Dry Spring Has Elkspeditioners Going Multi-modal

posted Apr 27, 2016, 1:14 PM by David Lillard   [ updated Apr 28, 2016, 6:03 AM by Matt Kearns ]
A winter of below-average snowfall followed by a dry spring has forced Matt Kearns and Adam Swisher to create new plans for their journey down the Elk River. The two are traveling from the headwaters in the proposed Birthplace of Rivers National Monument to Charleston to bring attention to the monument opportunity and the connection between our recreational rivers and drinking water. 

Faced with making the entire upper Elk a long portage, the two are now planning to travel some distances on bike — in addition to their original plan of backpacking from the source to Slatyfork, WV.

"It's a muscle-powered adventure," said Kearns. "As much as possible we'll be on the water, but the key is to make this trip under our own power, whether that means walking, paddling, or cycling."

Kearns and Swisher will set out from the Tea Creek area in the Monongahela National Forest in mid May, arriving at Coonskin Park in Big Chimney May 30 for a homecoming picnic hosted by West Virginia Rivers Coalition. The event is free and open to the public.