If you have never gone white water rafting, you need to plan a trip for the spring. I went for the first time ever this past weekend and I am now hooked. Unfortunately for me, it is the end of the season and I have to wait several months before they open up for business again.
It was this past weekend, I decided to miss out on my junior year homecoming to spend some time outdoors in the rapids. My dad told me several stories of how his boat has flipped on many occasions in all of his experiences and its every man for themselves until they all get rescued by nearby rafters, so I was a little scared at first to say the least.
When my group got into the drop off area after a 20 minute bus ride from the lodge, I already made my first mistake by getting into the water and NOT the raft. Good thing the guild had a sharp eye because if I took anther step, I would've already been swept away. Everybody safely made it into the boat after me and we were off. By the way, if you ever do go water rafting, seriously listen to your guild or else you will not have a fun time. If you listen and follow their directions, you will have a blast. There was a point, however, when my guild jumped out of the boat onto a 15-foot high rock, did a double front flip into the rapid water and swam back to our boat. It was an awesome and unexpected performance.
The river I went down on had several notable rapids and areas. These include Broken Nose (I bet you can guess why they call it that), Slingshot (because the rapid can and will sling you airborne), and Ride the Bull (the guild lets one person sit at the nose of the raft and ride the rapids like a bull. It is very fun). There is also a part of the Ocoee where it is safe enough to hop out of the boat and float along just by yourself.
The river I went down on is called the Ocoee located in Tennessee. I highly recommend going with Rolling Thunder River Company as your set of tour guilds. It was my first time going water rafting and my experience with them makes me want to go every chance I get now. They all know how to have fun and keep you alive along the ride. Also their prices for tickets and a DVD of pictures of your trip are super cheap compared to surrounding areas.