White-Water rafting is therapy

me looking good

Surely you’ve heard about the “bucket list” – all those things you want to do before you “kick the bucket.”  This week I checked  two items off my list, not to mention a third I didn’t know I had! (Riding with the Hell’s Angels wasn’t on the list, but it should have been.)

nantahala 029

My girl friends and I made plans back in June to go white water rafting and hike up a portion of the 2500-mile Appalachian Trail which runs all the way up to Maine.

We rented a wonderful cabin on the top of a mountain in North Carolina near the entrance to the infamous trail and launched a new chapter in our lives.

Of course, things didn’t fall into place the way we expected – they never do.  But this time, our expectations were far too low and our vacation from everyday life was transforming.

On Thursday, about dark-thirty, we finally arrived at our destination near Bryson City, N.C.  It was dark since we had been detained by a pack of cute Hell’s Angels back in Georgia.  They let us ride their bikes and we were still dizzy from the memory.

No one told us we would be traveling straight up the side of a mountain and on the second turn we began to slide back down.  We gunned the engine, but only slid back further, dangerously close to a drop off as steep as the Grand Canyon.

That’s when our guardian angel showed up in the form of a mountain man driving a four-wheel drive vehicle.  Not only did he take us up to our cabin, but he gave us his truck to use for the duration of our vacation! We instantly fell in love with North Carolina, not to mention Chester, our white knight.

On Friday we began the hike to Maine.  I think we made it two miles – all straight up the side of a mountain.  Exhausted, we came to a clearing and learned that we were going the wrong way and were back in Georgia.

Undaunted, we slid back down the mountain to rent our gear for the white water rafting trip, our original mission.

all of us

On Saturday, we showed up at the Nantahala River dressed in redneck rafting attire which included Walmart bags tied around our shoes.  (We would be soaked to our eyebrows, but our feet would be dry.) Our fellow rafters were wearing sleek water proof suits while we wore two layers of mismatched Mississippi State and Ole Miss clothing. Hey, we love our teams. When we topped off our ensemble with life vests and helmets, we felt like Weebles that Wobble, but can’t fall down.

At the end of the day, we were hooked.  Our raft stayed afloat thanks to the talents of our guide, Jennifer.  She toyed with us a bit by running us up the side of enormous rocks and doing twirlies in the middle of the rushing river.  I’m thinking she hated her mother and decided to take it out on us!

Oh, but what a thrilling day!  Now, we’re making plans for our next trip down the more difficult Ecoee where the summer Olympics were conducted.

Best of all, we didn’t see a vegetable for four days.  We lived on pimento cheese, corn chips and S’Mores. Oh, and a little Moonshine.  We met a group of campers who served us Moonshine from a gallon jug in little urine cups from a doctor’s office.  How chic is that?

My eyesight is still a bit fuzzy, but my bucket list is shorter.

5 thoughts on “White-Water rafting is therapy

  1. Never thought this trip could have topped previous ones!!It was a lot funnier “reading” about our near death experiences rather than “actually” wishing Father John was there to administer last rights. Love going back into my second childhood with such fun-loving friends!!!

  2. Proud of you girls!
    I’ll just mark of my
    bucket list that I
    have friends who drink moonshine and
    go white water rafting.

  3. Marie, I forgot to mention that we had to sign a release that we wouldn’t hold Nantahala responsible in the event of our paralysis or death. We looked at each other for a tiny moment then raced to see who could get to the raft first. I think we may still be in first grade.

  4. Norma, we’ve got to do this for our 50th. If I’d had you and our Marganita’s along for the trip, my bucket list would be complete. (Hmm, maybe that’s not
    good. We should never complete our bucket lists!)

  5. Emily, we’ve missed you! So glad you had fun and made it back with great memories. Back in the mid 80’s, I talked my friend Suzanne into rafting the Nantahala; I promised she would be okay; wouldn’t fall out, etc. The first rapid we went over, our guide fell out! Suzanne was next, but she survived and still speaks to me! I’ve also done the Ocoee and the Chatooga (think “Deliverance,”) but I was more immature then. I’m impressed that you’re doing this! Keep it up!

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