The ladies of TeamERA are always looking for new heroes. And we were recently reminded that we had one within the ranks of our International Trip Guests: Barbara Brown.
While in Ecuador with us in January of 2005, talk of the Gauley River came up among the group. Before it was all said and done, we learned that Barbara was not only part of the first two trips down the Gauley, but was the namesake for the infamous rapid Lost Paddle (not much explanation needed there!). Still an active part of the WDC paddling community, many have fond memories of Barbara.
“Barbara was certainly part of the revolution back then, pushing limits, exploring new runs. What a river to be associated with a first descent on, very cool indeed. I have known Barb for some time, and have had the honor to meet her daughters Becky and Amy, both of whom are very acomplished paddlers themselves. One particularly cold spring day we were all up in the Cheat watershed, opted to stay @ the Helldeath motel [ Heldreth] in Kingwood, rather than brave freezing camping conditions. I can recall Becky and Amy speaking with their Mom on the phone that evening, telling her of our plans to run the Big Sandy the following day. I was handed the phone and was made to promise that I would not allow Amy, who was probably 13 @ the time, to run Big Splat.
That was a long time ago, as Amy went on to win 3 or 4 Upper Gauley slalom race titles, 02, 03, 04, maybe 05 as well. Did I mention that Barb may be a grandma, as Becky was to have her baby soon, she was in attendance @ the Tim Gavin Downriver Race and let me know the good news.
You wont meet a nicer bunch of ladies out there!”