This surgeon has created a life of adventure he now shares with family and friends.

Chris Lechner, Luke Lechner, John Sherman, Austin Lechner

A swimmer, paddle boarder, kayaker Chris Lechner’s enjoys all aspects of water and finds deep meaning in each adventure. He has shared a few of his adventures previously with Blue Ridge Outdoor Magazine. Now, he has completed a SUP first descent of the Tuckasegee River in North Carolina.

The best part was that he shared the adventure with his sons and paddling friend John Sherman.

John Sherman

John Sherman is a flight nurse who during time off has done multiple extended paddling trips, trekked to the base camp of Everest and completed an Ironman. When not traveling and exploring, he is practicing hot yoga and trail running.

Sherman and Lechner planned the perfect river trip. This week we are following their journey day by day. Below is Lechner’s entry of Day 1 of the SUP the TUCK trip. Tune in every day this week to read the daily updates of this epic river adventure.


SUP the TUCK 2018

Our goal is to explore the entire Tuckasegee River basin from its origin in Panthertown.

Chris Lechner and John Sherman

This includes paddling the East Fork headwaters and Tanasee Creek Lake, hiking the dry Bonas Defeat section and then paddling and portaging the impounded sections of Bear Lake and Cedar Cliff Lake. We will then paddle the tailwaters of the East Fork to its confluence with the West Fork and finish paddling the entire 60 miles of the Tuckasegee River all the way to the Little Tennessee River at Lake Fontana.

“Treat it kindly, it will continue to provide a wilderness experience that  few other realms in the southeast can rival.”

-American Whitewater describing the East Fork of the Tuckasegee

Day 1

“Sitting in the soft green moss at the confluence of Panthertown and Greenland creeks we dangled our feet in the freezing water and arranged our gear under a tight canopy of rhododendron.

Day 2

“The four of us were sore and exhausted from yesterday but renewed with anticipation to hike straight down the Bonas Defeat section of the Tuckasegee riverbed.”

Day 3

“I frequently look for signs of the old river buried in the deep waters and wonder if this section was once as magnificent as Bonas Defeat and the native river upstream.”

Day 4

“Uktena was a serpent as large around as a tree trunk, with antlers on its head, a blazing crest on its forehead and scales glowing like fire living in the river.”

Day 5

“Fishing from a standup paddleboard is a joy. Floating and spinning in the current with a 6 foot vantage point provides a 360 degree opportunity for visualization and spotcasting.”

Day 6 + 7

“The river slowly changes from wild and scenic to something akin to a back-street alley.”