Letter from Publisher, August 2018

Most wedding anniversaries are celebrated by a romantic dinner over candlelight, or a lovely bow-wrapped gift together with a romantic card. Wayne and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary on July 13. His gift to me was a whitewater rafting trip on the Chatooga River. It was a day filled with fun, adventure, a lot of water, and a little bit of gut-wrenching fear.

In the short time we’ve been married, a tradition has been established to commemorate our wedding anniversary. It goes like this—Wayne plans a surprise, one or two day trip to someplace he thinks I will enjoy. I receive no details except what clothes I will need and about how long it will take to get there. This may sound crazy to you but since we both enjoy traveling and experiencing new things, and since he’s had a pretty good—albeit short—batting average, I haven’t been too concerned.

A very faint alarm did go off when I heard “wear grubby clothes”. Since we’ve done some low-level hiking, I decided to ignore the warning. Our last anniversary was a gourmet picnic on the Blue Ridge trail followed by an easy/moderate short hike. What could go wrong? When I saw the sign Wildwater Chatooga Rafting, I could think of a few things, like definitely getting wet, possibly being dumped upside down in a roaring river, and the slim possibility I might not live to tell about it.

I was wrong on all three counts. I didn’t get wet—I got drenched. I didn’t get dumped upside down but I did almost topple out of the raft. And, obviously, I have lived to tell about it. It was a beautiful day, weather-wise; our companions in the raft were friendly and funny; and our guide, although not to be counted as one of the most experienced, kept us out of harm’s way.

For anyone considering whitewater rafting, the trip lasted six hours. The whitewater we traveled over ranged from Level 2 and 3, up to the pinnacle called Bull’s Sluice, which is a level 4 (see picture below; we’re the two in the front). This is a well-known rocky, rough-water area where the chances are 1 in 10 that an occupant will tumble overboard. I counted my blessings that I wasn’t the lucky number 1. Our special day ended with us tired, wet, and happy that we had survived the adventure. I may drop a hint for next year that skydiving is not an option.

Peace and blessings,

Roberta Bolduc