Over the last couple of years, our family has made it a point to get together at least once a year (since we live here, there, and everywhere) and now it has turned into vacationing together. The concept works wonderfully as all the families share expenses and found we get more bang for our buck (not to mention discounts on everything because of the group size). Our 2012 summer vacation took us to Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg, TN for a second consecutive year. Unfortunately, not all of our families were able to join us this year; however, we still had 24 crazy family members and loony friends who were able to make participate in the adventure.
Since I have yet to finish updating our “Inspiration Point” blog pages I wanted to post some pictures of our mid-week adventure. White water rafting has been on my bucket list for years (actually I have wanted to experience rafting since I was a young teen, which was long…long before the words “bucket list” became a commonly used term).
The adventure was thrilling, the company was comical, and the water was F R E E Z I N G. It felt like we were swimming in a pool of ice every time the rapids breached the raft. After the first time or two, we became immune to the water temperature and really started to enjoy the 1 hour and 20 minute water journey. Kendall, the girl’s guide, was a bucket of humor and made the trip down the Pigeon River that much more enjoyable.
As you can see be the pictures, for the 12 of us who looked death in the eye and dared to tackle the “upper river rapids” (levels 3 & 4), we were in two rafts…notably divided and referred to as “the girls” and the “guys”. At a couple of points in the trip, our guides made sure we were able to get close enough to the other team to engage in paddle water fights. I am uncertain as to who won any of them as we were all drenched (I’m sure the guys would lay claim to the winners trophy if there was one).
In the end, it really did not matter how cold the water was or that it was an hour’s drive from Pigeon Forge down to the river on the TN/NC border where the rafting company was located. What really counted that day was that we were spending quality time together…as a family/extended family. For many of us, we were experiencing this particular rafting adventure for the first time…together! We were making memories, taking pictures, and having no regrets.
If you should ever have the opportunity to white water raft…I say RUN….RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN, pick up your paddle, head straight to the raft, and grab your seat (hint: pick the front row if you REALLY enjoy sub-zero water temperatures). You won’t regret your decision to experience the rapids and you will have a story (and pictures) to share with your kids and grandchildren for years to come.