…after careful consideration it was judged too difficult for men and women in US Army uniforms to discuss the “Gad Dam” without rolling on the floor in laughter…
A Historical Perspective:
In 1938, the Flood Control Act changed the futures of thousands of unborn whitewater enthusiasts. That otherwise un-memorable piece of legislation led, although indirectly, to the phenomenon known in boating circles today as “Gauley season.” Although those who worked from 1960 to 1966 to complete the Summersville Dam never expected it, their efforts made possible the tradtion of the Gauley Festival – the largest whitewater gathering in the world. Today, boaters from around the country and all over the globe come to central West Virginia for six weekends each fall to experience one of America’s greatest whitewater rivers.
However, they very thing that makes Gauley season possible is the Army Corps of Engineers dam. The irony of that situation – that boaters profit from something they tradtionally oppose – seems to matter little to the 3000-plus who attend Gauley Fest each year.