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Whitewater and White Knuckles

One fine Saturday in September, Patientcoians embarked on an adventure. It was an adventure through uncharted waters*, rife with peril and danger**, and fraught with fear***.

Yes, it was our annual Whitewater Rafting Trip!

 

Sapphire, Jonathan, James, and Annie going in to "surf" the waves.

Sapphire, Jonathan, James, and Cori going in to “surf” the waves.

 

The Whitewater Rafting Trip has been an annual event since 2011. (With a year skipped in there somewhere, 2012 if I’m not mistaken.) After a stint on the Chattooga last year, Patientco returned to the Class III and IV rapids of the Middle Ocoee just north of the Georgia border in Tennessee. The Ocoee is no joke — it was host to the whitewater slalom events during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

The Middle Ocoee contains five miles of non-stop, action-packed rapids. Right off the bat, as soon as you put-in, we came upon Grumpy — a “long and pushy Class III” rapid that makes warming-up a dream for another day. From there, we carried on to rapids with great, inspiring names like “Broken Nose,” “Double Suck,” “Double Trouble,” and “Hell Hole.”

While no one fell out last year (unlike last year’s poor but entertaining showing of skill level), there was definitely some water involved. The Ocoee has a lot of great “surfing” spots where the water hydraulics are perfect for keeping you grounded in one spot for a bit as tons of water rush past you. And if you’re more into the scenic side, the river flows through a deep gorge in Cherokee National Forest, so the vista along the way is great too.

It definitely wasn’t your average day in the office!

 

Anna, Annie, Ian, Bird, Jessica, and Tristan get ready for some incoming water. The guide seems unperturbed.

Anna, Annie, Ian, Bird, Jessica, and Tristan get ready for some incoming water. The guide seems unperturbed.

 

Joshua, Cailey, Melissa, Elise, and some friends brace for the next rapid.

Joshua, Cailey, Melissa, Elise, and some friends brace for the next rapid.

 

Ashley, Kurt, Marilyn, Sean Roberts, Chris Church, and Daniel make this look easy.

Ashley, Kurt, Marilyn, Sean Roberts, Chris Church, and Daniel make this look easy.

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[*Well, in the interest of full disclosure, some of us had traversed the Ocoee River before, back in 2013.]
[**There were waivers involved. But also lifejackets and safety equipment and all that good stuff.]
[***Depends on who you ask.]