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Rafting the Upper Gauley River, 1997

Rafting on the Upper Gauley River in West Virginia -- September 19 & 20, 1997. Mike, with David Lund, Mark Stevenson, & Steve Ploughe.

The following sequence of three photos is of our approach to "Pillow Rock". At Pillow Rock, about half the river runs up onto a huge flat rock placed like a ramp on the left side of the river. After gaining several feet the water falls off to the right side. We drove our raft as hard as we could straight up the rock, reached up and touched the rock, and then rode it as it slid off (backwards) to the right back into the channel. Quite a ride!

Paddling to the rock. Note the pile of water to the right and the prow beginning to fold. Left-to-right: Our guide Phil Belcher (as you can see he's saying "yee-haw" as we drive onto the rock), David Lund, Steve Ploughe, Peter Garvin, Hans Ueltschi, Mike Jones, Mark Stevenson.

Driving up onto the rock. Photo reflects true angle of raft and water.

Touching the rock. Raft has already started to fall backwards and rotate counterclockwise into the main current. Note the expression on Phil's face. Yes, I remained in the raft!

Rafting the Upper Gauley, September 1998 (with good air-time photo)
Rafting the Upper Gauley, September 1999 (shows a not-so-perfect run at Pillow Rock)
Rafting the Upper Gauley, September 2000 (another clean run at Pillow rock)
Rafting the Upper Gauley, September 2002 (see the fear of swimming the rapids at Pillow Rock!)
Rafting the Upper Gauley, October 2006 (with more full-contact rafting!)

North American River Runners (our outfitting company)
US Army Corps of Engineers Huntington District Whitewater Water Control Information

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