Echols Dorm: Brick Wall By Side Door
Ray's Campground (Hico, WV)
Time to bring back a former annual trip of mine (and what evolved into the New River Gorge Extravaganza trip): An all-level kayakers’ trip to the New River Gorge area, in conjunction with Coastal Canoeists (regional paddling club), et al.
Every Labor Day weekend, Coastal Canoeists (CC), along with various other east coast paddling clubs, come together for an extended weekend of mucho paddling for all experience levels and all sorts of river crafts. The venue? The New River Gorge area (of course): a white water mecca that’s practically in our back yard! Most CC trips are for members only, but they allow any paddler to tag along on this annual adventure; its a great way to get to know more about that club, meet potential paddling mentors/buddies, get immersed in paddling culture, and (hopefully) not get immersed in the New and/or other surrounding rivers (but have a FUN time staying afloat!).
For more info about Coastal Canoeists:
About the section that I will be organizing a group to go down:
The section of the New River above the gorge is a 7 mile stretch from Thurmond to Cunard, WV and has 5 class 2 rapids separated by a bit of calm water and ends with the famous class 3, “Surprise” rapid. This is a great place for beginners-intermediates to get an intro to big water, and work on river skills like reading rapids, ferrying, eddy hopping, and combat rolling. This stretch also serves as a warm-up for intermediates who want to step up their game and run the gorge (which I plan to do after this section).
For more info about this river section check out:
Get to the campsite Friday eve, set up camp, get a campfire rolling, eat, drink, and be merry. Rise with the sun on Saturday, eat a hearty breakfast (I might do camp food, get breakfast from the campsite – Ray makes a mean breakfast – or possibly hit the Cathedral Cafe – the best pre-adventure meal experience ever!), pack a lunch and our gear, then meet up with the Coastals crew at 10am and then set shuttle (drop cars at put-in and take-out). We’ll put-in at Thurmond and paddle to Cunard where the beginner types will take-out and shuttle back to the put-in to pick up the other vehicle(s) and then shuttle to Fayette Station, the take-out for the lower section and where the intermediate-advanced crew amongst us will end (which I might set up as a separate trip). I’ll go over the shuttle plan in more detail before the trip.
We’ll be on the water for several hours so please be sure to bring plenty of food and water. After the river run we will zip into Fayetteville for a wonderful post-adventure treat: Pies and Pints (please bring cash or alternative food for your dinner) then head back to Ray’s for one more night of camping. My plan for Sunday is to have a relaxing breakfast at the Cathedral Cafe (may go for a short bike ride) then head for home. You are welcome to paddle Sunday and/or Monday as well, as long as you are able to transport a boat and make arrangements with Coastals if you need a river guide.
A few important notes:
1. PRIOR EXPERIENCE IS NECESSARY. You must have taken the intro to kayaking class with me or have similar experience to go on this trip. Since I will have to screen your qualifications your name will get added to the waitlist upon signing up, and then moved to the trip list if appropriate.
I am NOT “leading” on this river, I am only coordinating some logistics and transportation to the rivers. I will provide advice about each rapid and you are welcome to follow me, however, you are responsible for your own safety and the activities you choose to participate in while on this trip, and you agree to have read, and will abide by, the American Whitewater Safety Code http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Wiki/safety:start?
Those with the appropriate skills may join as “Common Adventurers”
Not sure about the Fall 2014 reimbursement rates yet. Stay tuned…
We’ll be staying at Ray’s Campground: http://www.rayscampground.com/
Camping is $9/person/night which is covered by the club. 🙂
There is plenty of space, bathrooms/showers, firewood to purchase, and good people. For directions you can follow the link above or the “adventure destination” link posted with this adventure.
Still working on this. Won’t be much, if at all. I need to determine if we will go over the $150/car gas limit and plan accordingly…
6. DEPARTURE TIME:
For now I am setting 3pm as a tentative departure time from Echols. That may change slightly depending on what I have going on at work, but will have a better gauge soon. If you can’t leave until later we can figure something out.
7. NUMBER OF ATTENDEES:
3; I’m planning to take my son and a canoe which means I’ll only have room for 3 boats on my roof rack. I can expand that number if people sign up with roof racks and are willing to tote boats.
THE CLUB PROVIDES: boats, spray skirts, paddles, pfds, helmets, noseplugs, drybags, float bags (limited quantities), neoprene booties, boat transportation, shuttle ride, camping gear (limited), ga$.
YOU SHOULD BRING: swimwear, footwear that can get wet (though the club has an ample supply of neoprene booties), towel, sunblock, food/snacks, water, your boat and gear if you have it, camping gear (if you have it), swimwear, extra clothes, a way to entertain yourself for when you are not paddling, flashlight, toiletries, money