Whitewater Rafting & Campfires

Trip Start Jul 11, 2009
Trip End Jul 20, 2009

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Where I stayed
Chestnut Creek Campgrounds

Flag of United States  , West Virginia
Monday, July 13, 2009

  Waking up in the middle of the woods when the sun starts shining through the leaves, the birds are chirping and the air is cool is really the best way to wake up, ever. We were going whitewater rafting today and were super excited. (I was also excited that we didn't have to fight off any wild animals in the middle of the night :)

  We were rafting with Rivermen, located right across the street from our campgrounds. They are currently rebuilding their all-wood, open facilities and so far, it’s beautiful. The trip we went on was the Lower New River which included Class I – V rapids and we pulled over about half way through to have lunch on the riverbank. There were 6 other people and the raftguide on the raft with us. Go figure that 2 of those people were actually from Tampa as well – small world, I guess. Joey’s never been rafting before so he thought it was pretty cool that we got to jump out the raft and float down the river a couple times. Twice, we actually swam through the smaller rapids which was fun, too. At one point, Joey was brave enough to go crouch down at the front of the raft and take a video as we ripped through one of the bigger rapids. Towards the end of the rafting trip we swam right under the New River Gorge Bridge, which we had just stopped at to take pictures of the day before. Overall, the rafting trip was a lot of fun and very tiring!

  Joey and I decided we would camp one more night at Chestnut Creek and build a campfire to roast marshmallows. And this is how our fire building went:

Fire Attempt 1: Joey gathers a bunch of wood, and throws it haphazardly into the fire ring. Half of it is wet from the rain the night before. I see what he’s created, laugh, and inform him that it might work out better if we find dry wood.

Fire Attempt 2: We find more dry wood and try to arrange it into a tee-pee-like shape. We shove some paper towel under the wood to have some form of starter fire.  ….. We keep sticking more paper towel under the wood hoping that eventually the wood will catch. Okay, next ….

Fire Attempt 3: We take out all the wood we had in the ring, leave only a few small, dry sticks, and Joey walks to the "Office" to buy a bundle of fire wood. I contemplate calling my mom, or dad, or uncle to ask how to make a fire. I remember my brother sitting at a fire constantly squirting lighter fluid at it and realize we have bug spray which is probably flammable.  Joey gets back with the fire wood; we arrange it into a cone shape with some small wood underneath and shove in some more paper towel; we spray bug spray onto the wood and light it ………….

There’s a huge burst of fire… and then it goes out.

We do this about 3 or 4 times … still no campfire

The owner guy comes driving around the trail. He stops to chat, sees our ridiculous attempt at a fire and points out a huge, completely dry, thin branch on the ground in the woods. He tells us to break up the branch into a bunch of small pieces and then put the bigger fire wood on top and we should have a great fire going all night,

Fire Attempt 4: We do as we are told breaking up a bunch of tiny twigs, throwing in some dead leaves for good measure, setting up the big fire wood and sticking in a couple paper towels since they seem to burn well.

SUCCESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We have a CAMPFIRE!! (and it’s a nice one too!)

We’re so proud of ourselves that we take a bunch of pictures and then roast some ooey-gooey marshmallows before going to sleep.
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