Sunday, September 12, 2004


It was the final day of our weekend and my paddling vacation. We got up early that morning so that Mark could go to Arden where he was supposed to get his truck measured for a new set of Tygart Metalworks racks. I went along with him for company while Josh and Ian stayed at Teeters where we had been camping. The trip there and back took almost 3 hours, much longer than we had anticipated (and the guy wasn't even there when we showed up). The Tygart wasn't running but we decided to at least take a look at it so the trip wouldn't be a total waste. It looked like it would be fun with some water on it. While we were gone the boys filmed their own movie it was interesting to say the least....
Low water Tygart

Natural bridge

When we finally got back it was after noon. The guys had gotten pretty annoyed waiting for us but were glad to finally be able to paddle. So we debated what to do. Our options where slim as levels had dropped quickly. The Sandy was no longer running and we didn't want to have to drive too far. The Upper Yough was up. Afer my near disasterous run on Swallow the day before I really wasn't up for doing the UY. I was pretty tired from a long week of paddling and sight seeing so I really just wanted something easy and relaxing.

We were already at the Cheat so it seemed like the most viable option. Mark continued to push for the UY as he had optimistically only brought his creek boat and wasn't to keen on doing a play run like the Cheat in it. Josh too wasn't thrilled with the idea, the Cheat at low water wasn't his favorite run. Ian however was excited to get some play in so between that and my discomfort with the idea of an UY trip, the Cheat it was. After some grumbling Mark accepted the idea. He decided that to make the trip at least somewhat interesting he would borrow Josh's hand paddles. This proved to save the day for him.

Mark hand paddling

Mark had a great time learning to hand paddle (though the flat water did tire him out a good bit). After a while even this didn't present much of a challenge for him so he began bare handing his way down. He was able to execute small boofs and ran the run with no problems. We stopped at Cueball for a while for some play. Mark even managed to surf his creeker and even do some spins with the hand paddles. It was indeed a great end to a fun weekend /week. Mark liked the hand paddles so much he went home and ordered a pair the next day. He did a few more runs, including the Upper Yough, that fall with them.

Play at Cueball
Mark at High Falls

The takeout was interesting. Mark had recently gotten a topper for his truck but had not had a chance to get racks installed yet (hence the trip to Arden). We had left his truck at the takeout. There where four of us, three playboats, a creeker, and a cooler. The truck was only a two seater with a stick shift. But of course we had to get everything in it, the shuttle was way too long to drive back for the other vehicle. We were able to cram all the boats in the back but there was barely enough room for gear around them. So there was nothing to do but cram further. Mark drove, Ian sat in the passenger seat with the cooler in his lap, and i sat in between the strattling the stick shift. That left Josh to hang on to the back of the tailgate (with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other). It was all quite amusing!

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