Splash and Zip

Rafting on the Nantahala River

Nantahala Rafting 6Cheryl has many times described the fun she had in Arizona on a 4 day rafting trip down the Colorado River when she was in her twenties. So when we drove along the side of the Ocoee River last Sunday, she wasn’t any longer going to be put off repeating the experience. The Ocoee River is the site of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics canoe slalom and water is released on weekends by the TVA to provide fun for the many rafters and boaters who use this area. Waiting for the next weekend water release wasn’t an option for us so with some local advice, we booked a trip on the Nantahala River, site of the 2013 World Kayaking Championships. We had a great ride down the river gorge under the capable helmsmanship of Mark from Wildwater, with the final rapid descent captured by their on-staff photographer.

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Zip-lining over the Nantahala Gorge

Ready to Go?

Zip-lining was another matter. Don’t let the brochures about being one with Nature, peacefully soaring above the canopy fool you. It is a Theme Park ride in a forest! Cheryl was pretty hesitant about this activity after a morning of rafting. However, after some peer pressure from two lady Australians we had met, she finally agreed to take to the treetops with us. There was a practice session organize by our two guides to build up confidences and go over the equipment. IMG_0024I’m quite familiar with the safety harness system having taught for a short time with the Outward Bound corporate training programs. Because of this, I was able to be pretty calm about taking off 100′ over the ground (even though I don’t look it).

Cheryl did a fantastic job of overcoming her fears and completing 10 zip-line rides with only a couple of bruised ankles caused by a ‘late braking’ incident. Her final ride was perfect, ending up arriving at the end platform at the desired speed of zero mph – a perfect landing.

I found the hardest part (other than worrying about hitting trees on the way) was to judge my approach speed at the end, and not to engage the ‘panic brake’ when it looked like I was approaching too fast. I had a great time, but I don’t think Cheryl will repeat the experience – but she deserves a medal for achieving this!

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8 Comments on “Splash and Zip

  1. You guys are having much, too much FUN!! What great adventures in space and on the rapids.
    From Cheryl: You are so kind, and we are so glad you are enjoying our stories and pictures. So glad to have had these experiences, they will last a lifetime!

  2. Great fun. You guys are having too much fun. We miss you. Mer and George
    From Cheryl: We are having too much fun, George! We love you and Mer so much too, and we’ll see you soon!

  3. Excellent photos and commentary. j
    From Cheryl: Thanks for your encouraging words Jim, so glad you like Colin’s hard work!

  4. You guys are amazing. I knew you were smart and talented, but I had no idea you were such adventurers! What a great time, and great pictures. Can’t wait to hear all about it in person.
    From Cheryl: Dear Marge, We love this new adventure and so happy to share it with you. See you soon!

  5. I am thoroughly enjoying the experiences you both are having through your pictures and descriptions! Cheryl, you are my hero to have done the zip line! I am totally impressed. I have been white water rafting several times out west and in Alaska. It was always such fun. We are looking forward to getting together when you finally get home and before the next Mick Mac travel! Love and hugs, Rhona
    From Cheryl: Dear Rhona, It was a ride of a life-time and I’m glad I never have to do it again. Much too scary for me. It might have been nice if I could see, but I had my eyes shut from fear! Didn’t realize you had done white water in Alaska, that must have been quite a ride. We’ll get together soon. Love and hugs to all the Schwartz’s.

  6. Fantastic – Ocoee is great ride! Try chatooga sect 4 if you get the chance it’s nearby … Enjoy your adventures and be safe! Pat & Rose
    From Cheryl: Well actually Pat we didn’t have an option of the Ocoee river as the dam release of ‘sport’ water is only made at the weekends. I think I might have been going for the Ocoee otherwise, despite my age and infirmity. We were near the Ocoee before we did the more calm Nantahala River, and it looked a bit too rough, just having rained the day before and LOTS of water rushing. Beautiful, but too big for Colin’s first time, and it had been 40 years since my last adventure on the river. But thanks for your comments.

  7. Holy cow! That looks like great fun, and I am impressed that you and Cheryl did the river run and zip line on the same day. Impressed and happy that you are having such an adventure. Looks like you were surfing a standing wave on a couple of those pics … congrats. Dave
    From Cheryl: Dear Dave, You are right that it was Holy cow that I did the zip line at all. All I remember is being so scared to open my eyes, my heart rate was way out of sight, my sweat made my glasses fog up, and a gondola ride would have been preferred. Other than that, it was a wonderful experience to say I did it, but not during the process. So not enjoyable! Thanks for your comments, we had great fun on the river rafting!

  8. All the photos are spectacular. The realism is nice, but the artistry speaks to me. This trip of yours has had special interest to me since my brother hiked much of this area earlier this summer. The two of you look to be having a fantastic adventure!
    From Cheryl: Dear Eileen, Thanks for your lovely comments. It is very similar to your brother’s trip, same area as you said. So glad you can enjoy it with us!

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