Rafting on the Ocoee by Ali
So Jamie and I went white water rafting on the Ocoee River in north Georgia the beginning of August. This was not a trip I was looking forward to. Any time I have seen white water rafting on TV I have thought to myself, “I will never do that”. But, Jamie wanted to go so I was trying to be a sport about it. How could anyone enjoy 4 hours of the log flume ride at Great Adventure?
After I agreed, I checked out the website. We were doing the combo trip (whew hew – the long version). The trip included class III and IV rapids including the Olympic course. How could a first time rafter possibly survive the Olympic course? I tried not to think about it as the day drew nearer. We flew to Atlanta and met David, Donna, Kristie, and Doug. They all did this trip about 3 years ago. It couldn’t be that bad if they all did it before and wanted to do it again. Then I found out that Donna was nervous. Great, she knew what she was getting herself into and was still apprehensive. I was soggy toast.
The next day we went to the rafting site. We had our ½ hour orientation that included the warning about falling in the river, drowning, and dying. That reassured me greatly, especially the part about getting your foot stuck in river rocks/debris and being pulled under. My mission – don’t fall out of the raft.
Our guide was Neal, and luckily for some reason I had confidence in him to safely navigate us down the river to our impending doom. On the bus ride to the launch site we saw a mama bear and her cub which was a nice diversion. Once there we entered the river at a class III rapid, which much to my surprise was fun. I was able to adequately hold myself in the raft with my feet like you are supposed to and felt fairly secure. Next came a class IV rapid that once again ended up being fun and really boosted my confidence. So for the next 4 hours we meandered down the Ocoee alternating between gentle flow of the water and rapids. My feet were jammed so far into the raft that at one point I thought I might loose a toe, but at least I was not falling out of the boat. Who needs all 10 toes anyway?
I was only nervous for about 10 seconds twice during the whole trip. At one point the guide flooded the entire raft with water and the Titanic came to mind, but I quickly realized we were okay. Overall, it was a blast and I would definitely do it again, although the rest of the group is talking about a class V trip next year. I don’t think I am ready for that, but who knows what I can be talked into.