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Published: February 2nd 2018
A view of the rapids
My husband and I live near the Triad area of North Carolina, and we’ve been itching to get up to the North Carolina Whitewater Rafting Center in nearby Charlotte, NC. Never one for adventurous water sports, I’ll admit that I was a little less intrigued by the idea than my husband. An Eagle Scout, he’s always been more drawn to outdoor expeditions than I have been! Still, when we researched all there was to do at the Center, we were both excited to go. This was piggybacking on our recent jaunt to New Jersey, where he accompanied me on my work conference. When we got back from that trip, we realized how much we missed spending a little time together as a couple. We absolutely adore our babies, but experts reveal
that a little time away can make parents appreciate family time that much more! So when our parents offered to keep the kids for another night, we jumped at the opportunity to steal a little time together again. It was also convenient, as Charlotte is only about an hour away so if anyone needed us, we could be home quickly.
When we arrived at the Whitewater Rafting Center, we immediately signed
Choppier than we expected!
up to take a rafting trip down the water. I’ve never been whitewater rafting, and this was certainly a great way to get my feet wet, no pun intended! Olympic hopefuls actually train here
, so even though it’s a man-made river, it was built to be as realistic as possible, and it certainly was! We attended an in-depth and very informative training course before we set off, which was definitely needed. We learned why each piece of safety gear was needed, and how to put it on. We also learned what to do in the event that we’re separated from the raft for any reason, and how to bring ourselves to safety. You’d think a recreational spot like the Center wouldn’t be an especially risky place, but the rapids are real and it was important to know how to properly swim to safety should our raft capsize, or we find ourselves thrown.
Then the fun part happened! We set off! It was a little choppier than I’d envisioned, but it was a great time nonetheless. We didn’t fall off, though a few people on our raft did, and were able to safely get back on. It was a long journey
View from the cafe.
and our guide was great, so I definitely feel like we got our money’s worth on that part! Then, we headed a little ways into the woods for the obstacle course. I hadn’t attempted a course like that since I was in youth group at church retreat years ago, so I was a little unsure how it would go. The basic elements of the course were a rock climbing wall that led to a zipline. I got my harness on and started climbing. This should be easy, I thought to myself. It’s not that high up and besides, I’m totally supported!
Turns out, it was much more nerve-wracking than I’d first anticipated. After about two steps, I started to shake all over from the nerves. Even though I knew the harness would catch me if I fell, it still felt like I was totally up there on my own. I went at a snail’s pace, and forbid myself to look down. When I finally got to the top, my voice was shaking as I asked for help onto the platform. I’m all about taking risks and pushing myself out of my comfort zone, but that was my limit. I definitely won’t be rock climbing again any time soon, and any hopes of climbing Kilimanjaro
are absolutely out the door! Then, it came time for the zipline. I got up on the platform at the same time as a boy who looked about 10 years old. We got all set up for the zip line and sat on the edge of the platform together. “You go first!” I yelled to him, and he shook his head. “No way!” he replied. “You go first, you’re older!” I had to laugh, because he was right! So I set the example and found the courage to push myself off the platform. Then, I was soaring! It was so fun and my husband was right behind me.
Once we were both back on the ground, I was still shaking and my nerves were still shot from the rock climbing, so we decided it was time for lunch. We headed to the on-site cafe and split some fried pickles and hamburgers. It was definitely needed and helped me re-fuel for the rest of the trip. We spent the next hour or so exploring some more of the Center’s exhibits and headed back to our hotel for the evening. Overall, it was definitely an adventure I won’t soon forget. It was thrilling, a little scary, and totally fun and a great way for us to bond. We’re back home now, but we’re already talking about going back as a family once the kids are a little older. I guess it’s true that sometimes the best trips are the ones that expand your horizon just a little and encourage you to try new and exciting new things!
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