Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Russell Fork

With continued drought conditions all along the east coast we’ve had no other choice but to hit as many dam releases as possible. Although the long drives (6 hrs each way to the Gauley, 9 to the Raquette, 9 to the Moose) had started to wear on me, I was still exited to get in as much good boating as possible. With Gauley Season winding down, this weekend the best choice appeared to be the Russell Fork. I hadn’t been out there since January and was curious to see how the run would feel with 300 more cfs.

It proved to be considerably challenging to find anyone crazy enough to do yet another 8 hour drive but I was lucky to be able to convince Jeff to join me. We headed out early Friday afternoon and arrived at the Breaks to meet up with Margaret. You can always count on Margaret to be well prepared for any run so of course she had a great crew assembled. We paddled with local Gerald and his son Matt amongst others. Thanks so much guys for a great weekend!

I found that I remembered a fair bit of the run as we headed down and didn’t really find the higher flow to be significantly different. Although I was pretty nervous about it I fired up the main line at Towers (something that has always scarred me a bit). I had great lines and thoroughly enjoyed the rapid. Still did the hairy ferry at Fist, don’t want anything to do with that cave! I ran a few laps on El Horendo each day, that is definitely a lot of fun. Overall it was a blast and I look forward to getting out there again.

The Russell Fork Gorge is definitely one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to recently. We spent some time hiking around all the overlooks and just enjoying the scenery. Camping at the takeout was also great. I love how relaxed the RF scene is. Everyone just sitting around a big campfire, chatting quietly, listening to people sing and play the guitar.

Good times.... sweet memories, past and present.

Maggie running bottom of El Horendo

Maggie running main line at Towers


Camping at the takeout

Gorge walls

Walking the plank at El Horendo

Jeff, Margaret, Gerald, and Maggie checking out El Horendo
Photo: Steve Ruth

Jeff at El Horendo

Maggie running Second Drop

Fall colors on the gorge

Russell Fork Gorge

Sunset on the gorge

The best photo of the weekend, taken by Steve Ruth

Check out more photos here: Russell Fork Gallery

Also check out the Steve's Russell Fork website and the Lord of the Fork Race blog:

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