It’s not secret I love the water and the creatures in it… I made that pretty obvious when I chose my career as a life boat captain. My interest in whitewater rafting was borne of a desire to regain my fitness, which I had noticed was not what it used to be as of late. I had also been feeling bored by my routine and the monotonous sights of the city, so I decided it was time to get close to nature and feel the thrill of adrenaline. Having already taken some rafting lessons in my youth, I felt no hesitation in grabbing my camping gear and hitting the road. I went with a commercial tour provider, Chattooga Overnighters, on the first trip so I could re-learn the ropes, so to speak – it had been a while since I had set foot in a raft, let alone sailed it in a fast moving river!
Chattooga Overnighters claimed to offer the ultimate Chattooga Experience. I opted for their 2-day Overnighter package because I had an extended weekend. It was an easy drive from my home in Atlanta and proved to be one of the most thrilling experiences of my life. There was hiking, camping and topnotch food, but best of all there was whitewater rafting to my heart’s content. They didn’t offer any alcohol, but that wasn’t an issue for me since I wanted to experience the trip to its fullest. I brought my own air bed, and some other personal articles – the rest was provided by them!
The first day was a bit slow and there was ample time for stretching your muscles, relaxing and swimming. Arriving at the campsite, I found my personal gear waiting for me. After setting up camp, I did some fishing for my lunch and then went on a short hike around the site. I cooked the fish on a campfire, and it went well with the steak dinner provided by the camp.
I only ate a light breakfast next morning as the camp was taken down and my gear packed and transported to Wildwater Chattooga Ridge Adventure Center. We ran into other people seeking the thrill of whitewater rafting at the Center, and this was where the real fun started. It was a lot different from the slow pace of Day One: we rafted on a very steep river section, but there were still points where we could relax and take in the scenery. We rested and lunched at Long Creek Falls at the end, followed by a relaxing boat tow across the Tugaloo Lake to conclude the 2 day trip.
There were plenty of activities left to do after the conclusion of the trip, and I decided to spend the night there since my muscles, being unused to this kind of exercise, were starting to ache! Fortunately, there was lodging available aplenty, and I rented out an exquisite cottage for the night.
My rafting adventure certainly rejuvenated me and I was looking forward to going back to my work as a life boat captain! Needless to say, I’ve made over a dozen trips to various white-water rafting destinations since, but the first one is always special.