Wednesday, May 17, 2006

White Water Rafting in Gatlinburg

The absolute coolest thing I did in Gatlinburg gave me some pause at the time. I had never been white water rafting, and it sounded a little scary and dangerous ~ well past my adventure threshold. I was determined to do it because I am challenging myself to break my self-imposed boundaries, but I still was expressing aloud a lot of doubts in the hopes that others would assure me.
They did. I went. It was great!
We almost bit the dust right at the very beginning, too! Just as we were coming off of a rapid and moving fast, we were grabbed and jerked around by a huge boulder that caught us from underneath! Our entire raft stopped and spun, and half of it flew up in to the air. We were all screaming, and for a moment, I believe we all knew, just knew, that we were going in to the water.
I mentally prepared myself, braced my body for what would be the very, very cold water and possibly very, very hard rocks beating against my bones. We all plunged our bodies to the center of gravity and felt our raft - pause - and then fall back down to the water. The raft made a complete circle as it came off of the angle the boulder had formed - and then - we were stable.
Well, as stable as seven people sitting on a floatie in the middle of a raging river can be! It was SO awesome! What a way to start off the rafting trip! The rest of it did not disappoint, either, let me assure you. I highly recommend trying it!
(It’s also a good excuse to visit North Carolina because the starting point is just a few feet from the state line. I crossed the border, of course!)


El Jefe Maximo said...

White water rafting is a blast...but I try never to sit towards the back...or the front for that matter. I make it a policy to keep lots of other folks between my precious fundament and danger ;-)

That area you were in is, as I have said, one of the most gorgeous on Earth.

justcarl said...

Helmet or no helmet, I'm just glad that guide didn't whack you one with his paddle as he appears to be thinking about doing in your picture. You don't need another 'Hoover Dam' so soon after your last one. :)

Candidly Caroline said...

He does look like he's about to whack me, doesn't he? ;)