We arrived in Beaver, West Virginia July the 23rd, the gig being the Miller-O'Dell-Boatman-Turner annual family reuinion. I had only a vague idea what to expect, but suffice to say it was not a disappointing experience. I drove away from there with a renewed pride in my family heritage, and a deep appreciation for the geography of the area. 

As John Denver once wrote "life is old there." More like ancient I'd say. The New River which we whitewater rafted (with a guide, thank goodness) is said to be the second oldest river on the planet, dating back to Pangea, the supercontinent.

pangea-continental-drift 

 

 That's the New River gorge from seven or eight hundred feet above at the trail head of Castle Rock. Our party of six family hikers were in for a real treat. 

 This steep and rocky trail leads hikers beneath the Grandview cliffline at the rim of the New River Gorge and past the base of crenelated “Castle Rock.” Its course ventures across uneven, rocky footing and along drop-offs and is not recommended for young children.

 

Couldn't resist including this cheese shot of Eli before our descent.

He found those sunglasses there on the way down. As you can see from these first two pics it was a misty, sometimes rainy day. Thunderclaps were frequent. We all got pretty much soaked but not a soul amongst us cared much. The beautiful mystery of this place is overwhelming.

 

 Jeff, newly found cousin Bill, myself, and  cuz Heather I believe, between all of us. Pic by Eli. In fact, probably most of these were captured by him.

 

 

 

 

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My pride and joy. Possibly a Mohican in a prior life.

 

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