family trip white water rafting on the upper new in west virginia…

Over the holiday weekend, a portion of the family went White Water Rafting in West Virginia. Since my niece Jordan is 9 years old, we needed to stay on the lower rapid class of I-III. That was the Upper New River. We did the overnight where you make camp along the river and spend the night.

So, for documentation purposes, here are some of the details of the trip. I’m writing this for future reference, since I could barely remember anything from the first time I white water rafted in 1999 with my son Justin, my friend Charlene and her son Darren.

We arrived at “base camp” at 10:15am, which for us was North American River Runners ( in Hico, West Virginia with all our gear for an overnight trip. NARR provides you with “dry bags” which are a rubberized waterproof bag. One per person is the rule, but they will make exceptions.

You pack everything that you think you will need for camping overnight; dry clothes, sleeping bag, sleeping pads, camp chair, bug spray, flashlight, toiletries, etc, and then shove them into your dry bag. You push/sit/smash on the dry bag to remove all the air and you fasten it with the straps and buckles that are a part of the bag. You give all of this to the guy packing the raft (Scott). He loads everything on the raft (that is on a boat trailer attached to a pick-up truck) and leaves for the river while you stay behind and fill out your waiver and listen to some safety instructions. Prior to the packed raft leaving, the guide asks you if you want a single or a double “duckie” – which is an inflatable kayak.

Once all of that is complete, we loaded onto the bus. The bus takes you, your life jacket, helmet and anything else that you will be bringing on the trip, to the “put-in” area of the river. Our put-in location was McCreery, WV. Your duckies have been inflated and are waiting for you at the put-in location. You jump in and start paddling.

We had our group of eight: D, Linda, Marty, Chris, Jacob, Jordan, Jerome and me. Along with us there was another group of eight: James & Margaret Bell and their two girls; Ann Stewart and Sarah, David & Jane with their sons Jonathon and Nate. Then we had three guides: Tasha, Cory and Scott.

After paddling down the river for around about an hour and tackling some minor (and major if it’s your first time) rapids, the guides have you pull over and have lunch. This consisted of lunchmeat, bread, pasta salad, bean dip and chips, pb&j, cookies, fruit and drinks.

Back to the duckies for some more paddling, rapids and swimming fun.
Late in the afternoon or early evening, we finally reached our overnight destination. On a tarp nearby were our dry bags and a pile of tents. We find a flat enough area and set up our tents and unpack our dry bags. While we are wrestling with that, our guides are setting up the “kitchen” and the “bathroom”. The guides begin to cook almost immediately. On the dinner menu are steaks, baked potato (w/butter and sour cream), corn on the cob, rolls, salad, stir-fry veggies and fruit. A nice chocolate cake with strawberries and whipped cream for dessert and s’mores for the kiddies. For our trip, they also provided some veggie burgers for Linda. You must let them know ahead of time if you are a vegan or vegetarian. Oh, and I almost forgot, 3 beers for each adult.

The rest of the evening is spent swimming, kayaking in the immediate area, sitting around the campfire, reading, fishing, relaxing and telling campfire stories.

We head to bed around 10pm and try to sleep on our very uncomfortable sleeping pads.

Let’s not forget the train that is on the other side of the river that goes by once every hour or so – a bit on the LOUD side, racing up the incline and braking at the same time – at least that’s what it seemed to be doing – and it sounded and felt like it was coming through your tent!

The next morning we are awakened by the smell of cooking bacon. On the breakfast menu are scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage, biscuits, fruit, coffee and hot chocolate.

We have another full day on the river. We went over many rapids, got stuck on many rocks, swam a lot and flipped over several times.

Got to the take-out location at Thurmond, WV around 2pm (I think), where the bus was waiting. Got in the bus and about 10 minutes into the bus ride back to base camp, the clouds opened up and there was a downpour!!!

We had a lot of fun! The weather was really iffy on the morning of our departure, but as the day went along, the weather got better and better. It turned out to be fantastic weather for the whole time we were on the trip…just remember to put on your sunblock!


Anonymous said…
This sounds AMAZING!
Really roughing it.
Can't imagine doing it.
Don't know if I have that much adventure in me.
Thanks for sharing.
bigger sister
baby sister said…
You do Terry, it really wasn't all that adventurous! Good times were had by all - except for the sunburn victims.

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