Rafting Team: Dave Miller, Matt Miller, Austin Whitt, Nick Salyers, Marcus Farcus, Josh & Nolan Block, Robbie & Robert Helberg

Date: 1986 & July 9, 2014

I first rafted here with the Spence’s and the Shaeffer’s back in 1986. We wore wetsuits since it was early June and the water was still cold (Photo #5). I am the first person on the far right and Rosie is the third person from the left.

This second adventure 28 years later was a fun trip rafting the New River AKA the “Grand Canyon of the East”. I was between cancer treatment Treatment 5 & 6 so I had enough energy to join Matt and his high school and college friends. We drove the 267 miles in about four hours. After checking in at River Expeditions, we drove and hiked 3.2 miles on Long Point Trail. It ended on a rocky cliff giving us an incredible panoramic view of the New River Gorge Bridge and the river below (Photo#1 & #3). Matt hung back with me as I was a little tired. Marcus and others picked lots of wild red and black berries to eat along the trail. Nick’s girlfriend (second from right in Photo#2) had a hard time keeping up with us on the winding trail. Unexpectantly, we witnessed a massive gun show but none of us were injured (Photo#4). That night we had a campfire and camped out in tents.

We got up early the next day and rode the shuttle bus to the start point. The rapids alternated between calm pools of water and exciting moderate and Class V rapids. I think we lost Austin or Josh one time going through a rough rapid. River Expeditions provided a free deli style lunch along the riverbank half way through the trip. Most of us had fun jumping out of the raft and cruising through the fast current of the swimmers rapids. We also climbed up Jump Rock and jumped 25 back down into the river below. The trip finished as we went under the famous New River Gorge Bridge. We have no photos of the wild rafting trip but afterwards at the lodge we grabbed a brewski and watched a video of our trip filmed by the raft company.

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