On the Road….Kayaking and Festivals

Two weeks ago I decided to leave Charlotte for a month.  There were several events on my radar and I decided to hit them all at the very last minute.  The first event was a fellow kayaker’s bachelor party.  This was held on the Gauley River during the first release of the fall to lower the Summersville lake levels in preparation of the winter storms.  This weekend consisted of a double Upper Gauley lap on Friday and then a rafting trip on Sat.  I was nervous for the rafting trip because A: I haven’t done it in years, B: I didn’t want to swim the Upper Gauley, C: Last time I was in the raft on this river I got scared.  Well the rafting trip was flawless and I calmed down after a couple of beers at Pillow.  Here is a pic from the rafting trip. Try to pick out the bachelor.



After the bachelor party, I went to checkout Fayetteville, WV.  I went on a bike ride that consisted of two flat tires.  I met Andy at New River bikes and we kicked backed and chatted all afternoon about Charoltte and biking.  Very cool dude.  I bought some extra tubes from him and he gave me a very beautiful 60 mile road route from Fayetteville to Summersville and back.  Here is a picture of the Meadow River as I crossed over her.


The second event was also up in Summersville at the Gauley River called Gauleyfest.  This is the biggest whitewater festival of the year and a major fundraiser for the best organization for the protection of our whitewater rivers, American Whitewater.  If you are not a member you should definitely look into it.  Gauleyfest is a huge party on and off the river.  It is total blast!   You can hear all the shenanigans going on way up stream even before you can see the rapid. Check out the crowd on Pillow Rock as we drop into this rapid.

Kayaker: Drew Dolian

Crowd: Gauleyfest


You definitely don’t want to mess up in front of this tough crowd.

Unfortunately, Gauleyfest came to an end. Monday morning came around and here is a quick recap of my experience in WV:

5 kayaking trips down the Upper Gauley

1 rafting trip on the UG

1 Kayaking trip down the Lower Gauley

20 mile bike ride that ended in two flats

60 mile bike ride

2 trips to Pies and Pints

Volunteering at Gauleyfest

Witnessed a bottle rocket shot out of a dudes ass.   Yes, it is Gauleyfest.

Oh yea…. I won the raffle for 50 dollar gift card, stickers, and a lifetime member of Dirtbag Paddlers (whatever that is).  The next ticket pulled was for a boat.  Boo!

On the way out of WV I had to stop at Tamarack and send this pic to Paul.  Yummy!


Cabin Fever is back on the road and headed to the NOC for the Guest Appreciation Festival also known as GAF.  Here is one last sight leaving West by God.

imageOn the way to GAF I cut through the mountains of Tennessee and boy that climb and decent after Johnson City on I26 East was no joke.


After a quick stop in Sylva, NC to visit some friends, I am now sitting by Wesser Falls on this lovely Tuesday evening writing this blog post.


Next on the agenda: GAF, Cheoah, and the Green with a lot of biking and running for the Rivermen Jimmie Johnson endurance challenge and maybe even a hike on the AT.




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