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Experiencing the Outdoors;
Think 'White Water
Vacation' This Year
by Cory Boothe


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Vacation time is just around the corner. Gas prices are on the rise and free time is at a minimal. West Virginia offers one of the best vacation ideas, guaranteed to thrill, excite, and entertain all participants.

West Virginia is home to the exhilarating New River Gorge and its stunning whitewater. From Thurmond to Teays, the paddler will find thrilling rapids rated from Class I to Class V. Class one is similar to a moving riffle. Class V contains big waves, keeper holes, and dangerous obstructions.

The New river is a pool-drop river (between each pool is a rapid). It is in these pools that paddlers catch their breath, talk, or take a swim to cool off. Many people expect whitewater to be nonstop and continual, but very few places are like that.

Along the banks, people will find clues to the past. Remnants of old mining towns still dot the landscape, along with coke ovens used in the process of making steel. Along the canyon rim, one will find sandstone cliffs that are among the best rock climbing in the world.

Rapids, such as Upper Railroad, Keeney Brothers, Double Z, and Fayette Station, are sure to bring a smile to the paddler. These rapids are suitable for beginners or pros alike.

So, when searching for that summer vacation, consider southern West Virginia and the New River Gorge for its outstanding whitewater. The memories last a lifetime.

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Editor’s Note: Cory is the son of Ronzel and Karen Boothe of Russett. He is a 1996 graduate of Calhoun County High School and is a teacher at Meadow Bridge Elementary, Fayette County. He resides near Summersville.)

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