Yesterday, friends Doak Harbison and Tim Wimer took the Peppers Ferry to Whitethorne float on Virginia's New River. As the author of a book on the waterway, The New River Guide, I should not have trouble negotiating Class I and II rapids. Tim and Doak, when we go on river excursions, trust me to make the plans on how much time to allot, which trips to take, and which rapids to be careful of.
However, I confess that I let Doak down yesterday. Just above the Class III Arsenal Rapid is another rapid that is considered part of the general whitewater in the area. There is a slot down the river right side; and with me in the bow, I missed the slot which resulted in us crashing into a large rock at the end of the upper rapid.
This led to the boat overturning and Doak and me tumbling into the water. Fortunately, we were not hurt and no gear was lost. But still my snafu was very frustrating, and I couldn't apologize to Doak enough. By the way, we had no trouble going through the heart of Arsenal Rapid, as we took the large slot on the far right as my book says to do.
On the New or any river, you never know when something could go wrong. The picture below shows Tim fishing below the Arsenal rapid.