Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Big Bubbles, No Troubles

On Thursday, May 15th, Ohiopyle Trading Post and River Tours and the surrounding area saw 2.5 inches of rain fall from a massive storm that dumped rain throughout the watershed.  Levels on the Lower Yough went from a about 3.5 feet on the gauge Thursday afternoon, to a whopping crest of 11.89 feet on Friday.  Our professional Youghiogheny River staff was geared up, amped up and ready to go to take on the Lower Yough at its near flood stage levels.  The Lower Yough is cut-off to all guided tours at those levels, but our staff launched in their own personal boats making multiple runs on Friday.

USGS River Gauge of Lower Youghiogheny

Saturday saw more reasonable levels in the 8-8.5 foot range.  Our trainees took to the water at 8:30 AM to get an early morning run in before our guests arrive.  Everyone was anxious to get on the water to see what the Lower Yough actually looks like at these levels.  Jeremy took them out and had a great day, running smooth lines and not dropping a single person in the river. 

On Saturday afternoon, we had about fifty guests check-in for our Lower Yough Fully Guided tour, ready to challenge the river at these extremely high flows.  Most of our guests had previous rafting experience but were totally impressed by the high volume of water.  There were definitely some unexpected swims, but all were gathered up very quick and back in their boats before they could get too far downstream.

Fearless Trip Leader Joel, leading the pack, and busting waves.

Small boats + Big water =Big HITS
Sunday brought a (slightly) lower water level of about 7.5 feet on the Lower Youghiogheny gauge.  We had another medium size trip spotlighting Jean Garrett's Scouts coming from Pequea, Pennsylvania to test their rafting skills on the Lower Yough.  We had spoken to Jean multiple times on the days prior to her trip.  She seemed nervous, with the river levels be higher than expected, but we put her mind at ease, by telling her we have a very experienced Lower Yough guide staff, who are all well-trained at any level.  After the trip, Jean was all smiles and you could tell her scouts, along with everyone else had a great day on the water.

This past weekend's weather was not the best, with cooler temps moving through the area on Saturday and Sunday.  Word on the trail is that the cooler temperatures make a much more enjoyable bicycle ride, and the threat of rain keeps traffic down.  We have also heard that the town of Confluence now has all of it's restaurants and attractions open, or at least will be for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.  The ride on the Great Allegheny Passage is about an 11 mile bicycle ride from Ohiopyle to downtown Confluence.  Once in Confluence, most folks enjoy a bite to eat at one of the many local restaurants, do a little sight-seeing and then return back to Ohiopyle.   Of course, once they return to Ohiopyle everyone loves to cool off with a scoop or two of our Hershey's Premium Hand Dipped Ice Cream.

The upcoming holiday weekend is starting to pick-up but we still have plenty of space available on our Lower Yough rafting trips, Upper Yough rafting trips, Middle Yough raft rentals and have our fleet of over 85 Trek and Gary Fisher bicycles all tuned up and ready to go. 

We hope to see you this weekend!

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