  The Nirvana and Antix models are coming soon!!

Check out the link below for current stock and prices:



All J.A.W. boat purchases include the original outfitting & swag that come with a new Jackson Kayak purchase.  The boats were primarily used in a pool for instruction and river trip demos.  The boats are in like new to very good condition.  I will be happy to send current photos of any boat if requested.

I will be at Gauley Fest & GAF to deliver boats to those locations.  I can also arrange shipping through Forward Air or FedEx if you desire to pay for that service.  Please do not hesitate to contact me if you are interested in a boat purchase from the J.A.W. fleet.  All boats are sold on a first come, first served basis.

Wesley R. Bradley – 423-647-1321

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APE’s Celebrate 15 Years of Cleaning Up the Nolichucky River

wildwildwes wrote 241 days ago:

Thanks again to all who came out this year to help cleanup the river!

The JAW had a great demo during the event!

Here is the link to the report with photos on all our successful efforts by Andrea Gass:

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wildwildwes wrote 244 days ago:

Big thanks to all who supported the Jackson Kayak Fun Raffle during the APE’s Nolichucky River Cleanup & Celebration! We raised $391.61 to support Camp Bays Mountain and Debbie Briscoe went home with the new boat!!

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2016 Nolichucky Hometown Throwdown Event #2 Coverage

wildwildwes wrote 263 days ago:

Check out the complete attainment race results, photos and report of our second event of the year at:


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Win a Jackson Kayak Fun

wildwildwes wrote 272 days ago:

Win a brand new 2016 Jackson Kayak Fun while supporting Camp Bays Mountain! http://www.campbaysmountain.com/

Big thanks to the supporting stores: Overmountain Outdoors, Mahoney’s Outfitters, Mountain Sports Ltd., USA Raft, & Uncle Johnny’s Hostel

Purchase tickets online prior to the event for $15 at


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NoliFest 2016

wildwildwes wrote 296 days ago:

The 2nd annual NoliFest was organized and hosted by USA RAFT this year on April 1-3.  The festival was billed “For all who paddle” and the event was true to its roots.  There was something for every paddler to enjoy.  Plus we were blessed with rain the day before the festival started and it bumped up the river level to a near perfect 1,600-1,700 CFS flow.  The festival activities included: whitewater rafting, kayaking, canoeing, Bellyak, Stand Up Paddleboarding, river races, SUP yoga, bonfire, live music, great food, vendor fair with sales/demos, used gear sale & swap.  This festival truly brought the local paddling community together in every way!

All these activities were staged from the USA Raft Outpost on the river bank of the mighty Nolichucky River.  Paddling trips on both the Lower Nolichucky River (Class I-II) and Nolichucky Gorge (Class III-IV) were of course the main highlight of the festival.  USA Raft provided shuttles on Saturday as part of the festival and probable carried out one of the largest shuttles to the Gorge put-in ever in history using multiple buses and SUV/vans with trailers to haul paddlers and boats up to Poplar, NC.

There were a huge number of vendors on-site this year for folks to check out: Hala, Bellyak, Pyranha, Southern Raft Supply, Shaboomee, Star Inflatables, Rocky Mountain Rafts, Boardworks, LiquidLogic, Uncle Johnny’s, Overmountain Outdoors, Appalachian Paddling Enthusiasts, Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, French Broad Outfitters, Eryn Chair Massage and Thrifty Adventures

The Jackson Action Wagon was on site during the day on Saturday with free Jackson Kayak demos, giving away JK swag and showcase foe folks to check out some of the latest whitewater models in the JK line-up.

Our local Johnson City Chapter of Team River Runneralso participated in the festival by taking serval of their veterans on rafting trips in the Gorge.

There were a couple of Special Features during the festival that were big booming fun:

WORLDKAYAK Hometown Throwdown Downriver Boatercross

Check out complete results, photos and report of the event at http://worldkayakblogs.com/throwdown/2016/04/08/2016-nolichucky-hometown-throwdown-1/  

APE’s Downriver Freestyle Jam Session with Pat Keller

We had 17 participants join us in this paddling session with Pat on the Noli Gorge.  Needless to say, but we all learned many great freestyle tips & tricks and had a blast shredding with Pat all afternoon long!

Check out this video edit by Clay Landrum of the freestyle fun we had with Pat.

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2016 Nolichucky Hometown Throwdown Event #1 Coverage

wildwildwes wrote 317 days ago:

Check out complete results, photos and report of our first event of the year at:



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APEs Whitewater Long Boat Racing Clinic with Chris Hipgrave = Incredible Success!

wildwildwes wrote 324 days ago:

Photo by: USA Raft

What happens when Team Nantahala Outdoor Center, Team Dagger and Team Jackson Kayak combine forces to instruct a clinic together?  110% pure golden good times and this is exactly what happened on February 20, 2016 in the Nolichucky Gorge, NC/TN!

Chris Hipgrave initially envisioned this long boat racing clinic with me late in 2015 for the two of us to host this clinic for my local Appalachian Paddling Enthusiasts club.  Chris and I began organizing and promoting the clinic and the community really responded with overwhelming support!  Chris Gragtmans from Team Dagger heard the news about the clinic and he rallied his team of Adrienne Levknecht, Mark “Snowy” Robertson, Wade Harrison and Hunter Cooper to help with instruction during the clinic.  Soon after news of the clinic reached Emily Jackson and she rallied Eric “EJ” Jackson, Dane Jackson and Nick Troutman to support me with Team JK.  Now that we had a Plethora of Pros to help instruct at the clinic Hipgrave and I decided we wanted a better representation from Team NOC also, so he brought along Tosh Arwood from the NOC paddling School for more instruction support! 

Photo by: USA Raft

The level of paddling talent was off the chart that had come together to make this clinic happen and our 19 clinic participates had an amazing day on the water learning all sorts of long boat racing tips and tricks.  The day was made even better with superb shuttle support from USA Raft to expedite us all getting to the put-in together with 30 long boats!  

Check out this compilation of footage clips including instructional segments of the clinic that Shaun Mullins captured with his GoPro while on the river trip.

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Photo by: Sarah Ruhlen

After the clinic Chris Hipgrave followed up with this great post on his blog with some of the tips that were covered in the clinic at http://chrishipgrave.com/2016/03/06/top-5-ways-to-improve-your-longboating/

Chris and I decided that since the clinic was so well received by all in attendance that we want to make this an annual event and coin it as “Long Boat Camp”!  Stay tuned for details for the 2017 Long Boat Racing Clinic in late winter/early spring if you want to join us next year…

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