Hey There Folks,
I joined a social paddling trip to the Yough/Big Sandy/Cheat area over Memorial Day weekend and wanted to give a little update on it.
TLDR: Super fun river, great company, tons of good runs, happy camper!
There were maybe 14 to 18 of us, from Windsor, Philly, and (mostly) Chicago. We stayed at Pine Hill campground in Hazelton WV, tent camping (except Randy and Teresa's RV) with bathrooms and hot showers. People showed up as early as Thu night and as late as Saturday morning. People left as early as Sunday night and as late as Monday afternoon.
Better paddlers took on some good class IV/V stuff. And lesser folks (me & Fritz) stuck to the class III Lower Yough.
I did the Lower four days in a row. It was super fun. And as this was my first real river paddle in about 8 years, it was great to repeat it and get it dialed in. A real confidence boost, for sure!
I was happy to have some or all of Randy, Fritz, Dan, Robert, Bernie, and Dave along for the various runs. But I was really grateful to Bernie "Saint Bernard" Dawson and Dave "I govern Dave's Falls" McGovern for their diligent and attentive help as they eased Fritz and me through the various lines. (To be clear, those are my nick names; neither Bernie nor Dave asked for those titles.)
My personal highlight was probably a simple ferry to an eddy for access to a nice surf wave, but I got tossed over en route, came back up with my first combat roll in eight years, found myself highly unsteady exactly on the eddy's boil line, realized there was nothing to do but drive right into the surf wave, only to have the water grab ahold of my stern and send me into an "unint-end-do", which led to some amusing bracing and an eventual wash out below, still upright!
Anyway, now that I feel confident on class III water again, I am looking forward to doing more trips with CWA folks. Probably Wausau, maybe Wolf or Red. Perhaps something down south. Who knows?!