You know when you have something on your Bucket list that you’ve been wanting to try for awhile but, when you finally get the chance to do it… you have second thoughts? Yep, that was me. What item was checked off the list? White water rafting. It was both thrilling and exhilarating but, terrifying at the same time. I went with a group of perfectly good strangers from a meetup group to go white water rafting on the Oconee River in Ducktown, Tennessee. Don’t ask me what made me pick this adventure activity? It just somehow got stuck in my head to try it but, by the time I was in the car heading down the road with a bunch of strangers… it suddenly got REAL.
It’s Too Late to Turn Back Now…
Once we arrived, they put us on a bus to trek us over to where we got our gear, got assigned a guide and they gave us some instructions. Don’t hang out of the boat, keep your life jacket and helmet on, blah, blah, blah… essentially, do what they tell you so you will LIVE! Yep, I was paying attention because living and embracing life is what I do. When they handed me my helmet and I looked at the water, I immediately knew… this is going to be a very bad hair day. To many that may not mater but, to a brown sista like me… trust me, it took a minute to process and be ok with that. What’s a little water?… Well, really a lot of water as we go rolling down the river. Once we embarked on the adventure and began to get the hang of it… I realized it wasn’t so bad. There were calm water areas and then areas where I thought I was going to be tossed from the raft but, I really started to enjoy myself.
Rollin’ Down the River
We were out on the water for a few hours and then we broke for lunch. I had the chance to chat with some of my fellow adventurers and meet some great people… some of whom had rafted before, some loved to kayak and some were novices like me. We laughed, chatted and then I realized… oh yeah, I’ve got to get back out there on the water it’s only half over. We climbed back on our raft and headed out to a rough patch on the water… I just prayed that I wouldn’t lose my lunch. I made it through but, after the troubled waters came a really calm section where our guide told us if we wanted to get out of the raft and float with our life vest down the river we could do that. Some of my fellow rafters started to jump out of the raft, and next thing I know it was just me and the guide. He told me, you should try it… so, I did. I hopped out of the raft and floated down the Oconee River being carried by the current. It was exhilarating and peaceful. I looked at the beauty of nature around me and was so thankful for the experience. I’ll admit it pushed my boundaries and was most definitely out of my comfort zone but, I met some great people, I did something I’d never done before and learned a few things about myself… like I can do pretty much anything I set my mind to and I didn’t have to be paralyzed by fear of the unknown.
All in all, it was a great day and I’m glad that I had the experience. Would I do it again? I’m not sure if I would, I guess it would depend on a few things but, I’m glad that I had a whitewater rafting experience.