Cheat River- www.cheatriverwatertrail.org

I was joined by Mike Price, WV Sierra Club Chair, on a 2.5 day trip from Parsons, WV to Rowlesburg, WV. This was a scouting trip for me and I was pleased when he wanted to join me.

We were dropped off by Ed in Parsons and put-in at the Rt 219 bridge at 1145. Partly sunny skies, river running swiftly, but clear.

Me and Mike putting in

Tucker County includes some of the most rugged, mountainous terrain and is drained almost entirely by the Cheat River. The first permanent settlers were Thomas and John Parson who settled in 1772 in Holly Meadows, 3.1 RM from downstream from Parsons, the County Seat. Tucker County is largely an agricultural area, but has reserves of limestone, coal, shale, and timber. In the 19th century there was rapid economic expansion due to the introduction of the railroads which linked Tucker County to the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) mainline. By 1910, the population had risen from 3,000 to over 18, 675 residents with 2 railroads, 2 paper mills, 3 tanners, 15 sawmills, 10 logging railways, lime kilns, stone crushers, and over 1,000 coke ovens.

7 minutes into our trip and Mike had his line in the water, only to pull out fish after fish within the first hour!! I began having some luck too, but only managed to pull in one that was of decent size.  all catch and release. Mike's "run" was, unfortunately, followed by a deep hook into his finger which required surgically removing it with forceps and wire cutters. The hook needed to be painfully advanced through the skin to clip off the barb, allowing him to successfully pull it back and remove it. Antibiotic ointment & wrap and back to fishing! A true Marine!!

Great current allowing us to fish in between rapids- leisurely afternoon witnessing lovely butterflies, deer, wildfowl, and plenty of fish!!  We began looking for a campsite after 5.5 hours of paddling/fishing. We reached St. Georges (11.2RM) and decided to paddle beyond Blackwater Outfitters on the West bank. 

The winds were picking up, leaves were turning upward, and dark skies were approaching.  We quickly decided on a level bluff.  Trees were easy to find for my bed!  Mike used my machete to clear a nice patch of grass and set up with ease.  Few words were shared. I think we both were content and satisfied with the glory of the day and were ready to sleep to the sound of the river.

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