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May 25, 2005

So – headed South after Watertown and had plans of
surfing Rock Island but West Virginia intervened. Just a quick stop-off
and perhaps a park n play at Upper Railroad? That was the start of my
week in West Virginia.

Sure enough, Upper Railroad was great, and made even
better by getting to hang with BJ and Katie Johnson. BJ’s out with a shoulder
injury, so the rule of WV applied: "Injured boaters run shuttle”

It was nice to see both Katie and I on the receiving
end! Anyway: Upper Railroad at 3.5′ is sweet: HUGE loops on the shoulder
as well as left blunts, backstabs, sidekicks, and more lefty cartwheels
than you may want right after any of these tricks. Stripped was giving
huge loops too, and the push-back up on river left was just possible.
Several other catch-on the fly waves as well as Greyhound kept us busy
the rest of the trip through the most beautiful gorge in the SE.

Stayed to surf again the next day after checking the
weather and sure enough, we were on Mill Creek that 3rd day. This often
overlooked run has got to be one of the best roadside runs in the SE:
easy access, slides, 8′ – 15′ – and 20′ waterfalls, and class 4 and 5
rapids dropping 250 ft / mile. After a great fairly high water run, and
with water rising, we headed over to check Keeney’s Creek, a seldom run
gem dropping 650 ft/mile into the middle of the New River Gorge.

While only 2 of our group elected to run, the rest
of us suited up to run safety on this incredibly steep, continuous run.
Luckily we weren’t needed. Stuart, from Fayetteville, was fired up to
run the infamous ‘Accept Reality’ and despite dropping flows and some
poorly place trees above and below the drop he got his wish. Scott Wooten
followed suit and despite the nice line came up clutching some tweaked
ribs. Scott walked out here, while Stuart elected to continue down towards
‘Silve Creek Supper’ – a super-technical 22’er with about a 2′ wide launch
pad. He aced this line as well, but the dent in his bow showed the hazards
of running big drops on tiny creeks even under optimum condition. Great
day of creeking – both on and off the water. West Virginia is sure a ‘Heavenly’
place to visit each Spring.




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Keeney’s Accept Reality entrance shot

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Keeney’s ‘Accept Reality’