Rafting down the Nantahala

Last Friday Seth had went rafting down the Nantahala River in NC, and it was such a blast! I used to go down rivers all the time (usually on a canoe or a raft, sometimes on a tube), and it had been about 8 years since the last time I was on a river. I really missed it! On the way down to NC we accidentally took this crazy road through the mountains that made us both nauseous...turns out that road has a name: The Tail of the Dragon.

Yep. According to the website, it is America's #1 motorcycle and sports car road with 318 sharp curves in 11 miles. There were hundreds of motorcycles on the road with us, and photographers at every other curve taking pictures of them. The road was crazy (and we took a different route back), but I have to admit...I feel kind of proud that we "conquered" it. Apparently that's a big deal! We even saw a church in the town after that stretch of road that said, "Dragon Slayers welcome!" I'm not sure if we count at Dragon Slayers though since we were in a 4-door sedan ;)

Now...on to the rafting pictures! We took one of those disposable waterproof cameras, and I'm so glad we did. Here we are right before getting into the water for the first time, all excited.

The Nantahala is a freezing river, so I opted for the wetsuit :)

It was not always this calm, by the way...these are just the only times we could take pictures.

Of course we had to stop for a Toastchee break...

At the end of the the 8 miles is Nantahala Falls and a camera to catch your expression as you go down them. There was a specific way to go down the waterfall (they told us all about it at the beginning of the day), and Seth hit it right on the mark. Here he is right before the waterfall:

And here is right after:

Way to go, Seth! I, on the other hand, did NOT hit it right on the mark. I was doing fine until this jerk in a kayak came up to me right before the waterfall and said, "Good luck...you know 1 in 4 ducks [the individual kayak/rafts we were in] flip on that waterfall." Of course I flew into a panic and paddled over to the side to freak out / contemplate if I should go down or not. I decided to do it, but pulling over threw me off course and I couldn't straighten up in time for the waterfall. So....I headed towards the waterfall BACKWARDS. My duck turned a little to the side just in time for me to see what I was in for:

Heh heh :) Its funny now, but at the time I was terrified! I ended up making it down the falls just fine...I didn't flip or anything:

What a relief! Here we are the bridge over the river before heading home:

Our hands were sore from paddling and we were exhausted, but the whole experience was so exhilarating and I can't wait to do it again next year.


Lollie Lane said...

ya'll are so cute.

jeannieo said...

I had a toastchee break today, and I thought of you!

allison said...

this looks so fun... i'm determined to go camping this year when it finally starts to cool off here. maybe i'll have to add rafting to the mix! miss you guys!

Anonymous said...

Libby, that is awesome!! I can't believe you did that in your OWN raft! I've done rafting b/f but always w/ others in my raft--and them doing most of the work :) I love all the pics, especially the panicked one of you, and the last one of the 2 of you is beautiful--a framer for sure. Glad you had so much fun, and that you stayed safe!! --Slash