So thanks again for the suggestions on a canoe guys. I ended up settling on a Mad River Explorer that I picked up on CraigsList. My Spidey sense indicated that it was in good shape based on the photos, and when I arrived in Maryville, TN after a bit of a drive, I met the nicest guy who had made lots of memories with his (now grown) kids with that canoe…so I was super stoked to be taking ownership with a promise to further explore with it and honor his ownership.
I posted up some photos and trip report that show our first trip in it. We had a permit to escape the eclipse madness and hit the Smoky Mountains backcountry via a paddle across Fontana Lake. It way lived up to the expectations. Trip and photo report:
Many thanks and we look forward to many more adventures with that smoking rabbit…!
BeachAV8R / Chris