For all intents and purposes, my last day in Virginia was on May 22nd, 2013. Boy, did I spend it in an unfitting way.
Given that I only had a few days left in Virginia after graduation, you would think I would have spent it backpacking. I had a rough plan to go backpacking, but ultimately plans fell through for a number of reasons. After spending a couple of days hiking, my friends invited me to go whitewater rafting.
I immediately jumped at the offer! The last time I went whitewater rafting was 8 years ago. This time though, I got to visit the beautiful New River Gorge in West Virginia. Unfittingly, I spent my last day in West Virginia rather than Virginia. Fittingly, I spent my last day in National Park lands (the New River in West Virginia is a National River). Unfittingly, I spent my last day in a river rather than on a trail.
More NPS info: http://www.nps.gov/neri/index.htm
Let me say this, swimming is not my strong point. In fact, at the camp I work at in the summers, I consistently get a terrible swimming rating. If I ever fell out of the boat in a rapid, I’d have a hell of a time getting out of it, haha. Despite my inabilities, I went full steam ahead and went rafting.
It was a blast! It was unique for me, as whitewater rafting is not something I do often, nor seek to do very much. I had a great time, and got to experience the beauty and history of the New River Gorge, which I had not done during my 4 years in VA. I am really glad I went. Depending on what I am doing next spring/summer, and if I can improve my swimming skills, I’m considering trying to become a guide!
If you ever get to the chance, I highly recommend hitting the New River for some serious whitewater. On our trip, we saw everything from Class 2 to Class 5 rapids. Truly exciting!
Check out New River and Gauley River Rafting Adventures, based out of Lansing, WV. They are professional and well equipped, but goofy and fun! I had a great time rafting with them. They guide trips along the Gauley River as well, which is ranked #5 in the world for whitewater.
More Info: http://www.gauley.com/
So, rather than spend my last day on the trails of VA, I spent it on the rivers of WV. A spontaneous and different, to say the least, way to spend my last day down in Virginia!
And I have to say, after each rapid, everyone on the boat was smiling…a beautiful thing to see!