Last weekend, Southern Adventures took a group of participants to O.A.R (Outdoor Adventure Rafting) for a weekend on the Ocoee River.
Olin Downs, a marketing graduate assistant, gave his account on what he describes as “The most awesome weekend…ever.”
With the van loaded, we hit the open road. Six hours of driving lay between us and our ultimate destination…rafting the mighty Ocoee. Now, you would think six hours of driving (twelve roundtrip) packed ten deep in a van would be a miserable experience, however, the trip leaders, Jenn and Mikey, kept everyone energized and entertained with various road games and riddles that challenged our mental prowess. A few naps, dinner, and a couple of road games later we arrived at the O.A.R. (Outdoor Adventure Rafting) campground and immediately fell asleep in anticipation of the next day’s rafting excursion.
The next morning, after a hearty oatmeal and bagel breakfast, the eager band of Southern Adventure participants geared up and loaded the O.A.R. bus to ride upstream to our drop-in point. The bus ride provided ample time to become acquainted with Eric and Stan, our raft guides as well as Georgia Southern students. These two guides controlled our fate, would they navigate the treacherous river safely or capsize us into the roaring rapids? There was only one way to find out and we were all prepared and ready for whatever the ominous Ocoee was about to greet us with.
When we reached the drop-in point, the rafts were unloaded, gear checked again, and off we went…there was no turning around, this was it! The beginning was not bad. It was swift flowing water with small rapids. This worked well as an “icebreaker” for what we were soon to encounter, rapids known as “Broken Nose”, “Tablesaw”, and the unforgiving Olympic section. Keep in mind the Olympic section was built and designed for world-class kayakers in mind, not rafts.
“Give me two…right side back…all in!” the guide shouts as we hit a four foot drop and plunge into the churning white mass below. One person falls out and is saved by the guide, everyone else regains their senses and sits back in their seats, alert, waiting for further instructions from the guide, but there was none. We’d reached a slow flowing section where the water looked smooth as glass. Mirrored on the surface was the breathtaking Appalachian Mountain Range. It looked like we were no longer on the river, but gliding effortlessly high above the mountains through the clouds. Our lunch stop was just around the bend and after that was more heart racing and adrenaline pumping fun!
So now we turn to you! Have you ever gone whitewater rafting? Would you like to? Do you have any interesting stories?
Until Then…CRI ’til you die!!