For the past 5 years, I’ve spent one fall weekend drinkin’ and raftin’ in West Virginia. It’s one of my favorite weekends of the year and something that I always look forward to.
What can you look forward to? A long weekend (you’ll have to take at least one day off work) full of fall foliage, beers, camping, maybe a little hiking, rednecks who are proud of their redneckness, night jasmine, smores, hotdogs cooked over a campfire (yummy), chubby bunny, and perhaps a little rafting.
When: weekend of October 21-22 (see below)
Where: Fayetteville, West Virginy, ya’ll (about 5.5 hours from DC)
Accommodations: the rafting company has an on-site campground with full amenities—hot showers, restrooms, bar, volleyball court, horseshoes, dining hall (with TV, for those that can’t miss football games).
Cost: $130 plus cost of the DVD/photos ($50 split evenly—we’ll make copies for everyone…so the more people that come, the cheaper it will be), cost of wetsuit (if you want it, $20), camping/firewood (say…$20), and any food/beer/jack daniels/smores/snacks ($40?) for a grand total of roughly $225. It ain’t cheap, but if you think of it as a mini-vacation, it is! And let me tell you that it is absolutely worth every penny.
Will I Have to Take Time Off Work: Yes. We will be rafting on a Sunday, so you should take Monday, October 23, off. While it is feasible to drive back afterwards, why would want to? You’ll be tired and want to have a few frosty beers while sitting around the campfire or heading into the Red Dog Saloon that is on the premises. You also get a decent (not great) steak dinner after a nice warm shower.
Even if we do not choose option 2 below, I am taking Friday off work to drive most of the way out and plop down at a campsite (which, by the way, will be deserted, so we’ll have the run of whatever campground we choose).
If we choose option 2, we’ll have to get to Rivers the Friday night before. You don’t need to take Friday off work, but we all know that 66 traffic will add another hour to the travel time. Add in a stop to the grocery store and packing time and you are looking at getting to the site pretty darn late. But that’s your call.
We have 2 options. If you want to come, please indication which you want to do:
Option 1: Upper Gauley
No matter which option you choose, we are rafting the Upper Gauley, which is the best whitewater that you can raft this side of the Rockies and some of the best in the world (I’m not making this crap up—Google it if you don’t believe me). It features rapids rated Class III-V+ (note that no commercial rafting company will operate on any river with rapids above Class V). The Gauley is only raftable 6 weeks each year when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lowers the level of the Summerville Dam.
This isn’t a rafting trip for those who want a calm little float down a river. If you want that, check out the Potomac River Boat Company in Old Town or or the Odyssey . I hear they serve a mean buffet.
If you want a wet & wild ride, then this is the trip for you.
Upper Gauley: $130
Option 2: Bridge Day Blowout
Experience 2 outstanding rivers in 2 fun-filled days! Celebrate the anniversary of the world’s 2nd longest single arch bridge–theNew River Gorge Bridge. Here’s a little bit o’ trivia: my company (Michael Baker Corp.) designed the bridge in the late 70s. It also is the highest bridge in the U.S.
Lower New/Upper Gauley: $175.00 It’s only $45 more for an extra day of rafting on the New River. That’s a good deal.
What is Bridge Day? Once a year, base jumpers leap off the New River
Gorge Bridge. While this once was an unregulated event, the State has since taken over as the popularity has grown. If we choose option 2, we’ll get to see the jumpers from on the river (a cool vantage point).
From the website below: When Bridge Day arrives, more than 200,000 people converge over the course of the day to take part the day-long festival. BASE jumpers parachute off theNew River Gorge Bridge diving 876-feet into the New River Gorge below. Rapellers descend on ropes like caterpillars beneath the mighty bridge. More than 200 vendors provide delicious foods and fantastic entertainment!
Can I Invite Friends? Sure! The more the merrier!
How Do I Reserve a Spot? Post a reply to the blog. I’ll e-mail more details to those that want to come. F the rest of ya’ll.
Rafting Company/More Info: www.riversresport.com