New River Gorge

Trip Start Aug 31, 2010
Trip End Jan 04, 2011

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Where I stayed
Cooter's Camping

Flag of United States  , West Virginia
Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hello everybody - greetings from Fayetteville, West Virginia!

We're camping at the truly unique Cooter's Campground.  It's very peaceful - apart from the omnipresent sounds of crickets, a rooster, chickens, cows, birds singing and the occasional round of dogs barking and the whistle of a train in the gorge at night.  The campsite has all mod cons in the luxurious bath house, a water tap only yards from our secluded clearing in the trees, our own picnic table and campfire ring, and at the moment, we're the only campers there!  Cooter zips about in his electric buggy and keeps us stocked up with firewood.  All this for only $12 a night, with the 7th night free!

This area is beautiful.  The New River Gorge is spectacular - about 300m deep - and the bridge across it is the 2nd longest single span in the world.  The gorge is heavily wooded, but every time you get a clearing the views are amazing, although quite scary when you're standing near the edge of the canyon rim!  

For those of you interested in the climbing, it's hard, grainy, featured sandstone.  The cliffs are big - mostly about 30m - and usually shaded by trees, which is good because the daytime temperatures are still in the mid to upper 70s (about 23 degrees C).  The only problem is that they're HARD!  Well, either that or we're even more unfit than we thought we were.  Actually, the other problem is that because they're in gorges, you hike down to them, which means a long hike back up again at the end of the day.    

In case you're worried about whether we're staying well fed - no fear!  The well stocked hamper of goodies from Sinnet has come in handy and we've managed to rustle up some good food on the camping stove that Amanda's Dad lent us - after cooking on a Trangia for years, having 2 rings is the height of luxury!  We visited a local farmers' market and bought a small bag of vegetables for only 50 cents, and that evening we tried fried green tomatoes for the first time ever (Amanda loved them, Darrell wasn't too keen).  We've supplemented the camping meals with a visit to Pies & Pints, a legendary pizza restaurant, and the Cathedral Cafe (which is in an old church) where we had a HUGE breakfast on our rest day (we had pancakes, French toast, lashings of maple syrup and endless cups of coffee, plus free internet access for 2 hours and very friendly service for only $15/10).

Thank you all for your comments - it's a really good feeling when even though we're so far away we feel like we're still in touch with friends and family back at home.  Keep 'em coming!
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Ray Heath on

I enjoyed your latest update. The rocks look good and the green tomatoes even better! I am glad the stove is working out well. Hope the weather stays dry for a while more and you have some great climbing. Take care, Dad

Lisa on

Hello! Great blog post - it is always wonderful to read experiences and see pictures from guests visiting southern WV.

Hope you had a great time!
Southern WV CVB

Brenda on

Oh! It's lovely to read your news and see your pictures. You appear to be thoroughly enjoying yourselves, even though the climbing is hard.
I,m pleaseed you are feeding well. The food sounds jolly good
Seeing your pictures makes me feel you are not quite so far away.
Much love to you both. Take care of yourselves (continued)
Weather here is very mixed,----Beautiful day today, but turning cooler in the evenings.
Audrey and I are going to Avebury on Monday---a coach trip with the National Trust, Then we are off to the Isle of Man very soon
Keep enjoying your trip
Love Mum XXXX.

Graham on

Wow! Looks like you are having a great time!! I almost wish I could be there - if it was'nt for those HEIGHTS!!! I get dizzy just looking at those photos of you guys hanging off cliffs and sitting right on the edge - eeek! I love your photos, keep them coming - that barn at Cooters is great, I can feel a painting coming on - along with the one of the view across his farm - you should keep a sketching diary, or are you wanting me to do that!!!??? Green tomatoes - sounds like a good curry ingredient to me! I'm on a diet that is mostly vegetarian at present and booze free - and am I missing my meat and alcohol. Go safe - keep having fun. Graham xx

Graham on

Hey - ask Cooter if that was a burley tobacco barn - it could be!!! Or even for firecured tobacco??

Lizzi on

Great to get your news and photos - a welcome distraction as I sit in Leeds-Bradford ariport sorting out slides for a presentation in Dublin tomorrow! You both look unusually relaxed for the time of year!

Caroline on

Just starting to feel a teeny weeny bit jealous as we shelter form rain, rain and more rain.
Great excitement here this week with the opening of the new Arts Centre. (Well, it's exciting to me.)
Darrell - you've had a win on the Premium Bonds. Woop! Woop! Huzzah! Huzzah...! Actually it's only £25 but every little helps.
Lots of love, Ca and Gra xxx

Caroline on

I meant 'from' - of course. x

Allen on

I'm not feeling a tiny bit jealous. I am very jealous. Ruth had a fantastic coupla months in Ecuador and Peru and you look liking your having far too much fun! Not quite the same thing as a wet week in Wales.

The New River Canyon looks great - my sort of climbing.

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