Gauley River Secrets: Raft Guides Are Addicted

This Gauley River Season, I’m going Oprah-style on uncovering a deep, dark secret…Gauley raft guides are addicts.


We’re bold enough to admit it (most of us, anyway) and still we refuse treatment. But before you get concerned about your upcoming Gauley trip and the junkie in the back of the boat, let me break it down for you. We’re addicted to a variety of things, all whitewater related of course…

  • Let’s start with the Gauley River itself. There are legitimate chemical responses to thrilling adventures and we get a dose of those chemicals about every 5 minutes on the Gauley River. It’s the best “high” you can get this side of the Mississippi.
  • Because of our extended time in and on the Gauley River, we get addicted to buying cold-weather whitewater gear. It starts with some fleece and then before you know it, you’ve purchased splash pants, a dry top, booties, fuzzy rubbers and big dry bag to hold it all.
  • Back at ACE, we “feed the beast” by watching our trip videos under the Big Top and reliving the whole adventure. We boast about our big hits and get teased about our misses. It’s such a relief to be dry and warm and ready for the next thrill.
  • And what final addiction could there be?! The after-party, of course! Once our video is over, we can’t resist going to the Lost Paddle Bar & Grill where we can enjoy food, games, live music and even MORE whitewater stories. Football fans can catch the big games on the TVs, while music-lovers dance to country, bluegrass, and rock bands. A good drink and a big plate of nachos fuels a hungry guide and we’re ready for another day of addiction.

So if you want to get hooked like we are, I suggest you book a trip soon. And just to be safe, you better take off an extra day (or month) of work, because it takes some time to “kick” a Gauley River habit.

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