Throwback Thursday – White Water Rafting in the Smoky Mountains

With the wonderful ride I just completed in the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains, my memories went back to the vacation I took there in 1990. There were lots of wonderful activities but one of my favorites was a white water rafting trip that was both exciting and frustrating. Here is a photo the rafting company sold us as we cleared some of the final rapids.

You can see me and another gentleman at the rear of the boat struggling to steer the raft through the rapids. Indeed five of the six passengers fought bravely down the river. If you look closely there are five paddles in the river. The sixth, bless her heart, center of the photo, was either eight or nine months pregnant and should not have come on the trip. She never paddled at all and the rest of us had to compensate for her lack of paddling and yet added presence. I really worried for her but she made it safely to the end. I did find a T-Shirt to wear on the bus that we road back to our cars that said “Paddle Or Die.” I didn’t mean it, not really, or not a lot anyway. But it was a rough trip for most of us aboard. Odd to think that the baby would now be about thirty years old and may be on a rafting trip with odd sensations of deja vu that the person cannot quite identify! Happy Thursday!

As always you can find more at and on Twitter @walterthinnes

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