Postcard from the New River

On a recent Saturday in September, a group of IGC graduate students launched 3 “Bucket Boats” just above McCoy Falls on the New River. The Bucket Boats, which are an older style of raft that are not self draining (thus necessitating the use of a bucket to bail water out of the boat after a rapid), were outfitted by the Virginia Tech Whitewater Club.

The IGC crew spent the day floating downstream, through the series of slow-moving flat-water sections interspersed with the classic ledge rapids characteristic of this stretch of the New River. As the group moved downstream, students shared information about the surrounding environment. This ranged from discussions about water striders, insights about Paw Paw, thoughts on the geological formation of the landscape, and a rapid-fire list of fun facts of every organism the group could identify. Much fun was had by all, and the group left the trip with some new found friendships, fresh knowledge of the natural world, and an increased sense-of-place as citizens of the New River Watershed.

Thanks to Nicole Ward for contributing this story!