Good Morning Campers!
"Good Morning Campers - if you are here for the 7:00 trip down the upper gauley please report to the outpost to sign your waivers." We signed our waivers, watched our safety video, got our life vests and helmets, hopped on the bus and we were off to whitewater raft the Upper Gauley.
"Good morning everyone. My name is Jeremy and I will be your guide. I am a really mellow guy, and I do not really cuss very much. If you hear me screaming and cussing it is because you are not working as a team and on this river you will die."
***GULP*** Did he just say die? I think he really said die!***
"Please pick up your boat and carry it down to the water." And just like that we hopped in and we were off. Jeremy gave us a lesson in what eddys looked like so we knew when we went for a swim.
Initiation was a lot of fun. We of course got really wet and as the sun had not broken through the clouds, it was kind of cold.
Insignificant was a lots o fun with a lot of surfing at the end. Half our boat went for a swim while surfing. Matt picked me up (Thanks Matt!!) And I have no idea who picked everyone else up, but we all ended up in the boat safely.
Pillow Rock was a blast and we missed the room of doom. In the event that I missed this part - the pontoon that you stick your feet under to keep you in the boat - mine was disfunctional. That is to say non-existent. So how I stayed int he boat I will never know...
Lost paddle was perfect - even Jeremy said so. Through six-pack without a problem. Although we watched a boat almost flip over - which is really bad because of all of the undercut rocks which if a swimmer gets under they will be under there for a while. One boat did have to look for their swimmer. No evac - it was all good.
Somehwere between Iron Ring and Sweet's Falls I went for a swim. I was there and then I was gone. Boat on top of me - actually running over me. It was great. No sooner did I come up I was being heaved into the boat. But what was kind of funny about it was that my life vest was coming off. Maybe I was the only one who found that remotely funny.
Sweet's Falls is supposed to be the easiest of all of the rapids... but it was our complete demise. Jeremey said we had a bad line - not enough backstroke at the top. The only thing I really remember was him yelling to get down. We all got down all right. I bent my paddle, we had a swimmer, we lost Jeremey and Mandy was knocked out cold. It surfices to say that it was DEFINATELY the scarist part of the trip.
That Mandy she is a trooper!! She hung in there and finished the river. She even "rode the bronco" and got thrown by the bronco. Good for her!!
In the end we all had fun around our bonfire (he he he - there I go again playing with fire) and laughed about it, scared one of the people who was going down the Gauley for the first time - SOLO. But I really thought Jeff was kidding when he said it was big water.
The Upper Gauley is not a joke. I kind of of thought it was hype (GASP) - no really I did. I did not realize that we (Jeff, Rick, Mandy, and I) would get worked on this river. And worked we did - but we lived to tell about it, laugh about it, and Jeff is even planning the trip for next year... for the guys... the girls are staying home.