White Water Rafting Essay, Research Paper
I remember a time in my life not too long ago when my family and I went white water rafting for the first time. We had been spending some of our summer vacation at a cabin in the Smokey Mountains, close to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The next day we would experience feelings of exhilarating excitement, with a sense of suspense and anticipation as we rafted down the Nantahala River.
I recall in vivid detail the scenery around us as we embarked on our perilous journey down the Nantahala. We arrived at the drop-off point in the early afternoon the next day. The sweet smell of fresh pine trees was floating in the air and a soft midsummer breeze was brushing against our faces. After receiving directions and safety precautions from our rafting instructor, we geared up, boarded our raft, and set out for our voyage down the treacherous Nantahala. Sharing the experience with me were my mother, aunt, uncle, and cousin; along with out rafting guide. We were all ready for a fun and safe ride down the Nantahala.
As we started to slowly drift down the river, seemingly inch by inch, I began to have feelings of disappointment. I had been planning on a more hazardous and fast-paced ride. The water was crystal clear and almost as flat as a sheet of glass. There was only a very mild current and being as impatient as I was, it appeared to me that we weren?t even moving.
Eventually, the current became a little stronger and the ride a little swifter. My feelings of disappointment slowly vanished and feelings of excitement and exhilaration took their place. As the terrain surrounding us became more rocky and rough, so did the river. It was no longer calm and clear like a mountain lake, but more white and frothy like sea foam and rough like a white squall. We passed many small falls, being splashed and soaked from all directions at the bottom of each one. The water was icy cold, cold enough to make you tremble to the bone. I don?t think water surrounding an iceberg in the arctic could have been any colder. Each time I was splashed, thoughts of hypothermia flashed through my head.
Our raft almost sank a few times because of the constant splashing of water into our raft. Each time we passed a stretch of rapids, and especially when we made it to the top of each fall a sense of anticipation would come over me I didn?t know what would happen next. There was always a chance that our raft might hit a boulder and flip, or that someone might fall out. We were always passing these jagged rocks and giant boulders that could have easily flipped our raft or got us stuck. Some of the rocks were sharp enough to give you a bad gash or even break a bone if you hit them with enough force. Many rafts floating aside us were caught on big boulders, and they had a hard time getting there raft loose and back in the water. There were only one or two very unfortunate groups of people that had the misfortune of accidentally flipping their rafts. Our guide kept screaming out orders telling us which way to paddle or lean to keep us from flipping. Luckily, we never did.
Finally, after rafting for what seemed like an hour, we reached the last fall. It was by far the largest and most dangerous on the entire river. Towering high above all the other falls, it stood apart from the rest of the scenery in a certain majestic and precipitous manner. By this time, the rapids had grown fierce and furious to the highest degree of extremity, surpassing any that we had ever faced before. At the same time, a dense mist, making it almost impossible to see engulfed the area surrounding us. The rapids had splashed a lot of water in our raft and by now it was almost submerged. In addition, the currents had become overwhelmingly strong, forcing us to struggle to keep from hitting boulders as we were pulled swiftly downstream. The guides had told us to be very cautious when we passed this area because it was the most dangerous location on the river, being the site of several serious accidents in the past. We had taken their warning seriously and had been worrying about this fall the whole trip
As we approached the top, we became more and more overcome with suspense and anticipation. Before we plunged to the bottom, we noticed a kayak broken in two pieces. It had been caused by a collision with a boulder, at the bottom of the fall. We were scared to death, because we thought we would hit it and flip over. However, with the help of our fast-thinking and skillful guide, we were able to make it down the fall safely. All the action was over, so we let out a sigh of relief and allowed our nerves to relax.
As if to conclude our white water rafting adventure, members of my family began recalling which parts of trip they liked the most and which parts they disliked. My family and I decided that we enjoyed the trip and would like to do it again if we got the chance. We all had a lot of fun and got a chance to be together. I learned how fun, dangerous, and scary rafting can be. It made our summer trip to Gatlingburg, Tennessee one