Aquablaze Day 16: Last Hurdle Into West Virgina, Dam 5 of 5

I’m nearing the end of this leg of the journey. It’s been totally amazing. Today I’ll reach West Virgina and dam 5 of 5, The Millville Dam.

Big rains are projected over the next few days. I received word of a potential dam failure on the next river over, on the James. The whole region is getting swamped.

My GPS indicates this is the border of Virginia and West Virgina on the Shenandoah River. Another state down!

It’s really quite remote in this section. I got a kick out of this guys custom fishing seat, fitted to an old stump. I’m in love with ‘Murica too…

Outside Shannondale there is a decent resupply option. However, you’re likely to pass up the public boat ramp. Looking back up river is the only way to spot the small hollow in the trees that gets you access.

Enjoy rowing back up stream if you’re not careful…

I was fortunate, as continues to be the case, and almost immediately got a hitch from a local guy just checking on the river flooding. After a brief resupply, he even brought me back down there too.

Really good flowing conditions littered with mine fields are increasing in frequency.

Approaching the Millville bridge and dam.

This situation is really misleading, probably intentionally so. The portage signs indicate a really, really long route. Arrows direct you all the way down this side road. Obviously during really low water it would be necessary looking at the satellite. Otherwise, don’t do it!

I flagged down this sheriff for some questions. I really thought I was going to be walking into a Rambo First Blood situation where the small town jerk sheriff doesn’t like you going through his town as you are and gives you hell. He was really helpful.

He emphatically stated the people that put those portage signs up are dumbasses. He continued to explain the dam and public acccess regulations and how there is supposed to be a route at every dam. I was indeed aloud to walk out on the dam and down the stairs for the short path.

So be sure to look back up at the satellite image and don’t take that long road. Even though it looks forbidden, walking out on the dam is not! And this per the local sheriff.

Though the rocky outcropping really sucks the last 20 yards, I never once thought it. I was so thankful not to have go the other long route. I had walked it without any gear to scout things out prior, that was going to be a haul. More good luck.

The rains begin shortly after, they held off long enough for me to get across my last major hurdle.

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