The Lower Gauley River- From a Guest’s Perspective

Lower Gauley

Enjoying the Lower Gauley

We get a lot of reviews each year. We love them, because it helps us understand where we can improve and what we are excelling at. We read each and every one of them and the appropriate managers are always kept informed about what guests are saying about their departments and what folks are saying about ACE Adventure Resort as a whole. Without a doubt, our guides get the most praise. After all, they are the people our guests spend the most one on one time with and (in my opinion) are composed of some of the best in the industry.

This review stuck out to me, and trust me, I read a lot of reviews around here… It really highlights how much a good guide can affect the perception of a river trip. Below are Teri’s words about her recent Lower Gauley River trip.  And big thanks to Cosmo and Bryant for another job well done.

“Early in the year, a group of ladies at work had a conversation about white water rafting.  A couple of the ladies, in the 50’s, said rafting was on their “bucket list” and had always wanted to try it.  My husband and I have played around on the Ocoee River and the Nantahala River over the last couple years and had rafted on Bridge day weekend (both Sat and Sun) last year at ACE.  I told the ladies that if we could get a group together, I would definitely be in and would get it all set up for us.  And so it began…
We got the trip booked.  And then I spent a lot of time trying to ease the nerves of those intimidated and nervous about rafting; talking about what to wear; explaining how our guide would give instructions on what to do if they fell out of the raft; how to pull someone in the raft by the shoulder straps….on and on.  I think I covered everything our guide covered on his checklist!  And then…the all-important factor…my husband and I discussed our guides from last year and if we would want to raft with them again and if our group would do well them.  So, we made our choice and called in our request and hoped for the best!!
Like I said, we have experienced 8-9 raft trips—certainly not enough to be anywhere near experts but enough to know what to do and what to expect.  Of course, each trip is different even if it is the same river.  I have to say, that this past weekend (Sept 7 & 8) we experienced a very unique trip!
Our trip this weekend was perfect.  I keep thinking back on it and can’t believe how nice it was.  Aside from the amazing weather and water, we had more than amazing guides.  We requested Cosmo and Bryant.  One of the ladies in our group knew of Bryant…and we rafted with Cosmo last year.  We were thrilled to be able to get them to do our trip.  We (my husband, son and I) were in the raft with Cosmo.  He is so knowledgeable about the river; he knew facts, history, and had great stories throughout the trip.  He patiently answered our crazy questions.  He was wonderful with my 14-year-old son who was interested in how Cosmo was steering the raft.   During a nice flat section of the lower gauley river, Cosmo spent time with him telling him about different paddle strokes and how they steered the boat.  I was impressed with Cosmo’s patience and willingness to connect with my son.  My son is ready to sign up to be a river guide during his summers! (He has a plan—college during the year, rafting during the summers; after college, teach math during the school year, raft in the summer!).  One of the most important things that really struck me was that I could tell that Cosmo was particularly conscious of making sure that we hit the right rapids to have fun but also that it was done safely.  He was able to maintain that line of a great, exciting trip but also not getting us into a situation that could be dangerous or that we all could not handle.
As Bryant was not our guide….he was in our other group’s raft…..they spoke just as highly of him.”
-Teri Schmidt

Thank you Teri for letting me share this and more importantly for taking the time to write such a nice review. Corresponding with you has been a delight and we hope to see you back again sometime soon. How about an Upper Gauley trip? Or guide training with your son? :)

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