I had heard a lot about how beautiful the Greenbrier River is in Southern West Virginia but we'd never been near it. It seemed like a good place for an adventure. After doing some research, we decided to spend some time at the Greenbrier River Campground, near Alderson, WV.
We made the 5 hour drive from home and pulled into the parking lot. We met the folks in the office and got our site. We said we wanted firewood and would be back to get it. They told us that they would deliver it and "wait until you see the delivery person". We were soon introduced to the young lady who would be delivering the firewood. After that, we only ordered wood 3 pieces at a time. (Not really but it was tempting.)
Our camp site was right on the water. We had a large flat rock that jutted into the river. There as lots of room for the big tent. This was going to be good. We set up our chairs on the rock and got ready.
On Thursday, we were going kayaking. The "firewood girl" shuttled us to North Caldwell in our car and brought it back to our camp site. We headed down the river not knowing what lie ahead. We'd never really paddled on rough water. There wasn't much excitement by the time we got to Ronceverte. We stopped there to have some canned tuna for lunch.
When we headed down stream, it got more interesting at points. Interesting enough that we both got dumped out of our boats. I misread where the water was moving in a rapid and had to quickly turn right to get to deeper water. I never got a chance to turn left since the current caught me and I was swimming. A different time, Sue one went down a fast moving channel on the right side. She needed to make a quick left turn at the bottom. She didn't and got pinned against a rock. I got past and told her I'd throw a rope and pull her off. When I got to shore and turned around, the boat was upside down and she was gone. I was surprised but she popped right back up. She pulled the boat to shore and said, "I want to do it again".
We paddled our way back to our campsite. The river is pretty all the way. The trip was around 17 miles. The water isn't all that bad but we'd never paddled in "bumpy" water before. I'd do it again but prefer lakes and bays. When we got back, we pulled the boats onto our rock and headed for the cold beverages.
By now, we'd heard all about the Greenbrier River Trail for biking. Sue was determined to check it out. We decided to spend Friday cruising that part of WV. We had a lot of trouble finding bikes to rent. It seems that so many people bring their own bikes, there isn't any market for rental ones. We had lunch at Watoga State Park. She found a brochure saying that Jack Horner's Corner in Seebert had bikes. We had already passed it and knew it was close.
Rather than get in a debate I was destined to lose, we headed for the store. The lady was able to find a couple of bikes and off we went. We only went 3 miles to a bridge over the River. The ride is very pretty and the trail in good shape. By now she was hooked. The decision was made that we were going to ride the whole trail. This was in June, the big ride was intended to be in October of the same year. Read about it here if you desire.
I did see a bear on the trail. I was on the bridge and turned around to see what I thought was a big black dog. I soon realized that it wasn't a dog but a black bear crossing the trail. My wife missed it so she headed down the trail to find it. I assured her that finding it wasn't what she most wanted to do.
On Saturday, it was back to the kayaks. We launched them and headed for Alderson. The car was shuttled and waiting for us. More of the river was fast moving this time. I got dumped yet again. I survived but wasn't happy about getting dumped. Other than that, the trip was uneventful and very pretty.
We had a great time on this trip. The campsite had great views up and down the river. Sitting in our chairs with a cold beverage watching the river go by was very relaxing. We fished from our chairs too but the attitude was more "go away fish and don't bother me". We definitely want to do this again some time. Nice tent sites and nice people at the campground.
At the time, Sue declared to be her second favorite vacation. #1 was Hawaii.