September 16, 2004


I am not an outdoorsman. I do not hike, bike, kyack, or walk on grass. These things sound like fun, but also make me nervous and out of breath just thinking about them -- the same goes for Red Lobster. So I steer clear.

But the opportunity came up to do some whitewater rafting with some college friends over Labor Day weekend, and Amy and I thought it sounded like fun. Plus, we don't get together with these friends too often, so we couldn't pass it up.

On Saturday afternoon, we arrived at Ace Adventures, in Oak Hill, West Virginia -- a 1400 acre campground and adventure company. And let me tell you, we were roughing it. Here's a shot us us at the bar while we waited for housekeeping to finish cleaning our cabins before checkin.

They only had two kinds of beer! Can you believe that?

The cabins were okay, considering we had decided to really cut back on the frills so we could really maximize the outdoor adventure experience. The hot tub really only fit four or five people.

What a pain! But we were all committed, so we toughed it out somehow. That night we took part in some of the classic American camping activities: Beer, burgers, board games, and watching Notre Dame football on Satellite Television. After a poor ND showing, it was off to bed. I thought I might have trouble sleeping in such rough conditions, but the gentle whirring of the air conditioning got my mind off of things long enough for me to fall asleep on the kingsize bed.

The next morning we were up bright and early for our rafting trip on the lower New River. Our guide was Mr. Rick O'Shea, a truly classy man who can be seen here. He tried to flip the bird in this shot, but I had already snapped the pic:

His courtesy and genteelness are only matched by his mastery of the white water. Here his is taking a header into the lunch cooler:

Actually, Rick (actually short for "Eric") O'Shea (actually short for "Crowley") was a great guide. Sure, he may have told some off-color jokes. And sure, he may have held Casey's head underwater for about 10 seconds in order to tell a joke. And okay, he may have made us swim a quarter mile so he could go drink a beer. And sure, he might have intentionally driven us into a rock to show why he's named "Rick O'Shea." But he defintely made the trip better than it would have been with a guide who used "instructions" or a "helmet."

After rafting, it was back to roughing it at the cabins. We had a traditional camping dinner of salad, barbequed chicken, mac & cheese, and red wine, while we recounted the funnier stories of the day. Then we finished off the night with some s'mores by the fire and another dip in the hot tub.

After a weekend like that, I feel like I've really conquered the outdoors. Let's hope I never have to see it again.

For more photos from the weekend, check out the Ofoto Gallery.

Oh, and there's a video as well. (Please right-click and select "Save Target As..." to save me some bandwidth)

Posted by Kevin at September 16, 2004 09:57 PM

I checked out your Ofoto gallery and that tiny 3rd arm coming out of Casey's neck in your Ansel Adams photo must have really been a help with all of that rowing. It's cute that they accomodated with a matching tiny paddle. Very pc

Posted by: Katie at September 16, 2004 08:11 AM

Excellent job with the video. Was it hard to coordinate the pictures with the music? How long did it take you to make?

I can see why your friends want to take you along with them on their trips :)

Posted by: CDog at September 16, 2004 10:06 AM

Hey, thanks. It took about two evenings to do, so probably about four or five hours. It would have been faster, but I had trouble getting video off the DVD that the rafting company made into a format that Windows Movie Maker could handle.

Timing with the music wasn't too tricky, except with the video pieces, since the clips have to be long enough to make sense, but short enough to not be boring. That "perfect" length rarely matched up with the music. That's why they're mostly at the end, and don't match the music anymore.

And for the record, our friends invite us along for our sparkling personalities and irresistible good looks. The video-making is purely a bonus.

Posted by: Kevin at September 16, 2004 10:17 AM

Who needs Project Greenlight when you can have Project Cooney? The video is so good I even forgive you for taking pictures while the rest of us were getting tossed out of the raft by the mighty waves. You're the best!

Posted by: Jen at September 16, 2004 11:00 AM
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