Guided adventure trips in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
Outdoor Adventure Experiences
Fun Facts & Information
Fun Facts About Bats
Bats are the only mammals that can sustain flight.
Bats give birth to 1 or 2 babies per-year, and some can live up to 30 years.
The Virginia State Bat is the Virginia Big Eared Bat, and it eats mainly moths.
There are aprox. 1,000 species of bats worldwide.
Bats make up 1/5 of all mammal species.
There are aprox. 45 species of bats in the United States.
There are aprox. 15 species of bats in Virginia.
All Virginia bats are insect eaters.
A bat can consume over half their body weight in insects each night.
Bats are divided into two groups: cave bats and tree bats, but many will also roost in or under man-made structures as well.
If you want more information on Bats: check out the Virginia Dept. of Game & Inland Fisheries Website!
Fun Facts About Caves
The average temperature of most caves in Virginia is between 54 and 56 degrees year-round.
Virginia has more than 4,000 caves that are greater than 5 feet depth.
Some caves are muddy, some are dry and dusty, some have lots of water in them, and some are a mix of all three!
As of late 2018, the longest cave in Virginia has over 29 miles of measured passages in it, and the deepest cave has been measured to a depth of 1,263 feet!
Did you know in Virginia it is against the law (a class 1 misdemeanor offense) to do any of the following in a cave: Write, paint, or mark upon cave walls or other surfaces. If you must mark your way in a cave, please use a non-permanent marker like surveyors tape; but please pick-it-up on your way out of a cave! Break, deface, or remove any natural material or mineral formation. Litter or dump spent carbide, batteries, or other waste materials (including human waste). Disturb, harm, or remove any bats or other living organisms in the cave. Disturb or remove any historic or prehistoric artifacts or bones. Remember we are preserving now the caves that future generations will see, so please leave the cave just as you found it or better!
Don't forget that caving is the one activity we can do no matter what the weather is outside, and no matter what the season. Caves are always dark and about 56 degrees! We offer trips to caves that are muddy, dry and dusty, have water that we can wade and swim in, and that can be a combination of all the above!
Fun Facts About Raft Trips
One of the big advantages of doing a raft trip vs. kayaking, paddle boarding, or tubing is the ease with which clients may swim if they desire to. With kayaks, paddle boards, or tubes a client wanting to swim must take their water craft to the bank, secure it there, and then swim; or keep up with it in the water while they are swimming, so it does not float away. Also getting back into kayaks or tubes in deep water can be very challenging. With a raft, clients wanting to swim need only check with their guide if it's o.k. to swim and then jump in or slide in off the raft (based on how deep the water is). When you are ready to get back in the raft, your guide or another raft mate, can pull you back in using your life jacket shoulder straps. On most of our raft trips, clients get in and out of the water many times during the trip.
The second big advantage of doing a raft trip is the social aspect. Our rafts hold from 2 clients up to 12 clients (depending on their length), and a guide; so it's very easy to socialize the whole time you are on the water.
The third big advantage of doing a raft trip is you are not having to be the captain of your own ship. Because you have a guide in each raft you only need to follow 5 simple paddle commands (that we will explain to you the day of your trip): all forward, all back, all stop, left back, and right back. Your guide will take care of the rest!
On most of our trips we will stop to play and swim at interesting places along the river, sometimes take short walks away from the river to see interesting things, and try to teach you some interesting things about the river, fish, birds, and wildlife. Come try a raft trip with us!
Fun Facts About Stand Up Paddle Boarding
I am often asked what I think makes paddle boarding on rivers so fun and interesting. Below are listed just some of the reasons I think river paddle boarding is such a special experience:
You can see so much more of what is in the water and on the river bottom because of your elevated position above the water. Many times while I'm paddle boarding with other folks that are in kayaks, tubes, or rafts; I see fish, turtles, beavers, muskrats, or other critters that everyone else can't see due to their lower position on the water, and the glare that the sun often causes on the surface of the water.
Paddle boards are probably the easiest of all water craft to get back on top of if you go into the water to swim (either by choice or by accident). Almost all paddle boards have straps, handles, or recessed areas on their top surface to grab onto while pulling yourself easily back on top of them.
If you have the right size board for your height and weight, paddle boards can be very easy to stand and stay balanced on. We often find ourselves doing what I call "rehab paddle boarding trips". By this I mean we take people out that have had a bad paddle boarding experience because whatever outfitter took them out the first time had them on a board that was much too small for their height and weight. Many outfitters provide the same small board size for the 110 lb. teenager, 160 lb. Mom, and the 220 lb. Dad. The teenager has a blast, the mom does ok, and the dad has the worst day of his life, and just thinks he can't do it. Worse yet, the outfitter knows why dad is having a hard time, but does not tell him because he only has one size board in his fleet. Making matters even worse, is paddle board manufacturers often over state the weight capacities of the boards they sell. At Outdoor Adventure Experiences, we have different types and sizes of boards, and we clearly state the "stable weight capacities" of our boards. If you are heavier than the capacity of any of our boards, then we suggest you opt for a kayak or raft trip, but we will not take you on a board that is not the right size for you! This is also true for other water craft like river tubes, kayaks, and rafts. All have stated weight capacities, and so we ask for everyone's height and weight before a trip, so we can have right size and type water craft and life jacket for everyone in your group!