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One of the oldest rivers in the world, (that’s right the world), flows through the Appalachians. It is magnificent. the New has a mystique all its own. A trip down the New is one of the great adventures not only for rafters and kayaks but for anyone who loves to see nature in the raw. God has, through creation, carved out one of the most spiritual spaces on earth.
Prior to the rise of the Appalachian Mountains, the New River cut its bed at a time when the land sloped to the northwest. Amazingly so, as the Appalachians gradually rose around the river, the New River wore away the bedrock at the same rate the mountains formed, leaving behind towering cliffs and prominences that hover hundreds of feet about the water level.
At Narrows, the river cuts a gap fifteen hundred feet deep that separates the East River Mountain from Peters Mountain. Similar cutting action takes the river through three mountains.
Indians used the New River as they traveled west years before the pioneers arrived. In the 1600s explorers navigating the New River thought they were close to the Pacific Ocean because of its westerly flow. They named themselves the “men of the western waters.” In 1671 the Batts-Fallam expedition, by way of the New River, came through to the Lurich area and ended there because the Indian guides refused to take them any farther. They carved their initials in a tree and claimed the territory for King Charles II of England. This was the first proclamation of English territory west of the Alleghenies making the New River the first gateway into the west.
I’ve taken several youth mission trips to West Virginia and on the itinerary was a white water trip down the New. It’s not for the faint of heart but it does give you memories that last a lifetime. I thank God for the views and the kids who gave up a week to serve and then be rewarded with the spectacular beauty of one of my favorite spiritual places.
Revelation 4:11 “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.”