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Day 11 Floated By

It's been raining a good bit over the last few days. Suffice it say, our tent does not leak, a happy event indeed.

In addition to getting wet in the on again-off again rain through Sunday, there have been a few spills by just about everyone, but nothing major -- no injuries and only one lost fishing pole. Henry lost his "ready to fish" outfit I got him at the local grocery store on Friday. He was, up until then, the most prolific of the fishing folks on the trip.

We've had 4 people, and we've had 16 people, on any given day so far. I've only paddled one of our 11 days, but Wednesday has my name all over it. No big rapids and no crappy portages.

And speaking of crappy portages - really - there are a couple that need serious help. Getting out above the Fries dam is just about impossible. On the Nat Geo New River Blueway map, you're instructed to call the town of Fries for information, but really they can't help because there's nothing to tell!! We ended up putting out at a private landowner that our outfitter friends put us on to. And it's a shame, too, because the Mayor and Town Clerk of Fries were really nice and let us camp in the Town Park.

The other crap portage is at the Byllesby dam. There, Appalachian Power has a parking area and place you're supposed to get out to go around their dam, but damn. It's weedy, mucky, hard to find, and impossible to extricate yourself from. Then you have to carry your boats a fairly good clip to put back in. Hey AEP fix it, OK?

Henry and I camped out on Friday and Saturday nights at Blue Cat on the New, the Turner's really neat place on the river. The campground is right on the banks, with cliffs on the opposite shore. Donnie and his wife provided shuttles, boats, and wonderful hospitality all weekend. They are really true friends of the New River.

In the middle of Saturday night, here's what I woke up hearing: "Yooo hooo yooo hooo." (coming from the river) Then from one of the campsites: "What are you doing out there?" And the reply from the river: "I'm lost, what do you think I'm doing out here at 2 in the morning?!?"

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