Whitewater Rafting and Gatlinburg

Trip Start Jun 01, 2014
Trip End Jun 13, 2014

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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Saturday, June 7, 2014

As I mentioned yesterday, Gatlinburg is a little bit commercialized itself.  And scary....

Today was pretty exciting. I checked off one of my Bucket List items.  Mike and I got to go White Water Rafting for the first time.  I was already slightly nervous and then the guide showed us a video on what to do if you fall out of the raft.  She told us that at least one person falls out on each trip.  Then we found out our guide was a rookie which didn't instill a lot of confidence.  Nevertheless, we donned our life jackets (which they now call personal flotation devices) our helmets and were given our paddles.   

  I naively thought I was going to just take a seat and enjoy the ride.  Not  so.  After we were bussed to the drop off, we got to CARRY the raft from the bus to the river.  That sucker was HEAVY!  Then the guide asked us where we wanted to sit.  I said I didn’t care but somehow Mike and I ended up in the front.  I wasn’t sure how I felt about that but I discovered pretty quick that the front is the splash zone and that water was C-O-L-D!!!!!  Everytime we would go in the rapids I would scream (but not from the rapids but from the cold water splashing us).  The first rapids were Class 2 and Class 3.  They were just the right amount of fun.  Then we approached the Class 4 rapids.  Mike and I both almost lost it. 

  In fact Mike had to overcompensate once and ended up in the bottom of the raft.  But that was better than the bottom of the river.  One of the guys on the other raft did fall out.  He looked pretty shaken up but it looked like he followed all the instructions from the video.  LOL.  We really had a great trip despite our rookie getting us stuck a couple of times, going backwards a couple of times, and having to seriously duck to the bottom of the raft to avoid some branches.  But hey, it was definitely an adventure and we got some awesome pictures.

When we got off the river we were as hungry as a bear so it was fitting to eat at a little café we found called the Hungry Bear.  The BBQ pit was outside and we could see them cooking the meat from our window.  

  We then took a side trip to Smokey National Park.  The road we took reminded me of the river road next to the Guadalupe but the river reminded me more of the Blanco River in the Texas Hill Country.  Of course it was gorgeous and we stopped a few places to take pics.

Then we drove back into crazy Gatlinburg.  What a contrast.  Now remember it is Saturday.  And Gatlinburg’s traffic makes Houston look pretty calm.  We couldn’t wait to get back to the hotel so we could park our car.  We then to the Ober Gatlinburg Tram up the mountain and from there a ski lift that is used in the winter.  I think the elevation was around 5800.  Had a beautiful view of Gatlinburg and the Smokies.  

Then we did some more shopping in Gatlinburg, found an incredible Italian restaurant and rolled home from all the food.  Lord help me get into my pants the rest of this trip!
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