Sunday, June 27, 2004

West Virginia Weekend

In late June we decided it was time for another new run. This time we were going to spend two days. We ran the Cheat on saturday and then drove down to the New River Gorge on sunday. The Cheat was at a low level but it was good for my first time down. We had fun playing at Typewritter and Cueball. It was my first glimpse of the natural beauty this river has to offer. Gorgeous rock formations line the banks and the remoteness of the canyon enhances the experience even more. The Cheat is a long run and we broke it up for the boys to do some rock slides off of large boulders. That night we drove down to the New and camped at Canyon Rim Ranch. We awoke to what I found out was the usual foggy West Virginia morning. The fog burned off by late morning and we had a beautiful run.

Me and Ian, New River Gorge

New River Gorge

Josh surfing at Greyhound, NRG

New River Gorge

Me and Josh, Lower Keeney

Butterflies, NRG put in

Camping at Canyon Rim Ranch

Setting up for rock slide, Cheat River

Ian, Josh, Turnup, Maggie

Me and Ian, Cheat River

Pretty rocks, Cheat River

Pretty rocks, Cheat River

High Falls

Surfing at Cueball



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Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Team Natural Selection

The Richmond trip started a long list of summertime runs. During the week we paddled on the Potomac, running Mather Gorge and playing at MD chute as much as possible. Suzi joined us for weekday paddling and the weekends we stayed local and Ian mostly came out for weekend trips. With all the silliness and goofing off that ensued we dubbed ourselves Team Natural Selection, or Team NS for short.

We climbed up to Great Falls to run O-Deck rapid, ran Canal Falls (Josh backwards of course), played in the cave on Difficult Run at low water, boogie boarded the Potomac gorge down from S-turn at 4.5 feet, and jumped off the 40 foot "jump rock" on the gorge. It was great fun. Josh even had stickers printed for us... yes we're a bunch of dorks!

Me with my Team NS sticker later in the year

Early in the summer Josh, Ian, and I paddled the Shenandoah Staircase (which we vowed to only return to at high water!), Difficult Run (I walked the canyon section), and the Stony River to Kitzmiller section of the North Branch Potomac. I was quickly working my way up to more difficult runs with no problems whatsoever.

Suzi joined us for a few more Lower Yough trips (all much less eventful then our high water run). Josh would sometimes bring his dog, Turnup. On the long drives we would work on crossword puzzles and plan our day. Josh cooked great meals. We often had scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and/or pancakes for breakfast. It was great having such a fun group of friends to hang out and paddle with.

On the way home we'd often have dinner at Uncle Tucker's, a favorite stop for boaters. Uncle Tucker's was conveniently located right off of I-68 outside of Cumberland and just about half way home from most western MD/WV/PA area rivers. The food and service was mediocre but they did have good beer (well so i'm told anyway) and good dessert. The outdoor patio was a great place to hang out after a long day on the river. Sadly we recently (2006) discovered that Uncle Tucker's has closed its doors and the building is for sale. Hopefully a new owner will once again provide us with a great post river pit stop... and maybe better food.

I also got a new waterproof digital camera so we could document our adventures...

Josh and Ian - Mather Gorge

Suzi running Canal Falls

Me running Canal Falls

Josh running Canal Falls

Me surfing at MD Chute

Jump Rock

Suzi jumping off "jump rock"

Play at Difficult Run

Josh and Ian running Difficult Run

Josh about to run main drop on Difficult Run

Josh running main drop on Difficult Run

Me in cave at Difficult Run - low water

Josh in cave at Difficult Run

Me and Ian exiting cave at Difficult Run

Me at MD chute

Josh running O-Deck

Josh and Ian at Great Falls

Josh and Ian at Harper's Ferry

Ian very happy we didn't run the middle channel (Kitzmiller run)

Me and the boys on Stony River

Stony River - Team NS Style

Me and the boys - put-in Stony River

Cumberland, MD

Uncle Tucker's

Me at Ohiopyle Falls, Lower Yough

Me at Swimmers, Lower Yough

Me and Ian at Swimmers

Camping at Ohiopyle

Camping at Ohiopyle

Railroad - Lower Yough

Josh and Suzi at LY Take Out

Josh and Ian at Swimmers

Josh and Ian at Swimmers

Me and Suzi on LY

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