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Rafting is a rush, whatever way you sluice it. I had the pleasure of rafting some Class IV and V rapids one warm sunny day in Maine. It was a very intense experience, and in some cases a little harry. Needless to say, it was called a double dip trip. This trip, mentioned as only being for the most physically fit, was a two time trip on the Penobscot river's Class IV and V rivers. When you are ready to raft prepare to fall into rapids, prepare to paddle, wear sunscreen, and have some experience rafting first. I know it is barely spring, but I am ready for summer already! Let's get into it.
White Ware Rafting the Penobscot River in Maine
Near the river, off the still used lumber mill roads are adventure companies. I went with Northern Outdoors: Maine Adventure . They provided us with a quick rundown on safety after we signed our waivers. I was nervous, especially after hearing the safety rules because at one point the guide said that if we fall in lift your legs up so that the rocks don't hit you or bring you down under, and if you forget that or loose your helmet then kiss your arse goodbye! That was comforting, I had a little heart palpitation. My first run down the river was fun, the first thing you see are two granite walls with a rushing, huge river slicing through it. Time to travel back to glacial eras, the water ran down over the Class V rapid which our guide called "the fist of God." Yep, so we went down, carefully cutting around the fist, sliding on the water near the wall. It was a rush to "survive" mother natures fury. But, that was short lived!
How I fell in the Penobscot River
No, I"m not a fraidy cat, I'm a thrill seeker.But, this was more than I wanted. See, on our second run when I was in the front paddling we hit a granite wall near the fist which yawned before us with water pushing at a crushing speed near this paleolithic boulder. OF course, this time I was in the front. The guide yelled paddle over and over again. Then he stopped and said "say your prayers". At this time, I had a choice allow my foot to fall out of the sleeve that held it or fall in with everyone and the boat. So I let go first, but make no mistake everyone was behind me. So, imagine water loud, rocks beating against you, and I was dragged under for a while. I was panicking, trapped, but something said "lift you legs." I did and came up far from the fist. I was caught in the fist according to my shipmates. They asked me how it was. I told them it was loud, and it hurt. I had two fractured ribs from that excursion. So, it was a thrill.
So this is what carnage on the river looks like!
Take it easy at first, only go with Class 111 and work your way up. There are many white water places in the US, some are right at our door here in New England.
1. Crab Apple WhiteWater- Right now, they are offering mom's a chance to raft for free. I'm tempted.
2. New England Outdoor Center- They offer the double trouble trip like I took where you are able to raft class IV and V rapids and get a BBQ dinner. (my dinner afterwards was sooo yummy)
3. Zoar Outdoor- Based in Charlemont, MA-they don't stop at rafting. They offer zip adventures.
Stay safe, and have fun! Have you rafted?
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