Whitewater Rafting on The Upper Pigeon River

bigbearGrowth occurs outside of our comfort zone.

As much as I love being near water or even on the water, I do not always like being in the water. I really don’t like my face and water touching. Like never.

Whitewater Rafting has been high on my families bucket list and even higher on The Todd’s list. It is non-existent on my list but that did not stop me from agreeing to a whitewater rafting trip during our vacation to Tennessee.

We traveled from Townsend, TN to Hartford, TN. In our one and half hour journey we passed through Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, and we even stumbled onto the home office of Bush’s Baked Beans in Chestnut Hill.

Our Aunt Adela, who lives in Ashville, NC found us Groupons through Big Bear Expeditions. The float was on the Pigeon River, a damned and controlled river. There was a minimum age of 8 years old, which was perfect for us as we had two short chics that are 8! The check-in process was easy. Everyone signed waivers, changed clothing,  assigned a guide,  and then we received our gear (helmets, lifejackets, and paddles). After a safety meeting, we bordered a bus that took us on a short ride to the border between Tennessee and North Carolina.

 The Walters Hydroelectric Plant sits on the North Carolina side and releases water down the Pigeon River every day. When we arrived the Pigeon River was a stream until the buzzer rang and the plant began releasing water and we watched that stream transform into a full river. Our whitewater adventure down the Upper Pigeon saw Class I, II, III, and IV rapids.

Big Bear is not the only outfitter in this area and since we were the first float of the day, we got to see all the outfitters in the same place at the same time and that sight was nothing short of overwhelming. Our group was too large for one raft, so we had to be split in half. Despite unbelievable levels of anxiety, I got in the raft and before I knew it we were on our way down the river. The water was everywhere. We were bumping rocks. My face did get wet. Towards the end, I think we might have gotten a little caught up on a rock, which caused The Short Chic to get jolted out of her position. I was so proud of her, she controlled herself to fall inside the raft and not out of the raft.

Our guide, Billy, and The Todd’s guide, Molly, were both amazing! They were entertaining, knowledgeable, and they kept us safe. If you are in the area and looking for some fun, please give this company a shout out!

Before I knew it the adventure was over; in reality it lasted an hour. Whitewater rafting may not have been on my bucket list before but given the opportunity, I might do it again. That my friends is personal growth.

 

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