Who do you like paddling with?
There are lots of traits that make for good paddling friends. They need to be reliable and show up when they said they would. They should be easy to get along with. They should be competent or at least making a serious effort to learn. They should be willing to help when and were they can. Ideally, they make the trip safer because they are on it. River rescue training or medical training deffinately makes for a better paddling friend. The most important trait to look for is someone you can count on to step up and help when they can.
At the Fall Gala, there was a rafter standing up on Block Rock at the top of Nantahala Falls. Swimming the rest of the rapid had to be a terrifying thought. He was just standing there with his paddle and his raft completely wrapped around the rock. He was in a really lonely scarey place with lots of witnesses and no help. He wasn’t in our group. Nobody knew him.
John Holley paddled down and eddied in behind Block Rock. He got out of his canoe and worked his way through the undergrowth up so that he could throw the raft guy a rope. After John got him off the rock, they waded across the island and John helped him wade across the creek to safety. Then John had to wade back across the creek to get to his canoe. Great job John!
Lots of paddlers on the trip could have done this, but John did it.
When I look around at the strength of river trip, I will always be glad to see John there.