Thursday, August 9, 2012

Most Fun!

The alarm went off (you know I hate those things) and we slowly got moving for another long drive over the mountains to Hartford, NC.  We stopped along the way for Lance to get his first look at the Smokies at 2000 elevation.

Yeah, he's awed.

 What's in Hartford?  Our adventure for today: a White Water River Rafting trip down the Pigeon River.  I called first to see if we were booked (my daughter had done this) on the Wild ride or the Mild ride.  Due to time constrictions, we were booked on the Wild Ride.  O kayyy...

We were outfitted with our helmets, PFDs and paddles.  We were on a raft with another family with an 11 year old and 7 year old from - get this - Florida.  Ha.  They were first timers too, and when our guide JP began explaining that it was 'risky' and could be 'dangerous', we moms looked at eachother with big eyes.  Anyhow, forty of us were loaded into a modified school bus and on the way up to the put-in point were given even more safety rules.  Like - "NEVER try to stand up in the river, as you will get trapped" and "Try to kill the snake if one drops in the boat from an overhanging tree"  We looked at eachother again... 

Soon the bus arrived with twenty other outfits and their boats, but it was very orderly as they unloaded the six rafts from the top of the bus.  MORE instructions...  "Do not sit on the 'seat' in the middle of the raft - it is NOT a seat.  You need to sit on the SIDE of the raft"  Uh huh.  We looked at each other again and then at our kids.  Really??? They'll stay on???

Finally it was our turn.  Soon after we were cruising down the river, we were told to look at the camera as our photo was being taken.  You know that it was in the beginning of the trip because my shirt is barely splashed.  Let me tell you, I was DRENCHED by the end of the trip.  But I digress...

That's us on the left, and JP on the back end.  VERY funny guy.  We went over Class one, two, three and four rapids.  It was really wet, fun, exciting, funny and scary (a couple of times only).  One scary time was when our guide decided to do something he'd never done before.  And that resulted in another raft getting their front end over our front end when they went up on the wave and we went down in the trough.  Well, that was not supposed to happen, and fortunately the men in the front (Gary and George) were not hurt.  We were stuck, and JP had to get to the front of the raft to push them off.  DARN, I WISH I HAD GOTTEN A SHOT OF THAT!! 

Splashing and 'attitude checks' (raising our paddles together and yelling) were a regular part of our ride. 

And when you spotted a "horizon" - that meant big rapids ahead.  We saw lots of "horizons". 

We finally reached the "Swimming Pool" where we could jump in the water for a bit before hitting the next rapid.  Big George, little George and Lance decided to take a swim.  However, getting back into the boat was the real challenge.  You need to be hauled up by your life jacket.  Lance was OK, and so was little George.  But big George was a bit bigger than JP so he ended up on top of JP on top of Gary.  Missed that shot, too.  Well, whatever happens on the river, stays on the river...

It started sprinkling as we reached the take out, and since we were so drenched, we didn't even care. We just grabbed our towels and dry clothes from the Jeep and warmed up in the dry bath houses.  Lance's mom and dad arrived to pick him up and by then it was raining steady.  Lots of hugs and kisses and promises of a safe drive back.  We drove back over the mountain in green, yellow and red radar with thunder and lightning just to keep up the excitement of the day.

Soon the traffic of Pigeon Forge greeted us, and we stopped in Cracker Barrel for a cozy lunch.  We had no umbrella and it was pouring, so Gary dropped me off at the door, and, as every RVer knows to have multi uses for everything on their rig, used the windshield sunshade as an umbrella instead.  It worked just fine.  After some warm food and a rest, we puddled home, and hung up our soaked clothes.

I couldn't wait anymore to see the pictures of the last three days, and I'm glad I had some to show you finally.  Thanks for coming along on our adventures!

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful few days!! Grandkids sure to bring out the kid in all of us:o))