whitewater rafting

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As promised, here is my post about whitewater rafting!

I had been looking forward to it, but as Saturday approached I started to get really nervous. Why is it that whenever you tell someone you’re going whitewater rafting, they feel obligated to share a horror story?

We drove up to Ducktown, Tennessee, where the rafting place was located, along the Ocoee River (about 2 hours from Atlanta). Upon arrival, we were “debriefed” about the equipment, and what to do if you fall out. I was sooo nervous by this point. I think what really clenched it was another coworker telling me that “Class 4 rapids are not for wimps”. I am a self-proclaimed wimp.

We started on the Upper Ocoee river. Some of you may remember that the whitewater competitions for the 1996 Summer Olympics were held here. During the nights and the winters, they actually turn off the Ocoee River and use the water to generate electricity. It is turned on 54 days of the year for primarily rafting and kyaking. It’s interesting because in one section, since most of the time there is no water, there are all these small trees growing out of the water.

The beginning of the Upper Ocoee is pretty tame, and our guide was excellent. It was obvious he loved what he did. We asked him how long he’d been a guide, and he responded, “Since Tuesday.” Later he told us that this was his 11th year as a guide on the Ocoee, and he’d also been a guide on the Colorado River out west. After comparing notes with the other raft that was part of our group, we decided that who your guide is makes all the difference in the world.

The end of the Upper Ocoee, at the Olympic section, was quite exciting – going from one rapid to the next. I believe he said one of them was a Class 5, but I can’t remember for sure. We were smooth sailing down the river – it was exciting, and definitely not as scary as I was expecting. Our guide told us exactly what to expect and so we were prepared.

Then we did the Middle Ocoee, which had less intense rapids but more of them. I think I even enjoyed that more. A couple of times our guide even had us go into the rapids again, which was great fun. A few places we were able to go out and swim alongside the boat, which reminded me of lazy river rafting with Gerig. :-) I love the water!!

My favorite rapid was called Double Suck, where it got you twice. We were tossed around and water splashed all around us, but we all remained safely in the boat. I’m glad no one fell out, but I did enjoy getting wet. :-) All too soon (4 hours later!) the trip was over, and we all trooped onto the bus, exhausted and wet. I wasn’t expecting it to be such hard work, but it was fine, even for an out of shape wimp like me. We had to do a lot of paddling (it’s not a boat ride), but that really helps you concentrate and not focus on huge rapids approaching.

All in all, it was an excellent trip. I should have blogged about it yesterday when it was still fresh in my mind but… well this post is long enough already. I definitely recommend whitewater rafting!! It’s not as scary as you might think it’s going to be (unless you’re just absolutely terrified of water). SO much fun!! And it was great to hang out with my coworkers.

Okay enough of that. :-) Pictures to come later! When I get them.

surprise visitor

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There aren’t many people who would go from Nashville to Indianapolis by way of Atlanta. But Zay is one of those people, and I love her for it!! It was sooo wonderful to see her again! I don’t know how many of my dear readers have the privilege of knowing Zay, but I feel bad for those who don’t. Zay is one of the most kind, positive, selfless people I know. She’s the kind who, when you offer her a variety of food, asks first “What do you dislike the most?” and she’ll eat that. She’s the kind who is always ready for an adventure and is cool with anything you suggest. She’s the kind who loves to laugh and joke. I already miss her so much!! Thank you so much for stopping, Zay! :-)

(Note: Zay doesn’t like this picture, but I love it, so it’s going in my blog anyways ;-))

Needless to say, I had an amazing time with Zay. We went swimming illegally at 10pm, gave ourself little makeovers (not allowed to post those pictures), watched Kal Ho Naa Ho then tried to learn the dance from the engagement party song (MuKappa Airband song from last year).

Zay left Friday morning and made excellent time to Indy (Joanna L., I think she’s rivaling your time ;-)). Yesterday was the company whitewater rafting trip on the Ocoee River in Tennessee. We had so much fun. I’ll talk more about it later, because I have to leave right now for church.

much better

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Lewis is much better! I am so glad. I had taken him to the vet yesterday for his one-month checkup (for the crystals in his stomach), and his bladder was empty (for the urinalysis) so I had to leave him there all afternoon and pick him up after work. I noticed that he was very different when I picked him up – lethargic, not moving or crying. He wasn’t eating or using the litter box (I don’t think he had the energy to get up). I thought they had drugged him and it would wear off by morning, but this morning he was still very “out of it”. He was awake, but just curled up somewhere, looking dazed and glassy-eyed. Concerned, I called the vet. They told me they hadn’t given him anything so that made me even more concerned.

However, he seems to be much better. I am so relieved! He’s still a bit stiff, but he was wanting to be pet and cuddled when I got home from work, which is normal. And he was yowling for his dinner. I fed them both and a little while later I noticed that Lewis had pushed Ebony out of the way and was finishing her dinner for her. Ah, back to normal. :-)

I am so very relieved! I am fully confident that he’ll go back to waking me up at 5-6-7 in the morning starting tomorrow. :-)

this cat loves the camera… i think he knows he’s a star