photo by Mary Ann Grell

photo by Mary Ann Grell

Kirk Eddlemon

I'm a native East-Tennessean who calls Knoxville home, where I live with my beautiful and unconditionally supportive wife Laura, and amazing son Alexander.  I spend almost as much of my time walking, paddling, and even sometimes crawling through the wilder parts of the Southern Appalachians as I do in town.  I've always been intrigued by the call of the wild, and even before I started kayaking, I spent much of my time picking out interesting places on topographic maps, and then putting a face to a name by seeking them out on foot with a compass and a little tenacity.  This drive flourishes in a freedom-based pursuit like paddling, and it was only a matter of time before I realized that a little plastic boat could facilitate one of the most expressive, grounding, and spiritually rewarding ways of connecting with nature!  

Having always been infatuated with guidebooks and the precious secrets of explorers past, I've approached the last 15 years of kayaking with the goal to see it all and understand as much as possible about the world around us by way of the kayak.  As I began to see more and more of the Southern Appalachians, my respect and appreciation for these special places deepened, and my passion for sharing them with others grew.  From these seeds these guides have sprouted.  The intent is to inspire, inform, and through the visitation of these places, hopefully instill a sense of duty to protect and promote the rivers, streams, and their connected environs as critical parts of the rich natural heritage we have in this part of the country.  

Though the books are printed, lending some degree of completion to the project, I am striving to continue for as long as I am able, to share my passion for these places and kayaking with anyone who expresses interest, and I am also working to become involved in conservation efforts on the behalf of these invaluable resources.  If you are interested in learning to kayak, or are seeking a guided outdoor experience, please get in touch by filling out the form on my instruction page - I'd love to discuss your ideas!

Check out my blog at  gorgedout.blogspot.com for paddling stories, information, and essays from the past.