I boated a couple of sections of the Cheat River a week ago, with friends and family. We ran the Black Fork in the early afternoon, the Narrows in the evening, and had plans to run the Canyon the next day. A veritable shit-ton of rain prevented that, but fun was had by all.
Observations about the area:
- I have an unhealthy I’m sure love of these kinds of areas – lots of outdoorsy folk gathered, lots of obsessions with the wilderness as a place to both play and hopefully show appreciation. I hope I do both, although I try to be cognizant of the ramifications of using where someone else lives as a playground.
- The Cheat area shows the complexities involved in trying to categorize humans. Lots of narratives about the area describe it and West Virginia as a monolith. By now we know the dangers of that sort of reduction, although we keep doing it.
- I was a bit bummed that we didn’t get to run the Canyon the next day. The water levels, though, thought not a whit about me or my petty desires, at all…