As we told you over the weekend, there's a spot on the Horseshoe Bend upstream from us that has become too difficult to pass due to the unusually low water. The good news is that downstream is open and running just fine!
So until further notice the trip we will be running is seven miles from Lazy Otter HQ to the Westfeldt public access near the airport, a self-guided trip that should take 2.5-3.5 hours depending on how much effort you put into paddling. We think that's actually going to be a more popular trip than the 10- and 13-mile trips we have been running upstream because while the river is just as pretty, the distance is a little more manageable to more people.
The great part is that because you'll be putting in right here we can be more flexible with both rental customers and those who just want to shuttle. If you're renting our equipment, you'll be able to reserve any departure time from 10 am to noon (on the half-hours), and if you're just shuttling with us you'll be able to catch a ride all the way up to 4pm if you want to do a late-afternoon paddle. (Where you leave your car will depend on your timing, so see details on the web site).
The only challenge for us in this arrangement is picking you up after your trip rather than dropping you off beforehand, but we think we've got it worked out such that you'll be able to pace your float as you like and have minimal waiting time at the end. We'll try hard because we want your trip with us to be as easy and fun as possible!
Reservations for all rental and shuttle-only trips are required. We've updated our web site with all the details, so you can book from your computer or mobile device with ease.
We'll also continue making our parking lot and boat ramp available to those who want to self-shuttle with their own equipment, for a fee of $5 during the week and $10 on the weekends. To be sure you'll have access, though, you need to be here by 12:15 pm. No new parking or boat ramp access is allowed if the office is closed or we are on a shuttle run.
We're all hoping for some good rainy nights ahead (it's tough to root against sunny days!) so the river level can get back closer to normal, but we're sure glad we have such a beautiful and accessible stretch of the French Broad to share with you!