Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Wild and Wonderful West Virginia

Having met my sweetheart (yes, Paul) on a charter bus headed for West Virginia to go whitewater rafting on the Gauley River in 1987, it was great fun to finally take the kids on their first rafting expedition, traveling in "our bus" (aka. the land yacht or RV). We were able to work it into our auction trip, having transported the alpacas separately. The campgrounds were of course quieter than usual due to fuel prices and the economy- Robert actually got some reading done!

We chose the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers for rafting, as trips were offered with free shuttle service from the KOA Campground where we were staying near Harper's Ferry. We knew that the whitewater would be quite mild, and wanted to be sure it was a good and safe experience for the kids. Mirian's eyes lit up as we were given the full safety preparations and we all donned some hard-core life vests and helmets- we were proud that she didn't back down (if Robert was scared, he never let on, and he went through the swimmer's rapids over and over again)! Most of the water turned out to be pretty flat and shallow, but we were reminded never to underestimate water as both Paul and Robert were tossed out of the raft.
Here's Mirian standing at Jefferson Rock, overlooking the confluence of the rivers. Tom himself once stood here and declared that this was a view worth crossing the Atlantic for!
We toured historic Harper's Ferry, the site of much pre-and post civil war significance. The guys enjoyed learning about how gun stocks were made on lathes.
There were more than a few re-enactors walking around in civil war clothing, pretty neat!
All in all it was a great trip that combined some business, education, relaxation AND fun!
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