Wednesday, June 1, 2011

River Rats

While we were in Maine for the Memorial Day weekend, Brett hooked us up with a rafting adventure!  Some of y'all may know that Brett was an Eagle Scout growing up and spent plenty of time hiking, camping, rafting and doing other outdoorsy stuff.

It's probably no shock that Heather is sort of the polar opposite...her version of camping is visiting a Bass Pro Shop.

Up for a new adventure while in Maine, we found ourselves about 30 miles south of the Canadian border hooked up with the Magic Falls Rafting Company in The Forks, ME.  (and no it's not Forks, ME, but The Forks, ME)

We signed up to go rafting down the Dead River...which if you know your American History, you'll remember that in 1775, Col. Benedict Arnold led a force of 1000 men through Maine as part of an invasion of Canada.  The group proceeded up the North Branch of the Dead River to get into the watershed of Quebec's Chaudiere River...and who says you won't learn anything on this blog???

The Magic Falls Rafting Company base camp was basically out in the middle of nowhere, but the ride was beautiful heading there...

Because the water temperature was a balmy 47 degrees, we were given some smokin' hot wet suits to sport during our rafting adventure.  Of course, they complimented our wool socks and water shoes.

Debbie Gibson inspired Heather's acid wash pants with pseudo leggings underneath.  
Heather soon discovered when you find yourself bobbing up and down in a river colder than a well digger's hiney, it doesn't really matter what you look like.

It really was a 'frozen smile'.
We were sorted into a rafting group with four Indian men from New York City and a girl who had the hots for our river guide.  (Heather was really sad that no one got her "paddle faster, I hear banjos" was completely lost on this Yankee crowd)

Of our entire crew, only the girl, Brett and the guide had ever been rafting before.  

Recent rains in the area had the Dead River up a bit higher than normal, and our scheduled Class II and III rapids turned into Class IV & V!  We cruised down 15 miles of almost continuous rapids, including the infamous Poplar Falls, which is the longest continuous rapid in the entire state of Maine!

Our rafting adventure got a little tense for a minute when one of the NYC guys took a spill over the raft.  He floated so far away from our boat that our guide had to throw him the lifeline rope to pull him in.  After spending about 10 minutes in the water, the poor guy was in shock by the time we dragged him back into the boat!

Luckily, Heather and Brett managed to stay in the raft the entire ride, but Heather did loose her paddle at one point and managed to whack the guide in the face trying to get it back.

Maybe for Halloween this year we'll go as Huckelberry Finn & Becky Thatcher...just a thought.