(Above: "Row, row, row your boat... .")
I have a coffee cup which I picked up in a thrift store which extols the New River in West Virginia as the Grand Canyon of the East for rafting. Ever since a class 3 rapids just about snuffed out my life during a bucket trip in 2010 underneath a wrapped boat in Utah, I have found rafting in rapids interesting.
(Above: The New River National Gorge High Bridge.)
I hadn't rafted since then (I finished that trip which required 3 more days of rafting). I'm pretty sure my fellow bucket trip college freshman dormmates think that experience so unnerved me that I lost my nerve.
I'm not so sure about that; my seven years as a Colorado State Trooper had a few harrowing moments. My nerves are fine.
(Above: Our tour guide Zach kept us all safe and no one got rubbed out of the boat.)
Anyway, this summer I signed up as a single for two day-trips down the New River, the aforementioned Grand Canyon of the East. The first of our bucket trips went down the Grand Canyon on a raft in 2008, conducted by professional river guides, and I know the Grand Canyon's the real deal.
(Above: "We're going in!")
It was fabulous. The water was three times its ordinary flow and I found myself idly wondering as we drove down to the riverbank the first day whether I tempting fate by returning to the river.
(Above: Swimming in the New River.)
But I took a seat in the first bench up front and paddled for all I was worth throughout the day in subservience to the commands of the boat master. There was a lot of water that rolled over and through our boat, one wave of which nearly washed me out into the river on a class-2 rapids called Surprise! and I had a ball.
I went swimming through a rapids in the river, pulled or pushed with my oar for all I was worth in the higher-class rapids and jumped off a twelve-foot high rock into the river. That was the "Growing Rock" because in reports home it becomes a twenty-foot ledge.
(Above: The Growing Rock.)
I hope you enjoy the accompanying pictures because I enjoyed the trip. And I showed up the next day with another outfit for another trip on the New River.
(Above: "Hey, where'd everyone go?")