Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Day I Placed My Life in the Hands of a River

Whitewater rafting. Sounds like fun, right? Sure, if you enjoy getting pummeled by surging water, shoved under racing waterfalls, and pounded into granite boulders. Bright and early Sunday morning (no big breakfast this time) we arrived at the NOC drop off for our 6-hour rafting trip. That was the day we attempted to tame the Chattooga River. Instead, we were beaten to a pulp, and served up for lunch.
After a quick introduction and instructional video (complete with rudimentary CGI of how to "ball" and keep "nose & toes above water" when thrown out of the raft on a rapid/drop) we were suited up in vests and helmets, bussed off to the Drop Site, and sent along our merry ways. With 7 in our group, we were split 4/3. R, AJ, JE, and I in one boat and JH, MH, and FB in the other. There were also 5 more rafts and 4 or 5 kayaks with our group. And, each raft had a Guide. Our guy was Drew.
This site along the river is called PotHole. It is a natural formation in the rock where you climb down (see AJ down there with one of the Guides) and duck under the water into a short tunnel (YES, in the rock) and you pop out of the other side under this little waterfall.
Assuming that your life vest doesn't get stuck in the tunnel, your head quickly pops up out of the water, but WAIT, don't gasp yet, because you immediately go under the fall and you're pushed underwater again! A Guide grabs your hand and pulls you to the rock to climb out, but it's covered in moss/algae and absolutely impossible to climb!
Somewhere along the river, we stopped at this (Long Creek) waterfall. BEWARE the slippery rocks! Seriously, why can I never fall on my butt (where there's plenty of padding)? Instead, I go straight to the knees and elbows.
Arms are okay, but I have this huge swollen knot on my left knee that has some really weird sensations (one side of my kneecap is numb and the other side twitches).


At 1:18 PM, Blogger kaliblue 's valuable input...

We usually go rafting every year, but gonna miss out this year. Too much on our plate. Glad ya'll had a blast. Hope no permanent damage to the knee. Have A Great Day!!

At 2:37 PM, Blogger Gary 's valuable input...

That waterfall looks teriffic.

BTW,I think you can learn to fall on your butt more often. You just need to practice it. Good luck.

At 3:18 PM, Blogger Celina 's valuable input...

Kali: I really don't know why we've never gone rafting before, but now we HAVE TO plan more trips like that!

Gary: I really should practice that!

Just wait until y'all get to see the pics of us IN the rafts!! :)

At 9:38 PM, Blogger The Kept Woman 's valuable input...

I'm gonna have to admit that never in my life have I thought, "Gosh, I'd like to pay good money to sit in an air-filled raft and go over really turbulant waters."

Then again I'm probably not what you would call a thrill-seeker! Glad you made it out alive!

At 8:32 AM, Blogger ccw 's valuable input...

The pictures are great! I am too chicken to go whitewater rafting. My husband loves doing this, but the idea of being tossed around in water just doesn't appeal to me.

At 10:13 AM, Blogger Mon 's valuable input...

OMG, you had to go under the water in a rock? I'd pass! lol! what if it fell and trapped you? Drowning scares me, you are a brave soul!


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