This isn't fishing but it is on the river. I went on an amazing Ocoee whitewater rafting trip with my sister, nephew and wife. Just wanted to share some of the experience.
Ocoee River Rafting - Info
First just a brief intro and a bit of info on Ocoee River rafting. The Ocoee River is a great place to go whitewater rafting. The water flow is controlled by a series of dams. There is a 10 mile stretch of rapids that you can raft. You can take the full trip or you can take an Upper Ocoee Rafting Trip and a Middle Ocoee Rafting trip. The Ocoee River Rapids are Class 3 and 4. The Upper Ocoee River Rapids is a 5 mile stretch where the 1996 Olympic canoe, slalom and kayak events where held. If you are just starting out you should go for the Middle Ocoee whitewater rafting trip.
Ocoee River Rafting - Getting Ready
As first time rafters we decided to book the Middle Ocoee whitewater rafting trip. Good thing because it was also the only one available for the day that we were going.
On the way to Cherokee Rafting, the guide we used, my sister was a nervous wreck. She was worried about getting tossed out of the raft or something else that could possibly happen. My nephew and I were ready to get there and get going. My wife, I was still a little unsure about how she felt. She had always wanted to go but it appeared she was getting a little worried.
So we made it to the Cherokee Rafting Center and decided to go in and check out the store and get signed in. After signing in we looked around the store. My sister became even more nervous as she started reading the shirts. One said something like "You could die going over the waterfall in a raft, You could die falling out of the raft and hitting a rock, or you can die falling off the couch sitting at home. Looking at the Middle Ocoee whitewater rafting information there are 20 different sets of rapids in the 5 mile stretch. You start reading the names like broken nose, table saw, hell's hole, grumpy, roller coaster... Well I think you get where I am heading. My wife and sister both started to get even more nervous.
Now that we signed in and it's almost time to go we head out to get the gear. Life Jacket... Check Helmet... Check Paddle... Check. Time for the safety spill before we load the buss and head out. This is were it got even more interesting as they explained all of the things that could happen and the ways to save you. Now you can see the worry in their faces.
Ocoee River Rafting - The Bus Ride to Launch
It has been a long time since I have gone for a ride on a school bus. The seats and aisles are a lot smaller than I remembered, especially with all of the gear on. Off we go headed to put the rafts in the water and guess what? Yep that's correct you can see all of the rapids that you will be going down on the bus trip to the dam where we put the rafts in the water. Plenty of whitewater, protruding rocks, drop offs, stuck rafts, flipped rafts, everything that they were worried about you could see it. I was just waiting on them to bail on the trip now.
Ocoee River Rafting - The Journey
We reach the dam and the guides start unloading the rafts while we sit on the bus and the leader assigns us to a guide. There are seven total groups that will be headed out on this trip.
Our guide, Ryan, takes us through the rules and instruction. We pick up the raft and carry it down the ramp at the dam and prepare to enter the water. The first rapid is named Grumpy. Grumpy is the most dangerous rapid for the entire trip. We were chosen to go first out of the group so we can set up the safety point for our guide to throw the rope to anyone that falls from the raft.
Of course at this point you could really see the worry on the face of my wife and sister.
Off we go into the water and paddling hard to beat the rapids and make it to the safety setup area. My sister starts to scream with excitement as we head down the rapids and my wife begins to chime in. After making it through the first rapid now they become at ease and begin to enjoy themselves. 19 more rapids to conquer!!!!!!
Look out Broken Nose, Hell Hole, Table Saw.......here we come!
We ran smoothly through the rocks and had a blast getting cooled down on the drops as we worked our way down river.
Ocoee River Rafting - The Wrap Up
What an amazing experience we had on our Ocoee whitewater rafting journey. This is on the must do list if you are ever in the area. After the trip my wife and sister were ready to go back and take the full 10 mile run. Thank you Ryan and Cherokee Rafting for a truly amazing experience.