I also hear that they are opening the upper Nantahala which is class II-III above the Cascades and also the Cascades as well which is Class IV-V!
In an attempt to clarify from the digression above - This is and was for a Hike-n-Hang over the weekend of the 22nd of Sept and on through the 27th - I'm not a "I must be at point A on day 1 @ 2pm, point B by 9am on day 2, etc" type person - for me, its all about the journey;
Cool looking trees/clouds/birds/etc could capture my fancy (or yours, for that matter) for a while and I'm cool with that - so if there's anyone interested in meeting up at any point during those times I'll happily make it happen on my part. Heck, maybe someone out there just wants to hang for a night and has to go back to work the next am... come on! (just don't wake me to tell me you're leaving... I'll figure that out all on my own)
Likewise, (and not in an attempt to further digress from the thread's purpose) if there's anyone in the area who'd be interested in paddling at some point during that same time frame, PM me (so we don't get off topic in the thread), as I'd like to know as I'd willingly give up trail time to get my **bum** chundered on the river somewhere... - just sayin...
I hiked the AT from NOC to Fontana Aug. 12 & 13.
Water sources were good, but the trail looked like it had no maintenance since the spring rush from Springer, even so it was still easy to follow the beaten path.
I only saw 3 other hikers in the 28 miles.
Last year,,quite a ways above the power plant,,going up the gorge,,,it was full of trees and strainers,,hard to run even if it had water,,what it needed was a major rain of 4 to 6 inches to clean it out,,all that timber in the granite rocks,,and its too dangerous,,but if you get swept in the class 5+ its not going to be a pretty swim either. There is nothing soft about granite rock.
I'd be game to paddle it when it opens if you don't mind a tag-a-long...