Mile 0 to 11: French Broad River Movie Update (with video)

Our plan to go from Mile 0 of the French Broad River to 149 at the Rankin Bottoms in Tennessee was in immediate jeopardy when we were told by several people that the put in at the headwaters of the French Broad River had a private put in and was likely too shallow to raft.

Lying in bed unable to sleep the night before we started our journey of rafting the entire river in sections, I tried to decide on whether we should get up early and try to put the boat in as the sun came up, ask for permission at Headwaters Outfitters to use their private access, or just start as suggested by our river guide book to start in Champion Park in Rosman, NC.

French Broad River, Rosman, NC, Headwaters Outfitters, Island Ford River Access, Asheville

We’re off on the French Broad River!

We decided to just go to Headwaters and ask about the possibility of us putting in there and if they thought our raft could get through that section of the river.

You can watch a short video summary of our trip below:

 

In short, our plan is to make a movie about the French Broad River, the people who use it, and the political and social issues that surround it.

Let us know if you have thoughts, questions, or suggestions. Thanks for checking out this update on our project!

Scouting the Film Location: A Drive Along the French Broad River

French Broad River Movie Progress Report

July 29, 2016.

Be sure to check out the video at the bottom of this post.

Since at the moment we four Torgs have plans to raft the entire length of the 149 miles of the French Broad River in sections, we decided to check things out by driving along the river from Asheville, North Carolina where we live to Newport, Tennessee.

French Broad River, rafting, kayaking, Asheville, things to do, movie, documentary, Rosman, river access, Grail Moviehouse

lunch by the French Broad River

This would normally be about a seventy mile drive from our house, but we lengthened it by criss crossing the French Broad as much as we could.

French Broad River, MountainTrue, Asheville, things to do, rafting, kayaking, tubing, Grail Moviehouse

Section 9 River Map from River Keeper’s Guide by Chris Gibbs and Hartwell Carson

I wanted to get a glimpse of what is called Section 9, the wildest part of the river. We stopped at as many access sites as we could to shoot some video and so we would have a general idea of what to expect when we make it this far north. We also talked with lots of people, a few of whom you’ll see in our video below.

The plan is to make the film about the community that surrounds the French Broad, and the social and political issues that surround it. What you’re watching know is just an update on our progress. Thanks for checking it out!

 

 

 

 

Life in Asheville: Launch Trampoline Park

It was a rainy summer day in Asheville, North Carolina, and my girls kept after me to take them to Launch Trampoline Park. Because one of the girls won a complimentary pass at the local high school basketball camp (Hot Shot Champion!) they’d been before with my mom and wife. This would be my first time to Launch. It’s located at 24 Walden Drive in Arden, North Carolina, south of Asheville on Highway 25 / Hendersonville Road.

We Made a Video Review Below

I checked online about how much tickets cost.  They have some online coupons that you can sign up for. The good thing about checking the website was I realized they have specific jump times. We decided to jump for an hour from 6:15 – 7:15. I think you could get by with 30 minutes for $8, but I recommend an hour’s time for $14. Any more than that would have been too much for my girls, ages eight and ten.

Launch Trampoline Park, Asheville

the line for the obstacle course

I didn’t buy myself a ticket, but once I got there I could see that I would have a good time, especially dunking on the basketball hoop and doing the obstacle course. However, I would have had to overcome the fact that at 45 years of age, I would have been the oldest person jumping by at least a decade.

 

navigating the obstalce course

Navigating the Obstacle Course

There were only a few small negatives to consider:

  • Maybe the $14 is just a bit expensive? I felt this way more before going than once I got there.
  • The line was pretty long for the obstacle course. I think they might be able to send the next person onto the course a little sooner.

 

Launch Trampoline Park, Asheville, North Carolina, Things to do, family, Life in Asheville, tourism

Whew, all this jumping is tiring!

Reasons we recommend Launch:

  • Very fun!
  • My youngest especially loved the dodge ball. The referee did a good job.
  • Great exercise
  • Super clean facility
  • Friendly Staff

I do more “Life in Asheville” posts on this site.

We just started a Life in Asheville Facebook page. Click here and “Like it” if you’re interested in our Blue Ridge Mountain town in Western North Carolina.

If you have favorite things to do in Asheville or Western North Carolina, let us know about them as a comment below. Please consider subscribing and/or sharing this post.

Thanks for stopping by the Torg Stories website!

A Midwesterner Makes New York City Recommendations

I can hear the laughs of my native New York friends already. Torg is making recommendations. For New York City? Ha!  While I’m poking fun at myself, I will also share that in the first week I lived in here, I applied for a job to give bicycle tours of Manhattan. When the interviewer asked me if I was a long time New Yorker, I told him that I could read. Isn’t everyone a couple of books away from being a tour guide? Call me arrogant but also call me a believer in the power of reading. I can’t vouch for this bike rental place, but I can say that if you can get a bike and ride the path along the west side, you’ll have a great time.

I wrote my first draft of this post by accident as a response to a friend who wrote and asked me for New York “to do” suggestions. Additionally, I’m slated to serve as a guide for the Pulpwood Queens when they visit the Strand Book Store. I’d like to revise “tour guide” and make it “host.” I spent an entire afternoon browsing their shelves recently. After all, they have over 2.5 million books, including first editions of Huck Finn and a whopper of a J.K. Rowling collectible pictured below.

William Torgerson “New York City” “Book Expo America” “Things to Do” J.K. Rowling Harry Potter

J.K. Rowling’s The Tales of Beedle the Bard

I’m planning a more in-depth Strand post soon. You might want to check out New York Costumes just a block or two south of nearby Union Square. The costume shop is on Broadway and they’ve got multiple floors of curiosities.

Usually Lots Going on In The Way of Music and Booths at Union Square

 

The South Street Seaport is probably an obvious suggestion to some, but it wouldn’t have been to me before I moved here. Yes, it has a lot of shops and restaurants, but what’s best are the views of the Brooklyn Bridge, the water, and I suggest a sail around the tip of Manhattan. We did this when my mom came for a visit, and although we lost our precious baby doll Laura (she’s since been replaced) we all had a great time.

William Torgerson “New York City” Kids children “Book Expo America” “Things to Do”

A View from the South Street Seaport

There’s a TCKTS booth at the Seaport where you can get discounted tickets for broadway shows and the line there is much shorter than the one at the Times Square location. Plus, for those of you with kids, they have a great new playground. We like to eat at this nearby place called the Cowgirl SeaHorse. If the weather is beautiful, you might consider sitting to at one of the many places that offer outdoor seating. Since we see the views plenty, we opt for quality of food. At the Cowgirl, I always order the fish tacos.

As new New Yorkers (we’ll, it’s been five years now) we make use of the food blog called Grub Street. You can search by neighborhood and price.  I was pretty bummed out with the places I used to eat in New York when we just walked in to whatever was close. We used to pay a lot for crummy pizza and now we pay less for the good stuff. We have Grub Street to thank for that.

Let’s go down to the Chelsea area. I began to spend a lot of time in this neighborhood because the Apple Store on 14th Street offers lots of free classes. I’d take the train into Penn Station and while walking down to the store, I came across the Chelsea Market.

Inside the Chelsea Market

What’s best about this is the space that houses the “mall.” It is also connected to what is called the High Line, an elevated train track that has been transformed into a walking trail. The views of the city are great, there are a lot of interesting buildings to see, and there are plenty of places to take a rest, have a drink, and enjoy the view.

an oft photographed building on the Highline Trail

The Standard Hotel is also to the south of the Chelsea Market and right off the Highline. They’ve got a funky looking area out front of the hotel to hang out.I once attended a Book Expo America (BEA) party on the roof top, and although I haven’t eaten at the restaurant, I have hung out in the beer garden where you can also play table tennis.

The Beer Garden at the Standard Hotel

The whole area around the Chelsea Market is loaded with interesting stores, restaurants, and some of the streets are brick. Especially in the summer, there are often fashion or film folks doing their thing.

Get Ready for a Photo Shoot

I’m even going to offer a shopping suggestion. Us Torgs like the Century 21 Department Stores for their European designers at inexpensive prices. It’s where I discovered the brand Moods of Norway, which is about as close as I get to feeling connected to my Viking heritage. Sad, I know. The Manhattan Century 21 store is right across from the World Trade Center, and we don’t go there unless we can arrive soon after it opens. My girls aren’t very old and the crowds can be oppressive. If you do plan to visit the new WTC memorial, last I knew you had to reserve a time in advance.

I might break out my Moods pants again this year

I know it is silly for me to suggest that you wear comfortable shoes, but my wife and daughters do seem to be heeding this advice more than they used to. At least reading this, maybe you’ll throw a pair of sneakers into your luggage. I look forward to reading what long time New Yorkers have to say about my suggestions. Lucky for us, most of them are always ready with a critique and some suggestions of their own.

If you don’t heed my shoe advice, the Highline has you covered with cold water