Thursday, June 18, 2009

Nantahala River Fog

Today we had some severe thunderstorms come through the Nantahala Gorge, and for the most part we dodged them. I was out on a "taxi squad" trip (when we have such a big day we pull extra guides from the offices), so I took some photos out on the water.

My trip was perfectly timed; we got off before the storm came through, but we got the cool, almost spooky Nantahala River mist anyway. My attempt to explain this phenomenon is very dependent on the wikipedia entry for condensation, so give me a break if I'm wrong, but I think what makes the mist (or technically fog since it's so thick) is the cold river water cooling the nearby air past its dew point. The Nantahala is pretty much always hovering between 50 and 55 degrees, so it often produces this fog in the summer or after rain.

No matter the science, it's just cool to be out in it. I've only been in the river fog a few times in three season, but I'm not a full time guide either. By the way, if it looks cold, it's not really. I was comfortable without a splash top on, but many of the guests on the trip smartly wore an NOC provided splash jacket because rain was in the forecast.

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