I never gave a recap of the white water rafting... In one very short sentence: It was awesome! It was freezing cold, but awesome.
Saturday was Bridge Day, which happens every third Saturday in October and it's the only day that base jumping is legal in the US. We rafted down the New River and that was OK, not too exciting. However it was great to watch people jump off a bridge over a gorge that's 876 ft above the river and freefall or flip and then toss their parachute into the air. It only takes eight seconds from bridge to river, so they don't even bother packing the chute because there just isn't enough time for it to deploy!!
Sunday was the best. There are two entries in the book "1,000 places to see before you die" for West Virginia and I've now hit one of them. We did the Gauley Marathon, which is the entire Gauley River - covering 23 miles and eight class five rapids. It's impossible to describe, but I'm hoping to get a picture posted soon. I haven't developed my film yet. On the way down to the river, the guides kept saying, "Be nice to us! Today's the last day of the season, so just remember.... we can't get fired!!!" And then the bus erupted into laughter! There was a lot of rubber cock talk going around too because one of the guides carries around a rubber chicken to be his boat mascot. It was hilarious!
I should add that when we woke up on Sunday, it was 30 degrees and we had to melt the ice off of our windshield. Yes, COLD. FREAKIN' COLD. Here's what I was wearing... under my wetsuit!!!
I know it's hard to tell, but I'm wearing TWO layers of long underwear, topped with a SmartWool sweater, wool socks and later, a cap under my helmet! Did I mention it was chilly? On top of all that, I put a farmer John wetsuit and a neoprene jacket & booties. Brrrrrr!
Here are a few more pictures from the trip:
With our river guide for the Gauley Marathon.... Leif!
And with our crazy, enthusiastic kayak-happy videographer... John Petro
BTW - I'd highly recommend our rafting company... If you're looking to do some beautiful white water rafting in West Virginia, call Ace Rafting. They were fabulous! All the guides were cool and had a lot of experience. When they sent me the online survey, I was only too happy to fill it out with glowing reviews. I'm not sure if it was that OR the tip that prompted this note from our guide...
I was completely surprised that he wrote that note and touched. I had a great time hanging out with him all day and you could tell that he had a great heart.
I hope some of the pictures I took on the Lower Gauley turn out well because I took pictures of the fall foilage. It was gorgeous!! I've never seen anything like it!