Greetings! Thanks for visiting my blog and Bio page. Please allow me a moment to introduce myself:
My name is Wesley R. Bradley (A.K.A. wildwildwes – BT and WK Handle). I live in Elizabethton, TN of the good ole U.S. of A. I have lived here my entire life and love the region. I went to school in the Happy Valley School system - Elementary through High School (Class of 1999). I attended College at Northeast State (Class of 2001) and East Tennessee State University (Class of 2004). I have an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Drafting Design Technology and Bachelor of Science in Digital Media with an emphasis in Architectural Design Graphics. I am currently employed by Design Build Construction, LLC as an architectural designer & project manager. I enjoy my job!
I was very active in the Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting program in my youth with my dad as an adult leader. I am an Eagle Scout. I credit the Scouting Program for many of the skills that I use on a day to day basis. I am also a member of First United Methodist Church of Elizabethton, TN. I have been an active member in this church since I was born. I love my church family!
I love the great outdoors! I have many outdoor related hobbies, which include: mountain biking, road biking, alpine skiing, hiking, camping, backpacking, mountaineering, whitewater rafting, and of course kayaking! Whitewater kayaking is my favorite hobby!! I learned to paddle when I was 12-13 years old @ Buffalo Mountain Camp on the lower Nolichucky River, French Broad, and Nantahala River.
I returned to the sport in the year of 2000, when I had enough money saved up to purchase the equipment and a car to haul the stuff around. I quickly became enamored with the sport and could not get enough of it, while in college. I had a rather slow progression, due to the lack of paddling buddies and safety concerns. My top priorities in my paddling life is safety first and fellowship with other paddlers. I love to get out on the river!
I am a confident class IV-V whitewater boater. I also enjoy educating others on the great sport of whitewater kayaking. I voluntarily teach basic kayaking skills at the Freedom Hall Pool On Tuesday nights in Johnson City, TN. I like Creeking, Playing and River Running. Creeking and River Running are my favorite aspects of the sport. I love to run waterfalls! Some of my local favorite runs include: the Nolichucky Gorge, the Doe Gorge, Wilson Creek, Little River in the Smokies, Tremont, Cheoah, Gauley, Watauga Gorge, Green River Narrows, Tallulah Gorge, Russell Fork Gorge, Laurel Fork of the Doe, Elk River Gorge, Big Creek, Ramsey Prong, West Prong and Whitetop Laurel. I am always up for something new that is within my skill level! My current bucket list of runs I want to include on my paddling resume: Linville Gorge, Gragg Prong, Raven Fork, Toxaway, Horsepasture, OBJ in Colorado, Little White Salmon in WA, & South Silver in CA.
I have been very fortunate to team up with Jackson Kayak since November of 2006. I am a Regional Team Member for JK and they supply me with a demo fleet of boats for people to try out in my region. Check out the J.A.W. page on my blog for more details…
Through my affiliations with Jackson Kayak, I have also become the World Kayak Ambassador for the Tri-Cities Region. I have been serving in this position since April of 2007. My volunteer duties include posting regional news and events for the Tri-Cities Region on the World Kayak Web Site. I also organize, host and coordinate events sponsored by World Kayak throughout our region. I have a lot of fun doing this and enjoy volunteering my time to get folks together for some paddling fun!
I enjoy educating folks about our great sport! I volunteer with my APE’s club in SWR courses, creeking clincs, winter paddling clinics & leading river trips for all skill levels! I also enjoy working with local Boy Scout Troops to help them earn their Kayaking BSA Award.
Another paddling passion of mine is going FAST in a kayak!!! I <3 downriver racing. I’ve raced in many events on the Nantahala, Ocoee and Nolichucky Rivers. The Watauga Gorge Race and Lord of the Fork Race are two of my favorite events every year! I look forward to trying the prestigious Green Race, when I am ready, one first Saturday in November day…
I am a member of the following paddling clubs and/or organizations:
- American Whitewater (2004-Present)
- Appalachian Paddling Enthusiasts (2006-Present) Currently serving as Club Cruise Director Officer
- Paddlers for Christ – P4C (2005-Present)
Current teams, industry sponsors/pro partners:
Team Jackson Kayak (Whitewater Regional Team) – http://jacksonkayak.com/
Orion Coolers (Pro Staff) – http://store.orioncoolers.com/
Tri-Cities World Kayak Ambassador – http://worldkayak.com/
Chaco – http://www.chacos.com/US/en
Immersion Research – http://www.immersionresearch.com/
Kokatat – http://kokatat.com/
Mitchell Paddles – http://www.mitchellpaddles.com/
Astral Buoyancy Company – http://www.astraldesigns.com/index.php
I hope to see you on the river and have a nice day!
Wesley’s Kayaking Media Exposure & Awards
Sunday January 13, 2008 – Elizabethton Star Article:
Sunday February 3, 2008 – Elizabethton Star Lifestyles Story:
Friday July 17, 2009 – Elizabethton Star Sports Story:
January/Feburary 2011 – American Whitwater Journal ”It Takes Two to Tandem” Love Story: