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Uncommonly Sensible

Keeping the "anal" in analytical... (While trying to remain civilized)

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Location: United States

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Wet & wild!

(Look Ma, no camo!!!)

For approximately 1½ months every year, in late Summer and early Autumn, one of the world's best whitewater rafting experiences can be had in West Virginia...on the Gauley.

This is rated as one of the top ten whitewater rafting destinations on the planet, and it's the right time of the year, currently.
(No pun intended)

I've gone a number of times, always using West Virginia Adventures as my outfitter.

From their website:

"The most intense whitewater rafting available in the Eastern United States. This river is well known in West Virginia and is considered to be a world-class whitewater adventure. The Gauley River is available in September and October, when Summersville Lake is drained to winter levels. The Gauley River contains over one hundred rapids in a 26-mile section. It is rafted in two different sections, The Upper Gauley and The Lower Gauley, or both sections may be rafted on The Gauley Ironman Trip. The Gauley River is the true gem of whitewater rafting West Virginia has to offer."

I've done the Upper and Lower Gauley, in regular and "extreme" rafts, the latter being a smaller raft which is more profoundly affected by conditions.

I'd like to do the "Ironman" option someday, but I can never seem to get enough other people interested in that one; they require a minimum of six people to schedule it, but when "push comes to shove" there are never five other people in my circle of rafting aficianados willing to go for it.

The "Ironman" trip consists of doing the Upper and Lower Gauley (26 miles) in one day.

It is recommended that those who attempt the Gauley have previous whitewater rafting experience; West Virginia Adventures also runs whitewater rafting trips on the New River, which is less of a challenge.

I've gone there too, as well as a number of other places.

Here are some links:
Rafting America
Whitewater Rafting

There are plenty of others, too...


Blogger MargeinMI said...

Now here's a subject I can get excited about!!!!!

Back in the early 80's, I was friends with 15-20 folks that were seriously into ww rafting. What a blast! I've done the Upper Gauley several times, the Lower Gauley in duckies (basically a one man blow up canoe: the water was very low, we had to portage at times), the New and Cheat rivers also. I personally never did the Youghagheny (sp?), but had several friends who did. Three passengers and a guide, and boy did they WORK! My friend Janet (the most mild mannered sweet and spunky gal) fell in and swam about a mile before they could grab her.

I always felt in my soul that I must have some mountain blood in me after visiting West Virginia. Thanks for some great memories, camojack!

September 20, 2006 7:18 AM  
Blogger boberin said...

I've only been once, long ago, here in Pa but it was a blast. If I had some cash I would take you up on a trip.
Perhaps some day.....

Then again, there is always "tubin" on the Delaware, not nearly as exciting but a good time just the same (Apple Jacks!)

September 20, 2006 8:38 AM  
Blogger JR said...

I heard it is a lot of fun going down stream... It just makes my arms hurt thinking about that much fun... I remember lifting that stupid log from one shoulder to the other for hours on end, before we even got near the water...

September 20, 2006 11:17 AM  
Blogger Maggie said...

Are rubber duckies welcome?

September 20, 2006 1:42 PM  
Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Sounds like fun. Wish I had a life. Lately it's all work and no play, which makes Hawkeye a dull boy... sigh!

September 20, 2006 5:44 PM  
Blogger Beerme said...

Sounds like a great time. I know several people who have done the Gauley and do it regularly. I've never done it, myself. I have canoed hundreds of miles, though and am fairly familiar with rivers in general, so I know it would be my idea of fun!

September 20, 2006 5:57 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

It was in the 90's that I started running the Gauley. I went every year for awhile there, but as I mentioned, I really wanted to do the "Ironman" trip, and could never get enough other folks to join me. Another nice thing about running the Gauley is you don't have to paddle much, except in the rapids, but there are a lot of those!

I've done rafting in PA too; it was OK, but nothing compared to the Gauley.

There are lots of fun ways to traveling on the H²O. Whitewater rafting is only one of them. I have also gone by canoe, kayak and sailboat...to name but a few. I love 'em all.

From what MargeinMI said, she rode a "rubber ducky" there already.

You should make the time for play sometimes, lest Hawkeye become a dull boy.

Oh yeah, it's pretty great. I'm sure you'd enjoy it. What's not to like?

September 20, 2006 9:54 PM  
Blogger darth_meister said...

Always wanted to do that. I love water since I grew up near Galveston, Texas. But we didn't have whitewater like that ... except during hurricanes!

September 21, 2006 7:41 AM  
Blogger camojack said...

Go for it! Check the links at the bottom of the post for various places where you can...

September 22, 2006 3:44 AM  
Blogger MargeinMI said...

One of the best things I remember were the guides. What a bunch of characters! It takes a special breed to do that day after day. They always had great stories and jokes to share, and would make the trip as exciting as you wanted it to be.

I remember one in particular who swam the entire river (the Cheat I think), on his day off. Just a wetsuit, helmet and lifejacket. As they say....


September 22, 2006 4:42 AM  
Blogger camojack said...

The guides are definitely a bunch of "march to a different drummer" types. They certainly do make the trips more interesting. Having spoken to a number of them, I've learnt that many of 'em have "outdoorsy" gigs all year 'round...some go to the Southern Hemisphere and guide trips, since when it's Winter here it's Summer there; others work at ski areas and such.

Oh yeah, eleventeenth!!! :-)

September 22, 2006 7:28 AM  
Blogger Kajun said...

A white PFD might work as "camo"

September 23, 2006 7:56 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

Hmmm...by that logic, the helmet I'm wearin' in the picture is camo.


September 23, 2006 8:42 PM  

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