White Water Rafting on West Virginia's Lower New River

White Water Rafting on West Virginia’s Lower New River

I am back from White Water Rafting on West Virginia’s Lower New River… and I am alive!

Our white water rafting trip started out Wednesday by driving to Cincinnati where we played the alphabet game (I lost), read bridal magazines (I discovered I am not the only one with a folder full of ideas), and stopped for some Skyline Chili. Then we checked ourselves into a cheap motel and spent the night there before driving the rest of the way in the morning.

Thursday morning we woke up early and drove to a Meijer to meet Justin and April and gather food. Then it was off to the campsite to set up and prepare said food and played with the ax.

The campsite was pretty nice and it had real bathrooms (unlike the one in Wisconsin I went to the last time, 5 years ago, yuck). We set up camp then went off for a hike. I really loved just walking through the woods. It is so beautiful. We went up to a high top that wasn’t too scary to look out over and we went through a cave and walked some more. On our way out we went to play on the rocks in the river. I decided to take my shoes off and walk through barefoot, which resulted in my falling on my ass. Then since my jeans were wet I just decided to tromp around some more and get completely soaked. Yay.

Back at the campsite we cooked up some kabobs and s’mores and called it a night cramped up in a tent.


Photos from camping in West Virginia:


The next morning was white water rafting day! So, yeah. Rafting kind of scared me to death. I went once five years ago and have never returned to the annual rafting trip because it scared me so much. So, I woke up and got ready and got to the place OK. But then I spent most of the morning before we left crying. It didn’t help that the friend of mine who said that he’d stay with me ditched me for the other raft. 🙁 Alina came and talked to me and helped me through it though and when we got there she warned Justin to make sure the guide didn’t scare me too much.

We had 9 people for an 8 person raft so he asked for a volunteer to sit in the middle and asked if anyone was scared. My hand shot up and I got to spend most of the trip sitting in the middle and not having to row and being able to hold on for dear life. We went through a couple small rapids which resulted in big screams for me. I decided the classes should be based not on difficulty or dangerousness but on how many screams it got from me. More rafting, watching people jump from big rocks, and swimming (they were surprised that I’d get out and swim just fine, but its not the water I am scared of, it’s the being propelled from a boat without warning and then dying that I am scared of).

After a few more rapids my “Ahhh!”s actually turned into “Woo!”s and I was really starting to have a great time and enjoy it. There were two times where our guide, Zach A., let us get out and swim the rapids where they pull you along and kind of suck you under a bit. I actually got out for them and he said he was really proud of me and he personally helped me back into the raft. (OK, so it didn’t hurt that he was pretty damn cute and had a Southern accent and I am a sucker for anyone with an accent).


White Water Rafting on West Virginia's Lower New River


That last swim one was cool but I coughed up a lung afterwards from being pulled under so much and inhaling water. Ah well, it was a ton of fun.

Near the end of the trip we were coming upon our last big rapids of the day. Right before we approach them Zach says “Wait! Val, go up to the front and lean over the raft while we go through.” And yeah, so I do. I crawl up to the very front of the boat and lean over a la Titanic (well, I am still clutching for my life though) and get to experience the rapids full force. I just get blasted with water and it was the most amazing feeling of my life. Awesome.

For the last two little rapids of the day I switch with Justin and paddle through them. Yayme! So, I went from being totally scared out of my mind to having one of the best moments ever of my life. And I had a blast!


Photos from our White Water Rafting on West Virginia’s Lower New River:


Later we cooked up some hot dogs and hamburgers and smores and Glen and Jen recounted the story of their engagement for all to hear (yaythem!). We were going to go on a night hike but then it started raining and then started raining really hard. We went to the tents and everyone in my tent but me and MattyK went to go sleep in the cars so I was forced out of that tent into a cramped one with everyone else where somehow in the middle of the night I managed to move myself from sleeping parallel to everyone to sleeping at the foot of Amy and Aaron’s feet where he claims I was massaging them (I claim I was trying to find my pillow and figure out where I was).

The next morning it was back in the cars for a 12 hour drive home that I slept most of the way through.

Totally an amazing trip Lower New River rafting in West Virginia! Seriously, I think I need to quit my job every summer.

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.

1 Comment
  • McKenzie
    March 21, 2017at1:50 pm

    This sounds like an amazing trip, and I am so glad you overcame your fears and had some fun! Thank you for sharing.

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