One of the coolest things I’ve gotten to do in the last few years was whitewater rafting on the New River in West Virginia. It was the fun day activity for our final day of the senior high mission trip that year. No one in our group had ever been whitewater rafting before, so the excitement and fear levels were pretty high as we got ready.
The start of the trip was pretty easy, with our first set of rapids being pretty calm. There are five main classes for rapids. Class 1 is basically choppy water that you can swim through (we swam through two sets on our trip). They get progressively more difficult, with class 5 being the crazy whitewater stuff you see in the movies. You don’t want to swim in those.
As impressive as the rapids themselves are, I was more impressed with our guide. Her name was Aubie, and was, as she said, “doing the rafting guide thing to pay for my rock-climbing habit.” Every time she brought us to a set of rapids she would tell us the name of the rapid, its class and then would tell us how the boat was going to move through the rapids. She would also tell us what to do if we fell out (swim left, swim right, or just go with the flow). Read More →