After two days of reflection and recovery, I have come to a conclusion about rafting - I'm not fond of it. I just don't have the personality where I need to pay to do things that scare me to death because I enjoy the adrenaline rush. :-) We left Friday morning with the youth group and headed to East TN to find our campground and get set up for the night. We arrived about 2 p.m. and after checking in with our raft company, we headed over the Ocoee to check out the river. Of course, the boys all had to get in and get wet! The 1996 Atlanta Olympics held their kayak (or whatever it is) event on the Ocoee and the guys were able to get out and wade through that area because the water was low. (The Ocoee is dam controlled and they release the water in the mornings so by afternoon, it's back to wading/swimming levels). After the guys got tired of wading and floating, the youth all loaded into one suburban and went driving on some mountain trails - I headed back to the campsite with the other car to wait for our late arriving vehicles. The rest of the evening progressed fairly normally with tent setup, hamburgers and other junk food.
Saturday was raft day. Our group was going to do the full Ocoee River rafting trip - you can also do it 1/2 at a time, but the company we went with had a good deal for taking the full day trip. I learned that there are 6 classes of river rapids - 1 being the most gentle and 6 being almost unraftable. On the Ocoee we we through quite a few level 2-3's, probably 8 level 4's, and 1 level 5. I didn't mind the rafting part of the trip. The guide gives you specific instructions when to paddle, when to get down, and what to do so he doesn't lose you in a rough part of the river. What got me was when our guide deliberately led our boat into this smaller rapid called "Double Suck" and tries to capsize the boat. Needless to say, I and another boy in our boat went it. I still get the shivers when I think about it. I am not a great swimmer and when B. and I went in, we were all tangled up. (We're not sure whether he grabbed me to try and stay in the boat or I grabbed him to keep him in the boat once it was inevitable that he and I were going over). We got sucked down and were both trying to push ourselves to the top. B. bobbed up and got caught in a quicker current and pulled out of the way, but I got popped in the head with a paddle from another boat that was coming by (we had helmets on) and went back under with the boat then going on top of me. The boat went by quickly and I was back out on top of the water, but at that point I had swallowed a lot of river water and was really freaking out. I ended up just floating down to the still portion of the river where I could be fished out by our boat's guide and pulled back in the raft. The rest of the rafting was very uneventful, thankfully! :-) After we got to the spot where they pull you out of the river, we just changed into dry clothes when we got back to our vehicles and headed back to Nashville. I wasn't the only one that was exhausted - most of the kids crawled in the cars and slept all the way back home.
So that's my report. I can say I've been, but it will probably be a long while before I go again.
Something lighter before I'm off to do laundry . . .
Which amusement park is your favorite?
I would have to say DisneyWorld even though I've never been - I would love to go there someday!
2. Are you the kind of person who loves to go on most rides or just a select few?
Select few - as most will probably figure out, I'm not into being scared silly or made to throw up. I want to have fun without the possibility of physical injury or motion sickness. :-)
3. What is the scariest ride you've ever been on?
A ride that they used to have at the Opryland Themepark before they closed it down - it was a rollercoaster ride where you hung in these harnesses and were basically out there flapping around. I don't know why I got on it!
4. Do you prefer rollercoasters, water rides or the kind that go round and round?
Of the three, probably water rides, because it's usually just a big slide and you get wet. I don't like spinning at all!
5. What is the longest amount of time you would stand in line to get on a ride?
Not long... :-)