Saturday, July 23, 2011

31st State Paddle–West Virginia (July 23, 2011)

I am so behind.  The last state paddle I wrote about was the 12th one… Minnesota.  I promise, I will catch up… someday.


The first thing I noticed when entering TN were these memorial signs and the wild flowers planted along the road.


So pretty.

Then there was this bridge… .  Nothing to saw but WOW.


An overlook where I took the below photo.

From New River Gorge Bridge, by the National Park Service (excerpt in blue text):
Arching gracefully across the New River, the bridge has the world's longest single arch steel span. At 876 feet above the New River, it is the second highest bridge in this country. Only the Royal Gorge Bridge over the Arkansas River in Colorado is higher. [...] The West Virginia Department of Highways, which owns the bridge, chose the Michael Baker Company to do the design. The construction contract was awarded to the American Bridge Division of U.S. Steel.


Left from an exhibit.  Right from my camera and taken from the overlook above.


So, next I stopped at Summersville Lake but it was so crowded I could not even find a place to park.  Very pretty I must say, and if you could be there on a day that wasn’t so busy, and a weekend to boot, it would be a wonderful paddle. I would go back to paddle that one.


So I drove on north to the next lake… Sutton Lake, but it was dark when I got to the area and so found a place to park in the nearby town.  Didn’t sleep well due to the heat and humidity and fact that I didn’t get settled before dark.


Not very big and to my disappointment, when I got to the boat dock it said “NO BOAT today” due to their 50th anniversary celebration.  But it was 6:30am and no one was there yet.  So I took my chance, paid my launch fee, grabbed the kayak and took off.  Rushed off to see the Dam.





Sunburned and blistered… but paddling on.  Neat to be that close to a Dam.


The sun was still not up and hidden behind the clouds.  It didn’t come out until just before I got back to the boat launch.


Looking back toward the boat launch and parking area.


I arrived back in time, got my gear loaded up, except for the kayak, when a ranger approached me… and I just said… “I went in very early and am just leaving.”  She was happy with that as the vendors where just arrived to get set up.  Two hours total time. Seems like I cheated WV.  I was on the road again by 8:30am.


Vendors arriving to get set up for the weekend event.  It really wasn’t much of a lake anyway.  Go back again???  No so much!

I finally feel like I’m REALLY on the road again… now have to head back up to Pennsylvania and kayak someplace there, as I wasn’t feeling up to kayaking it as I was heading eastward last fall.


Not much of a blog update, but they can’t all be glorious.  Onward.

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Who is Swankie?

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Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles? Maybe. Still healing from shoulder and trying to decide.