Exploring the Holston, May 28

Deb Reynolds reporting

Memorial weekend was hot, but mid-day Saturday, the North Fork of the Holston River was calm, cool, and secluded, yet close to home.  We had 4 women for this trip, 2 of whom have never paddled before on their own.  The river is very quiet on this section with farmland, forest and some residential homes.  We saw more blue herons and large turtles than I have seen anywhere else and we were even paddling with the cows that had come down to drink and cool off.  There were trees for most of the section to provide shade with a nice breeze.  The water had a few shoals, but nothing more than a class I, if even that.  We had a short stop for a snack and were off the river in 2 hours with plans for all 4 of us to paddle together again.  I followed up with another paddle on the same section on Memorial Day; the river level had dropped about a foot in 2 days.  We had a few more shoals and dragged bottom a few times.  I would not recommend a composite material kayak at a lower level than this.  The drive for the shuttle was remarkably short and I will be doing this section quite often due to the location and scenery.  I can’t wait for the next sections of the Holston River to explore!   (Attending: Deb, Jaime, Dianne and Sarah on Day 1; Deb and Paul on Day 2).