#106 Whitewater Rafting

I completed #106 on my list during a Bachelor party get away labor day weekend September 5th 2009. It was decided that we go white water rafting at the Gauley River in West Virginia. The Gauley River is Ranked #8 in the world as the best place to go rafting because a 1992 Congress mandate stated that the Summerville Dam must release 2,800 cubic feet of water per minute between Labor Day and late October results in Class V+ Rapids and fun.

I was a bit hesitant to go because I pretty much cannot swim. I cheated during my swimming lessons when growing up and never properly learned to swim because I was oldest and tallest kid in the class and my feet could always touch the pool bottom, so I never had to learn to tread water as I was never in danger of drowning. I believe this is what you call irony as I never thought cheating would catch up to me in life.

But they do give you a heavy duty life vest and I made all the guys swear they would dive in after me less I haunt them for the rest of their lives. Irony once again strikes as the day we arrived it was the weekend before “Gauley Season” and they had not release the Dam water yet so the river was flowing at a very low 300 c.f.m. and as such we were going in individual duckies instead of a 8 man raft, so there would be no one to see me go into the water as I was on my own.

Overall it was a good time. While I didn’t get the full white water experience as the water level was low it allowed more time to enjoy the scenery and allowed us to take out single person duckies and explore more of the river that could not be accessed had the water level been higher. I still fell in a lot and drank a lot of water and lost my paddle and raft had to have others give me a lift to find my raft down river but it was a good time. Maybe once I learn how to properly swim I’ll go back during Gauley season. Scratch that one off the list!

Some video highlights below: