Meadow Run from Blue Ridge Outdoors on Vimeo.

“I’ve got visual confirmation that Meadow Run is good to go,” my friend Jess told me yesterday, right as I was getting ready to gear up for a mellow run down the class III+ Lower Yough. Thanks to the morning’s torrential downpours, it looked as if “mellow” simply wasn’t in the cards.

Meadow Run, a class IV+ tributary of the Lower Yough, typically runs most of the year with the exception of the summertime. It’s fun, read-and-run type boogie water with a couple stouts like Cascades and 7-Foot Falls. For me though, Meadow Run is a step up. It’s a legitimate creek, and until yesterday I had never paddled anything but big water like the New River Gorge and Gauley River, where rocks lie feet below the surface, not mere inches. Yesterday’s lap down Meadow Run proved to be not only the steepest thing I’ve ever paddled, but also one of the more technical runs I’ve done. Granted, it’s no epic class V with must-make-or-die moves, but considering it’s been a month since I was in a boat last (and a few months before that I was paddling consistently), it was the step up I needed to give my confidence a little boost.

Super big thanks to Jess Hartmann for showing me down! Even though it was a little low and kinda manky in some spots, we cruised down carnage-free (minus my brief encounter with a strainer). We ended our run with a lap around the Loop at 4ft. Great day on the water with perfect weather. Loving the paddling scene in Ohiopyle!

Soundtrack: Charlie Parr // True Friends