Friday, June 8, 2007


Deep in the soul of the southern Appalachians lies the land of the Cherokee, the land where gold was first discovered in the United States, the land were Moonshiners battled the Revenuers and a land where the people are as rugged and beautiful as the mountains they call home.
In the middle of almost a million acres of protected public lands lies the Great Smokey Mountains National Park and the Fontana Lake. Fontana Lake could be called the best-kept secret in the Smoky Mountains. Just consider a 29-mile long lake, with more than 240 miles of shoreline and 11,685 acres of water surface. Unlike most lakes in the area, the shoreline of Fontana is almost totally undeveloped. More than 90 percent of the land around the lake is owned by either the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or the US Forest Service, and all development has been kept to a minimum. Only a few marinas exist and almost no homes are other structures can be seen anywhere. With no development, Fontana's waters and shorelines are clean and undisturbed by man. Its deep, cold waters provide ideal habitat for a variety of fish. The surrounding wild lands provide habitat for the black bear, red wolf, bald eagle, wild boar, and beaver. The numerous mountain streams that feed the lake are home to several species of trout.
Day One: the group will meet at the Fontana Village Marina for a meet and greet and orientation. Soon after we will be shuttled to Lake Fontana. Basic instruction will be given on how to pack a kayak for an extended trip and basic paddling techniques. Then, off to our first camp.

Over the following days our small group will paddle and discover the many brooks, rivers, and creeks that flow into the Fontana. Taking time to stretch our legs we will explore the hillsides in search of abandoned farms, wildlife, and the perfect vista.

We will be meeting on July 1st  at 1pm. at the Fontana village marina and boat ramp, just east of the dam on highway 28.I encourage everyone to fly into Asheville the night before the trip and stay the night near our meeting point. A participant list will be sent to you, this will allow folks to arrange carpools. A great place to stay before and after the trip is the Fontana Village Resort. Its expensive but close to the put in. The phone number is 828.498.2211 A less expensive alternative is the cabins at the Nantahala Outdoor Center (
At the meeting point we will go over the week’s itinerary and learn the basics of packing and paddling a kayak. My van will be left at the put in for folks to store extra gear and a set of clean clothes.
Over the course of the week will be exploring the area by kayaks and on foot. We might move camp everyday, or base-camp a few nights. It all depends on the group, weather, and fun factor. Please be flexible. All of our camps will be backcountry and primitive.
Please leave cell phones, watches, radios, I-pods, and all other electronics far from the trip. It’s a big distraction for those who seek fellowship with wilderness.
As always please contact me if you have any questions. 407.924.3375. I’m home at least a week out of each month so be patient.
If you can get an extra day to play, last year everyone went down the Nantahala River in rafts after the trip was over ($25.pp). There are also heaps of backpacking opportunities.

Accommodations and Food: The leader will prepare all meal. Meals included in the trip fee begin with dinner on the first day and lunch on the last day. Meals served on the trip will try to honor and reflect local cuisine. The guides refuse to cook “freeze dried” or “prepared” type foods.
Accommodations will be backcountry camping . This means swimming to stay clean and cat holes when nature calls. There are showers and flush toilets at the put in and take out.

Revenuers and Moonshiners, by Wilbur R. Miller
Travels of William Bartram, edited by Mark Van Doren
The Foxfire Book series, by Eliot Wigginton and His Students

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and surrounding areas suffer from “Terrible traffic, vista-choking haze, invasive species, and crowded trails number among the problems facing the beloved Great Smokies, a treasure house of biodiversity. Topping all negatives are the "horrible," "appalling," "distasteful" gateways of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Cherokee: "theme parks, outlets, and billboards." Federal policy hasn't helped, either: "Kicking people off 6,600 tracts of land to create the park has led to huge cultural problems."

Kayaking and the outdoors have been Greg Pflug’s love from an early age. Greg’s adventures began with long-distance backpacking; he even through-hiked the Appalachian Trail as a belated honeymoon. Then he discovered water, and life has never been the same. Greg has dedicated the past fifteen years sharing his love of Florida’s waterways and his desire to preserve them. A Sierra Club leader since 1999, Greg has led over 100 national outings for the organization. Overall, Greg has guided sea-kayaking trips from Patagonia to New Zealand, Alaska to Wyoming. His goal is always two-fold: his child side wants to find the perfect unspoiled waterway, which is tempered by the mature desire to educate people on protecting and restoring the rivers, estuaries, and coast lines that have felt the hand of man. Greg is a certified kayak instructor, outdoor specialist, and wilderness first responder, but he truly takes pride tailoring his trips by removing worry and injecting fun and child-like wonder in the great outdoors. His favorite outings are the Suwannee River, Okefenokee, and the Everglades.



Small day pack or fanny pack
First Aid kit
Duct Tape
Pain reliever
Personal medical supplies (Prescriptions, inhaler, antibiotics, etc.)
Water bottles
Flashlight or head lamp
Spare batteries
Prescription Glasses/Contact lenses and supplies
Spare tent stakes
Ground Cloth
Sleeping Bag (Temperature appropriate)
Camp pillow or stuff bag to fill with clothing to serve as pillow
Sleeping pad
Waterproof stuff bag for sleeping bag
Waterproof stuff sacks (For clothing and other gear)
Equipment repair supplies
Leatherman™ or Multi™ tool
Knife, fork, spoon
Knife (Swiss Army™ or good a folding model)
Feminine hygiene products
Toilet paper
Hair brush/comb
Biodegradable soap
Antibacterial gel
Pack towel/wash rag
Moist towelettes
Water shoes or sandals
Brimmed Hat
Mosquito head net
Raingear - waterproof/breathable jacket
Fleece or wool shirt or sweater
Light weight camping pants
Swim suit
Long Sleeve shirt - light weight (Great for sun protection)
Gloves (For paddling and warmth)
Sun Screen
Sunburn Cream
Insect repellant
Lip Balm

Optional Stuff (but nice)
Candle Lantern/candles
Journal and pen
Playing Cards
Camera and film
Waterproof Camera Bag
Fishing Gear
Favorite beverage
Guide books
Snorkeling gear