I am still wondering why I did not include the Upper New River in my list of West Virginia rivers- the amazing waters that share their wisdom and healing to those of us who still are suffering and plagued by War. It was a short scouting trip from Glade Creek to McCreery. My husband, Ed and my dear friends, Janice and Glen enjoyed the day with me. It proved to be a perfect river for a Veteran's outing, lovely beaches and riverbanks for overnight camping.
Ed and I were paddling solo in a 16ft Old Town and a 16ft We-no-nah canoe, respectively. We outfitted them with center Harmony airbags, but this certainly did not qualify them as whitewater canoes. The bags would at least keep them afloat when they took on water through the Class III sections. We were expecting to have to bail after each large rapid and, of course, we forgot our bailers!! Thank goodness for coffee cups! Ed and I chose to avoid Grassy Shoals Class III which we came upon within minutes of putting in. We were forced to walk our boats along the right side of the island- it was slow and tedious. As we looked back, we decided next time we would run it, as long as we could avoid the deep hole that frequently force many paddlers to swim. Controlling our boats proved to be difficult with the wind and the swift currents. I placed 5+ large rocks in my bow to stay level while Ed chose to kneel and turn around in his canoe, allowing him to control and maneuver easily around the many rocks. I, on the other hand, stayed seated and did pretty well.
Glen paddled ahead and cruised through each rapid effortlessly. We often did not follow his path, knowing he was aiming for the "holes" in hopes of creating a fun and wet ride for Janice (Queen of Sheba!!) Their boat is amazing- manually inflated and outfitted with frame, oars, and luxury seats
in less than 30 minutes. Without the frame, 6 paddlers can hop on board.
Ed taking a break and enjoying the river magic after bailing out his boat from Quinnimont Rapids. Fun, but challenging- almost a half of a mile in length around an entire river bend with several large rocks and holes. I mentally knew exactly which path to take, but physically I barely made it through a couple of shoots. Didn't swim, didn't get pinned- success!! Sooo much fun!
Glen heading toward Grandview Sandbar. The "Jan-Tanic" performed very well!!
Back on the water after lunch. Homestretch. Wish we were doing an overnight. Next time!
Heading to the take-out.
Thank you River for a glorious day. Until next time!
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