Sunday, June 10, 2007

New River Gorge

Andy, Laura, Maggie, Kurt, Rachel at the NRG

After almost 2 weeks in Colorado and having only spent 4 weekends at home this year to date (yes really), I was quite prepared to sit around the house, play on the Potomac and work on getting back to "normal" life and maybe regaining some sanity....

But of course everyone else had other plans. A bunch of people were competing in the Captain Thurmond's triathlon at the New River Gorge (bike down to the river , paddle, run back out of the gorge). The prospect of running out of that gorge was rather horrifying to me. Good thing i wasn't going to be doing this ! Nonetheless i eagerly awaited for Rachel to pick me up at Carderock Friday afternoon so we could meet up with Andy and make the long (7 hrs with traffic and dinner break) drive to Fayetteville.

It was great to finally get to paddle with Laura who had a nice clean first run of the NRG on Saturday. Though she was initially rather nervous, she did great and was ultimately underwhelmed. We were joined by Mark, Rachel , Kurt and Andy on a gorgeous day in West Virginia.

On Sunday Mark and Laura went off to compete (Mark paddling and Laura taking on the heinous task of running the final leg of the race). They ended up coming in 3rd in the women's expert class (much to Mark's dismay!!) .

Meanwhile the rest of us discovered just how much fun the hole at Upper Railroad is. We promptly parked ourselves there and got in many rides each. This required hiking up each time as a large green tongue in the middle of the hole prevented eddy service. The hike was short and easy though, making the endeavor highly worthwhile.

And finally what summer play trip is truly complete without a good dip in the river. The four of us decided to enjoy a nice swim below Lower Keeney (and no, contrary to popular belief there was no carnage involved!).

Saturday night after our run we all headed to the Bridge Butress for some afternoon climbing (after a great meal at Dirty Ernie's, a New River tradition). We ended up having to share gear and since we only had one rope we just got in one or two climbs each. But given that my outdoor climbing experience is rather limited this was just fine by me. It turned into a nice relaxing evening filled with good friends and good times (and even a little extra exercise).

Overall a fun weekend of playboating, racing, climbing, campfires (including Scott's awesome banana boats, thanks so much for that!). Now we just have to convince Laura that big water IS fun!!

Maggie at Upper Railroad

Rachel at Upper Railroad

Andy at Upper Railroad

Kurt at Upper Railroad

Happy swimmers

See the NRG Gallery for more pics

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