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Cheat River Outing Report
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by Sally Wilts | 2009

We were joined by some new hikers and treated to a rarely seen species of turtle

June 7 was our first cloud-free day after seemingly endless days of rain. Jim Sconyers, our trip leader, was happy to find that river levels were high enough to keep our canoe and kayaks from dragging along the shallow parts of the river between St. George and Seven Islands.

Three adventurers, Pat, George, and Sarah, came up from near Charleston, my husband Duane and I came south from Bruceton Mills, and Jim came in from Cranesville. We were treated to clear skies and warm temperatures, perfect conditions for our ten mile trip. Jim had scouted the route the week before and had spotted an eagle, so we had our hopes up! And we were rewarded by watching a mature bald eagle soaring over the river.

After a fun and effortless trip we hauled out at our take-out point and George spotted turtles on the opposite bank. With binoculars we were able to see and count 8 large Eastern spiny soft-shelled turtles in the sand, all in a group, apparently sunning themselves. This was a new species for most of us and an exciting end to a most enjoyable trip!

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