The Lake is Down!

The beginning of last week was a paddler’s dream with heavy rain across western North Carolina. For those summer boaters who are used to a French Broad Sec. 9 trip running on a level of around 1000 cfs, this storm topped us out at 15,000!! Zach Nichols and Daniel Kreykes, two of our paddling staffers, reported back after kayaking the upper Upper Davidson which is only runnable during these rare big storms. The word was that the water and scenery are amazing, but you don’t have much time to enjoy them as you focus on 15-25 foot falls, logs, and even a block of concrete courtesy of an old hatchery dam.

And in the middle of this downpour, we opened the drain on the lake, bringing the surface down around 4 feet which doesn’t sound like a lot until you see these pictures. 

No diving from the docks please


1979 was the last time the lake was lowered so much.

It took a couple of days continuously releasing water to affect the lake so drastically. The water flume at the bottom of the dam was easily shooting a 20 foot jet of water out of a ten inch pipe and was so noisy that River and Tsali couldn’t decide whether to bark at it or run away. When it came time to shut it off, Don and I took these shots of a rooster tail taller than either of us, it would have been perfect on a hot summer day!  

This face is why Don was repeatedly denied a position with the fire department.

This access to the lake banks will allow us to shore up points of erosion and makes the water fowl fat and happy with all sorts of new feeding grounds, but mostly it is to install a geothermal unit for the Gray House. The system will run from the bottom of the lake through pipes in the now-dry ground into the bottom of the house. This process will take place in about a week and we will keep you posted on the details.  Hope everyone is staying warm and wrapping up their school semesters!

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