Much Respect for The Gauley River

I survived all these Whitewater Rapids, and I am so excited about it.gauley 013

  • Insignificant (Class V – ironically so named because the first expedition reported “nothing significant before Pillow”.)
  • Pillow Rock (Class V – accessible via a steep trail from Carnifax Ferry Battleground site. Extremely powerful and intimidating rapid.)
  • Lost Paddle (Class V – a long, treacherous rapid consisting of four sub-rapids: First Drop, Second Drop, Third Drop, and Tumblehome.)
  • Iron Ring (Class V – so named for a large iron ring which had been anchored in a rock near the rapid by loggers many years before. The ring was cut and removed by vandals in the 1980s.)
  • Sweet’s Falls (Class V – named for John Sweet, a canoeist and pioneer of the Gauley.)

Justyn and I went down the river two days in a row.  The first day was fantastic, but half way between Iron Ring and Sweet’s Falls I suffered a massive headache from not having coffee.  Ouch. 

i had a coffee headache from hell

i had a coffee headache from hell

The second day was even better.  We had a delicious breakfast at Cathedral Cafe in Summersville, WV., where I gulped down copious amounts of organic fair trade coffee.  I enjoyed a scrumptious frittata as well.   Right next to the Cathedral was a portrait art studio that had some funny paintings in the windows.  I could not help but to smile.gauley 014

A West Virginia Bride Portraiture

A West Virginia Bride Portraiture

I was really scared to go down Pillow Falls again the next day, because its real quick and you head for a rock and you drop down the river. 

Justyn is the best guide in the world and we made it down the river just fine.  It is really a gentle giant. 

gauley 068

 I respect the Gauley River so much.   I enjoyed sitting on Pillow Rock where we  people watched.  Boaters would navigate through those rapids and it was interesting to see if they made it without flipping there raft or canoe.   It reminded me of the Roman Colliseum days of old, where you are a spectator watching  doom and gloom through the uproarious crowds.  Photograhpers on Pillow Rock were busy shooting carnage and hecklers shouted paddling commands.   So crazy this Whitewater world is.  The Gauley River is amazing and I hold so much love and respect for her. gauley 026gauley 049


2 thoughts on “Much Respect for The Gauley River

  1. Glad you had a blast, Caroline! You put up some good pics of the experience. YEs, coffee headaches suck. I have stopped drinking it so I don’t have to carry it on the bicycle trip. Quitting smoking is way harder than quitting coffee is though. Had one little fall off the smoke free wagon. Washed the stink off, and got right back on the wagon again. One more week shall be a month. Time goes too fast. I need one of those watches like that feller on the Twilight Zone had, where everything stops when the button is pushed. One that does reverse would be sweet too! Since it’s just dreaming, might as well dream up the delux model that does everything, slow time, stop time, reverse time, and super fast forward, so I can meet everybody’s grandkids too, and still be back in time for dinner. Anyway, I don’t know when I’m going to leave again, today or tomorrow , can’t hang too long as I have no water. But, I had to get new pedals and wheel bearings, due to the weight killed the old ones. So, I’m leaving more stuff behind too, making it lighter. I’m getting laughs for being so slow, but that’s life when you have no car, slow. Oh well, Heather Dee said, “be safe”, not “hurry up or forget it”, but I hoped I could be back in time for Fantasy Fest and MOTM in Key West. Maybe I can, if I find one of those Twilight Zone watches.

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