Wendy Bayes is owner of Cathedral Cafe in Fayetteville, West Virginia. She opened the cafe in 2000 after moving to Fayetteville to work as a river guide in the New River Gorge. Her daughter, Cassidy Bayes, now manages the cafe. In 2021, the New River Gorge was designated the United States’ newest national park.
I came to Fayetteville for the first time in 1992, and I trained to be a raft guide and did that for eight seasons. I was pregnant with Cassidy, and my husband and I knew that if we were going to be at a rafting company, you would find yourself—especially back then, because cell phones and social media definitely weren’t a thing—a little disconnected. We decided that if our kids were going to school here and being raised here, we wanted to be more connected to the community,” Bayes said.