A Chattooga River Legend - Celebrating Dave Perrin
When Dave Perrin laid eyes on the raw beauty and wilderness of the Chattooga, it was love at first sight. He started his career on the Chattooga River, met the love of his life working on the Southeast's renowned Wild & Scenic River, and raised his kids to share in his passion for protecting and respecting nature and the outdoors.
Since Dave began his career with NOC over 40 years ago, he has overseen Chattooga river trips for almost 500,000 guests. Chances are if you are a Chattooga patron, Dave was the driver behind the team cultivating your experience. From safety, boat innovation, and even a couple of the guides’ favorite river jokes – Dave has had a hand in every action taken at the Chattooga Outpost.
As Dave prepares to embark on retirement, we invite you to take a peek into his time at NOC and catch a glimpse of the huge impact he has made on Nantahala Outdoor Center and our guests.
In 2019, Dave celebrated his 40th year at Nantahala Outdoor Center. Friends, family, and colleagues gathered to celebrate his legacy and express gratitude for the impact he has made. In his time at NOC, Dave has witnessed almost 500 staff members grow under his watchful eye – many of whom think of Dave as a pivotal mentor in their working life.
"Dave has truly been an iconic leader in the industry and a cornerstone at NOC. His contributions on and off the river leave a strong legacy, not only operationally, but in cultivating passionate river guides and guest experiences. Dave has introduced countless people to the river creating life-long enthusiasts - he will truly be missed." - Steven Foy, General Manager of Outpost Operations
"Very few people have impacted my time at NOC as much as Dave has. Over the last 20 years, he has become a mentor, father-figure, and friend. Dave not only taught me how to be a better employee and leader for NOC, but how to be a better parent and human being. I will miss nagging him about work, but I know he will always be there to guide me in other facets of life. I wish him many long and peaceful bike rides as he takes on retirement!" - Leigh Boike, Executive Vice President
Do you have a memorable experience from a Chattooga River adventure? Share it in the comments so Dave can read about the impact he has made on our guests!
Larry L Pitt
Congratulations Dave! You are truly one of the great ones!
Thank you for your wisdom, talent and friendship when I was with NOC.
My journey with the NOC began when I was 9 years old, back in 1980. My dad took my sister and I to the Nantahala River to take whitewater canoe lessons. Our instructor back then was Susan, she and her husband, Les, at least I believe that was his name, were our primary NOC contacts at the time. The NOC store was merely a gas station with kayaks hanging from the ceiling, at least that’s how I remember it. We continued to spend a week each summer near the Nantahala River, canoeing and rafting. We introduced a lot of people to NOC back then. Several years passed between college and getting married before I made it back. Now, I have three daughters of my own and they have all been fortunate enough to experience the NOC. From rafting, rubber duckies, and even the Zip Line. Although most of my time has been spent on the Nantahala River, I have been able to spend a little time on both the Chattooga and Ocoee Rivers.
Even though I don’t think I ever had the fortune of meeting Dave Perrin, I know that he and others like him have been instrumental in making the NOC what it is today. So I’d just like to say Thank You for your passion and your desire to help provide a place for people like me and my family to create incredible memories that have been a part of my life for nearly 40 years now. Thank You!!!9:49 am - 7 April 20
Ah, Dave: Mad Marker and rascal extraordinaire.
Thank you for giving me my moniker and sharing all the memories of singing in the dark with Grobo, Bill, Rod, Rick, Doug and the gang (whoa - epiphany moment realizing how few women were guiding back then). Whether lying on upside-down rafts in the parking lot with stars above, drinking beer rocking on the porch or swimming in the Bull, those early days will forever be in my heart and soul.
Working, playing and just plain living around you has always been an adventure. The twinkle in your eye when you got a tickle from the dark side (to which you never admitted - whether hanging boats high in trees or magic marking equipment) or when I caught you with a bit of moisture in your eyes that you claimed was NOT allergies…. your heart was present and true. Yeah, there were times when we disagreed (I did marry the Lizard and fulfilled your prophecy of doom that I would leave the Chattooga), but true friendships weather any storm.
Thank God I had Bunny and Susan stationed beside you at our wedding “just in case’... I honestly expected you to object! Then singing “Summertime” to you and Ann at your wedding on the hilltop was such an honor… thank you for including me in that special moment. Sitting here now, listening to John Prine and Bonnie Raitt singing “Angel From Montgomery” and thinking of you ... indeed, I am an old woman and you are a child that has grown old. We both believe in this living, and it has been a hard way to go…. but you have made it easier for so SO many to appreciate the wonders of the river. You established the camaraderie of working and living together on and near the water - while raising amazing families, both from your loins and from your heart.
Excelsior, dear friend!
Retirement will sit well with you on your porch, looking out on what you have wrought. Don’t get TOO lazy… not that you ever would… so much to do between sunup and sundown. Live life to the fullest and know that you are loved.2:50 pm - 9 April 20