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By Justin Owen

There are always lots of things to be thankful for, especially this time of year. This year I can add one more to my list, as whitewater is on the plate in wild and wonderful West Virginia. I left Rock Island a few weeks back in hopes of finding some whitewater to get me through until the generators open. As always, this great state has come through. When I arrived I was welcomed with a very playable New River level. The Gauley has quenched the thirst for whitewater since that time. The river has been at a very fun 1000cfs level almost constantly, which is optimal for the upper play feature at Canyon Doors. Just recently we were blessed with a big snow, followed by some rain. This brought the mighty Upper Gauley to a respectable level of 3900cfs, with 500 out of the Meadow River just enough to make Lost Paddle more interesting. This was the chance that I had been waiting for. I located two other boaters (North Carolina native Justin Kleberg and local Fayetteville ripper Andrew Wagner) and made my way to river. The day was full of big water fun despite the cold. We spent a large amount of time surfing the popular geek wave, and then hastily made our way down the river. As we made our way to the takeout, I definitely felt thankful for the wonderful people that I have supporting me, and the chance to take part in this wonderful sport.

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