Badger run river rafting! No rollercoaster can give you this kind of a rush, wow! After waking up well rested in a beautiful chalet, generously offered to us by Paul and Joy Rose of Canyon Adventures and Riverfront Rafting & Chalets, we had a quick breakfast and met up at the raft shack to get outfitted and go through safety procedures.
We all got into a converted school bus and drove upstream about 10 kilometres to the put-in point along the Exploits River. We were sharing this experience with a bunch of thrill seekers, including a great group of people from the military. We got into the rafts and started heading downstream. The water was flowing at a lazy pace, and I thought, this looks too easy!
Until the guides decided to liven it up by playing a few fun games on the rafts. Falling in the river was usually the result for the loser; our army friends were having a great time and probably spent more time in the water than in the rafts! Well, the calm waters didn’t last long, as the water got choppier and developed into smaller rapids—awesome!
Pretty soon we were negotiating some heavy rapids and getting soaked or completely dumped in the water, grabbing onto the ropes on the sides of the raft for dear life—crazy, but loads of fun. We pulled up on shore near a rocky outcropping over some serious rapids, and then decided to go for a little swim—right in the rapids!
The idea is to jump straight into the water, let the rapids take you somewhat downstream, and then swim to safety. As the rapids here are an eddy, they swirl around almost in a circle—meaning the current may take you out, but will also pull you back to shore all on its own. I’m sitting on the rocks watching all this (taking photos) when Paul points to me. I think—this is crazy—especially after he asks me if I’m a strong swimmer, as if it’s a harbinger of things to come (luckily I am). Conquering my fear, I decide to do it and jump right in. I go down, come up for a few seconds, gasp at air, go back down but come up again, then drift quickly with the current. Now it’s time to swim, swim, swim back!
After getting back into the rafts, we continue negotiating heavy rapids, fall out of our rafts a few more times (so much fun!), try to surf the rapids and attempt nose dunks (trying to get the front of the raft pinned in the rapids, which thrusts its back vertically into the air).
We stop for a healthy lunch on a small rocky island; soaking wet, but very energized. This has been a great day. Throughout the whole river run, we had complete confidence in the highly qualified river guides at Canyon Adventures and Riverfront Rafting & Chalets. This was an amazing experience; it forced me to do some crazy stuff, yes, but sometimes you have to push yourself to see what you’re made of. Remember, you’re always stronger than you think. River rafting on the Exploits River. Try it, you’ll love it! Take a peek at Canyon Adventures and Riverfront Rafting & Chalets for more information.