Big rain equals big water.
I am a slave to the elements.
As I write this, a powerful storm is rolling into the Southeast, soaking everything in its path. This translates to an early Christmas for every kayaker in the Blue Ridge, and I am no exception. The feeling of those first raindrops hitting the roof is something very special. They resonate into my gut and bring to the forefront my apprehensions of what the next day may hold. Toxaway? Raven Fork? One of the monster plateau waterfalls?
During storms like these, you pick your poison, rally a couple of your best buds, and scare the living shit out of yourself! Good decisions should always prevail, but when mother nature provides the water, you’ve got to take advantage.
This dependence on nature is something that separates us from a large majority of the world. My friends joke about me being the only person that they know who has an ear-to-ear grin on rainy days. It’s totally true… my heart rate skyrockets as water pours from the sky and builds power as it funnels into perpetually larger and larger channels.
I know that I am not alone in these sentiments. That same visible joy overtakes skiers and snowboarders as the skies turn grey and the first fat flakes of powder fall silently on the cars. Surfers watch webcams to gauge the direction, size and frequency of incoming swells from a distant hurricane, and sailors know exactly how different wind directions and speeds will interact with their local waters to create the perfect breeze. We all share this beautiful dependence on nature, and it connects us in some deeper way to our planet.
This video segment from the ski movie In Deep represents these emotions perfectly, and it’s always been one of my favorites.
As for the impending flood, I wouldn’t trade this feeling that I have right now for anything. While I hesitate to divulge my plans, there is a long-time goal of mine in discussion for tomorrow. I may achieve it, I may not, but my energy level is redlined.
We have all been given a gift this week. Time to go enjoy it.