Upper Gauley White Water Rafting in West Virginia

Upper Gauley White Water Rafting in West Virginia

My friends and I went on a road trip to go on an Upper Gauley White Water Rafting trip in West Virginia from October 11-14, Here is the recap and pictures from our weekend away…


Upper Gauley White Water Rafting in West Virginia


Thursday: Road Trip to West Virginia

How many Emilys?

Despite being val-late, I arrived at the yK residence and JoeJoe was not there 🙂 He had arrived earlier but when MattyK was late at arriving at HIS OWN HOUSE, Joe went to get food. Hilarity ensued I’m sure. We then split up into cars and I sat with JoeJoe while he hit on me the whole time, and then tried to search out Jen’s place (Joe knew the street started with an “M”…unfortunately there were about five “M” streets in a row to the one we (luckily) determined was hers). Then I switched to MattyK’s car with Emily (human), Emily (electronic), and heated seats and it was off to Indiana…

Shut up and go to sleep

After a couple of wonderful hours in the car (Emily and I totally made that car un-boring) we stopped over at the Super 8 (it may not have been a Super 8, I don’t remember). While the other room was trying to sleep we instead watched America’s Funniest Home Videos (and Sid refused to give me the remote!) watching people get wondrously injured 🙂 and ate my s’mores bars (haha, sucker other room!) I broke the sink. Sid did not brush his teeth in the shower. The other room wanted to sleep or something so they pounded on our wall a bit.



Friday: Cabin in West Virginia

300 horsepower!

Woke up, showered, changed, packed…I spread the s’mores love to the other room and found out that Alina was determined for her room to be finished before ours…so I rushed right back and everyone was all ready to go! Who’d have thunk that a room with Sid would be done first 🙂 (It was all MK holding up the other room by trying to be all clean and stuff by showering…but I guess that’s good because I was then stuck next to him the rest of the way…)

We stopped at breakfast and everyone got sausage biscuits except for JoeJoe, who got an ice cream cone. And then it was time to hit the road to West Virginia! MK says that his car has “300 horsepower” way too much. Waaay too much. So Emily and I decided that we would make that the word of the day, so every time Matt said it we screamed Pee-Wee style. It was kind of awesome. Our car was super awesome on the trip because it had the three most superawesome people there (by that I of course mean me, humanEmily and electronicEmily) 🙂

Winding Down

Finally about 50 billion hours later we made it to West Virginia!

Road Trip to West Virginia | Upper Gauley White Water Rafting in West Virginia

Here electronicEmily failed us by not going the way JoeJoe thought we should ( 😉 ) and then disappearing when she determined we were no longer on any road at all. Joe apparently got a speeding ticket, although I didn’t hear about that until muchmuch later. We saw deer (but MK managed not to kill it) and confederate flags.

Cabin Fever

We finally made it to our cabin at Major Harding’s Abode in the Carnifax Ferry Cottages.

West Virginia cabin at Major Harding's Abode in the Carnifax Ferry Cottages| Upper Gauley White Water Rafting in West Virginia

The place was damn sweet! It had a kitchen, fireplace, three bathrooms, hot tub… Unfortunately I didn’t get a bedroom or a bed and had to sleep on the couch 🙁

Trailing Behind

After getting most everything settled we decided to do a bit of hiking. So we hit the trails! Hiking is my favorite part of camping (even though we weren’t actually camping) because it’s just so calm and peaceful…except when you realize that everyone else is so far ahead of you that you can no longer see them or hear them…oops.

Upper Gauley White Water Rafting in West Virginia

Coming out of the woods we realized that we were actually pretty close to the cabin, so some of us walked (or ran to definitely try to beat the others) back while the rest got the cars. I made it almost to the cabin before the cars got there so I decided to walk in the middle of the road as slowly as possible 🙂 Yeah, I’m a jerk like that 🙂

Hot Tubbing

Then it was time to hit the hot tub at our cabin! With a glass of wine…or five…we soaked away while some of the boys prepped the grill and the fire for the hot dogs and burgers. Yum.

Hot tub in our cabin | Upper Gauley White Water Rafting in West Virginia

Jen gave me her fiancé, so now I am engaged to Andrew instead of JoeJoe, but I can still have him on the side.

After soaking…and drinking…and drinking…and me being one of the very few who went to go appreciate Joejoe’s fire and eat a s’more (yum) it was about time to call it a night, so I curled up on my little couch and went to sleep till morning.


Saturday: Upper Gauley White Water Rafting in West Virginia

Rolling on the River

White water rafting on the Upper Gauley River was totally awesome! OK, so maybe it didn’t start out that way (or really *end* that way)…but it was still totally awesome!

Upper Gauley White Water Rafting in West Virginia

Despite having survived white water rafting before, I started out as the crybaby scaredy cat that I am and started having one of my panic attacks that resulted in me crying, Sid having to hold me for a while, my guide wanting me to be put back on the bus, and the main guide (who was the guide for the rest of the group) having to come check up on me…

Of course, once we actually got out there I was pretty much fine…and did I mention that it was totally awesome!?!?

We rafted through five class five rapids and a bunch of other littler ones. The weather was actually decent, in the sixties and the water wasn’t too cold. I still bundled up in a wetsuit and polyester sweatshirt though. The dude at the rafting place tried to find me a pink wetsuit to match everything else I was wearing, but he was not successful 🙁 For lunch we had actual grilled food (no sandwiches this year!) By lunch I really had to pee but had on so many layers that I would have had to take off to be completely naked while doing so, so I decided to just hold it. You didn’t need to read that.

Upper Gauley White Water Rafting in West Virginia

Towards the end of the Upper Gauley rafting trip we came to “Fuzzy Box of Kittens” which was the name for a particular rapid where guides are known to pull crazy shit to try to tip the raft over…yeah, so he totally had the raft completely on its side so that I went flying (he later said “I’ve never had anyone fall out then from the LEFT side of the boat before!) and taking Sid with me (Sid later said that he had no idea how he fell out since he felt pretty secure…oops!) The scariest moment of my life then occurred when I tried to come to the surface but found that I was trapped under water under the raft. I tried feeling my way out but it seemed like it was forever (in retrospect I am pretty sure that I was going the length of the boat for the most part instead of the width…) It didn’t help that I think I was reading those damn brail instructions backwards. When I finally came out I could hardly breathe because I never really learned to swim and therefore never really learned how to properly hold your breath under water without sucking in a ton of water.

And yes, my adoring public, there IS A VIDEO of this particular rapid…

Upper Gauley White Water Rafting in West Virginia

After that ordeal, rafting was pretty much over…just a little float towards the end.

Upper Gauley White Water Rafting in West Virginia

And then it was all over (I’m doing my sad face. I’m making my sad sound)

Winding Down

After rafting we chillaxed at the rafting place for a bit, dried off, grabbed some popcorn, and watched the video of what we just went through.

Then it was back to the cabin for a quick nap, girl talk in the hot tub (me: I used to date a guy named Matt, he was a total douchebag / MK – pointing at Hood: haha, she’s talking about YOU!) and jugs of wine 🙂 We prepped up some kabob and threw that on the grill, I star gazed a bit, and ate up (p.s. Matt and Matt do not eat straight from the skewer straight from the fire).

Cooking in our cabin | Upper Gauley White Water Rafting in West Virginia

Then I made some hot chocolate, the boys lit up a fire in the fireplace, and we played some UNO and watched cartoons. After that everyone pretty much called it a night and I tried not to wake Emily as I washed all the dishes and then woke up JoeJoe as I realized the fire was still going and I had no idea if I was supposed to do anything. Joe doused it with some cups of water and then gave me a fire extinguisher to sleep with. And I did.


Sunday: The long road home


Sunday we woke up early, cleaned, finished off whatever food we could, packed up the cars and left our cabin 🙁

We took a pit stop at the New River lookout point to see the big ole Bridge (check your state quarters if you want to see it) and the New River (p.s. the whole rafting trip the guide kept comparing the rapids to what was on the news. I kept thinking what kind of rapids do you see on the news? It was at about this point in the trip that I finally realized that he had been saying the New and referring to this river, which was what we rafted last year. Yeah, I’m slow like that). We played around for a bit, snapping pictures of the bridge, snapping pictures of the river, snapping pictures of each other snapping pictures, then decided to hit the road.

The New River in West Virginia

The Road Home

Emily and I jumped in the coolest 300 horsepower car around and took off.

We stopped at Steak and Shake for lunch.

We listened to a lot of songs that had “road” or “driving” in the title.

We listened to some Dane Cook, but then he ran out 🙁

While Emily slept I made conversation with MattyK to find out the important stuff I wanted to know about him…such as:

He would rather have a heart transplant than a hair transplant.
He would rather eat a dog than a cat.
He would rather drive a gigantic motor on a unicycle than the Cadillac.
He would rather belong to AAA than to AA
He would in fact drive a Kia and only a Kia for the rest of his life if it meant he would be able to have sex.

and other such things of that nature. He refused to ask me anything though and told me my questions are frivolous 🙁 and then I recorded a ringtone for him of me doing my sad noise 🙂


At the gas station we split into different cars and Isla drove me the rest of the way.

I told Hood to make sure he took Isla through the traffic circle on the way out because last time she screamed and got off at the wrong street…twice.

I finally looked in a mirror Sunday night and realized that I didn’t just have a cut on my lip like it felt…rather it was kind of swollen.

My mom’s first and only question: “You didn’t get wet, did you?”


More photos from Upper Gauley White Water Rafting in West Virginia:


Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

  • Chris
    October 17, 2007at11:46 am

    I’ve been on the New River…admittedly a slower, easier going part that I tubed down regularly.
    Hooray for Val going rafting, looks like quite the epic adventure.

  • heather
    October 17, 2007at8:42 pm

    car trips with emily are always good.

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