By: Dwayne Parton

First Trip to the Green

![[trail-down-to-the-narrows.jpg]] You can’t really tell how steep this really is, but it’s pretty close to climbing a ladder.

Friday I made my first trip in to the Green River Narrows. I left Bryson City at 10am got to the Pulliam trail head about 11:45am to make the hike in to the green. The first part of the hike is pretty easy but when you take the trail down to the narrows you are in for an extremely steep adventure. I made the hike in flip flops which wasn’t too bad, but I took my dog and that was sort of bad idea. There were many parts of the trail where I had to carry him and I was almost certain that he was going to run Gorilla before me. It was a little nerve racking but the trip was still worth it.

I took a bit of a detour on the tail down to the Narrows which put me out right beside Sunshine. There were a couple places on the trial were I had my doubts that Bobby(my dog) could make it. It turned out to be perfect. As soon as I got to sunshine there were 2 people running it. Sunshine is one of the scariest rapids on the green. From what I can tell there are 2 lines. Boof right into the eddy, or boof left. Running Sunshine straight is asking for a serious hurting as the water splats on to a rock below. Needless to say, it was a real treat to watch someone run it.

![[the-green-river.jpg]] Nieces Pieces to Gorilla

I hiked up from there just enjoying the grandeur of the Green. Everything is bigger and even more dangerous than I imagined. The sound, the water, the force, the size both big and narrow, everything is impressive. Huge boulders line the banks, and as you hike you realize why they call it the Narrows. It’s crazy to think that some 1500+ people will be standing on these rocks this upcoming Saturday. I am so glad I made the hike, and got to see the big three before the race. No matter how many YouTube videos you watch the Green will impress you when you see it.

I sat at Gorilla for probably an hour watching people run it. I can’t stress how much more impressive this was in real life. I feel like I went at the perfect time. There was a paddler there taking pictures, and I talked to him for a good while. He gave me a brief tour of Gorilla, pointing out speed trap and the notch. He had been running the Green quite often this past month in order to get ready for the race, and so it was a real privilege to talk with and hear what he had to say about the river.

![[20121030-223354.jpg]] Seeing Gorilla in person changes everything! It’s so much bigger in real life, I can’t even image the sensation of running it.

The notches before Gorilla, and at the end of Go Left and Die were extremely impressive and intimidating. They are tiny. On Gorilla the entire river flows through 197cm. The paddler there who was telling me that he knew it was 197cm wide because you could hang your paddle in there if you weren’t careful and then you’d be left to run Gorilla without one. I guess technically it’s a bit smaller than 197 but I liked his story so 197 it is. Most of the boaters I’ve talked to have said this is the scariest part of Gorilla. The notch on Go Left is crazy too. It is so small! Video just doesn’t show you how narrow it is. If you have never been to the Green, it’s totally worth the hike. Seeing the rapids in real life is just mind blowing. Not to mention it’s also just a very beautiful place.