A couple of Saturdays ago, I finally took advantage of my annual pass to the US National Whitewater Center. After a full day there, I came home exhausted, bruised, bleeding in a few places… and already making plans to go back the FOLLOWING Saturday for more.
I’m happy to report, I am IN LOVE with the Whitewater Center.
Those that know me well understand that this is wildly uncharacteristic behavior for me – it takes a lot to pry me away from the couch on a Saturday morning. So for me to volunteer for outdoor activities, including whitewater rafting, flatwater kayaking, and even a 40-foot step-off drop called Mega Jump, is quite a stretch. But I can’t help it — I’m hooked.
The latest discovery this past Saturday was Rodeo Rafting — the wildest ride on the rapids you can get at the Whitewater Center. From the USNWC’s website:
With our custom-designed, light and agile 10-foot rafts, our expert guides will show you the most aggressive lines the river has to offer. Using kayak-style maneuvers, your team of up to 4 will test their skills against our drops, waves, and tight technical turns. This is a whole lot of swimming and little bit of rafting. You will surf, you will flip, you will swim so be prepared for a very extreme activity.
And let me tell you, they weren’t kiddin’. Our guide took us on a tiiiiny little raft through the fastest and most turbulent rapids out there, and expertly sent us flying off the boat and into the rapids at a few places. (I say “expertly” because he actually aimed to get us a thrilling ejection into the water at a few key safe(r) places.)
If you ever get the chance to go whitewater rafting, make sure you ask your guide to take you “surfing” if you’re willing to get good ‘n drenched. And if he/she ever instructs, “Left side forward, right side backward, keep going!” you are about to be spun around for the time of your life.
For the record… if your raft guide asks, “Do you want moderately stupid, or full-on stupid?” the correct answer is FULL-ON STUPID, please and thank you.