Recently the Weekend ReTweaters were invited on a River Expeditions adventure white water rafting on the New River in West Virginia. Lindsey Evans, Janice Robinson, Vicki Esh and I had the time of our lives white water rafting! It was a weekend of adrenaline rush fun, laughing until it hurt and relaxing in our luxury cabin complete with a hot tub! Perfect way to escape from it all!
I’ve never been white water rafting. Admittedly, I was a little nervous (ok…scared). Turns out I had nothing to fear. I haven’t laughed that much in a long time.
We arrived on Friday afternoon to get settled into our home for the weekend. River Expeditions has accommodations for everyone! You can tent camp, tent camp on a platform (tent and foam mattress included) or stay in small cabins, deluxe cabins or luxury cabins. We were thrilled with our luxury cabin with a kitchen, five bedrooms, two baths, wide screen tv, porch with rocking chairs for porch sitting and a deck with a hot tub and grill. The cabin would be perfect for a group of couples or any group of friends.
Tent camping looked like a lot of fun… I even hear the showers were nice.
- #1 great use of the hill side
- #2 avoid tent set up and couples feuds over how to do it!
River Expeditions base camp is right outside Fayetteville, a historic little town that reminds me of a hippy Yellow Springs in the mountains. We headed into town for dinner, choosing Dirty Ernie’s for BBQ, and then onto sightseeing. The New River Bridge is a sight to see!
Vicki and I got up early to enjoy breakfast at the Cathedral Cafe in Fayetteville. Thanks Vicki for the pic of me! I love this coffee house, with a creative hippy vibe and huge stained glass windows from it’s past life as a church. Their Cheddar Jack Omelet was just what I needed before my big adventure. However, I began to feel a little more nervous when I noticed that I was in the land of tattoos and no body fat. These fabulously fit people made me wonder if I was fit enough for a white water adventure? My insecurities didn’t help, but I’m not one to back down from an adventure.
All the guides are a perfect mix of crazy fun and safety minded professionalism. Marcus, our trip leader, leaned on the crazy fun side. I knew we were in for a fun day. I suspect that River Expeditions hand picked Brad to be our guide for the day, a veteran of the river and guiding adventures. He had his hands full with us girls. We couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to be matched with for the day, a group from Ohio who were just as fun loving as we are. After going through all the safety lessons and learning the rowing commands, I was ready to get this party started.
Adrenaline pumping, we charged our first rapid. Yep, my face tells the story. In all the pictures my smile is a mile long. I’m surprised that I didn’t drown from taking in the river while laughing hysterically. I don’t remember a single rapid that scared me, which could be a result of Brad making it look easy. He knows the river!
A few times throughout the day we got to hear stories of Brad’s adventurous lifestyle. He has seen so many cool places and trekked through America’s beautifully rugged places. The combination of having my first real outdoor adventure and listening to Brad’s stories left me with a desire to jump outside my comfort zone more and experience life!
The day was filled with creating great stories of our own and the first prank of the day was on me. First off, Brad made a point of telling us to make sure you go in feet first out of the raft if you plan to get into the water. Lindsey took advantage of the first chance to jump in, while I stayed in. Helping Lindsey back into the boat went something like this…
Lindsey: Would you be mad if I pulled you in?
Tiff: Yes, I’d be pissed
I finally pulled Lindsey safely in, which is not so easy to do, and slapped her on the butt for the fun of it. Don’t ask why. I don’t know. As we turned to take our seats and continue down the river she tackled me into the water backwards, HEAD FIRST.
My first response: Lindsey he said FEET FIRST!
Watching the video later, Vicki observed how ironic that a rule would be the first thing to come to my mind. She never remembers me following the rules. Yes, rules are to be observed when it serves me.
We had several fun times throughout the day. Jumping off a 30 foot rock was not my idea of fun, but Janice attempted it. After several tries, she finally went off and unfortunately landed chest first, hard to explain. Poor Brad thought he might have the only casualty at the rock. Another really fun part of the trip was Josh “riding the bull.” Josh was brave enough to sit on the front of the boat going through the last rapids. I may volunteer for that one next time.
Returning to the River Expeditions base camp, we cleaned up and joined the rafters and guides at the Red Dog River Saloon to see our trip videos and scarfed down a steak dinner at River Expedition’s restaurant. (PS… you’d have to read the Blogges to understand why we thought the Rooster was so funny!) Exhausted, we enjoyed the rest of the evening hanging out with our new friends at our luxurious cabin. Janice’s video footage of the day had us in tears laughing.
All the way home we reminisced about our very amusing adventure. I realized that for a whole weekend I didn’t think about the worries of life or anything important. It was simply a weekend of getting outside my comfort zone and laughing at myself.
I’ve added a few more items to my bucket list. I now feel comfortable to do the next level. I would love to return to River Expeditions for the Gauley or Bridge Day. You will never see me jumping off the bridge, but would love to witness it and celebrate the season at their after-party at the Red Dog River Saloon.