Amazing Kids! Magazine

Adventures Through the George

By Ava Hatcher, age 13, Ohio

 

We put the raft in the calm, cold water. I looked down. The water was like a mirror. It was a foggy morning, so I could barely make out what was down the river. When we took our places in the raft, I was in the back with my dad right across from me. Our tour guide was telling us the basics of rafting, and it seemed she was patronizing us! I was terrified. Since I was in the back, I was sure I would be the one to fall out. But I have always been an optimist, so I thought it would turn out okay.

Then I looked up and saw a big, gray cloud. I looked down the river, and it started to get louder and closer to us; soon raindrops pelted us. Once we moved out of the rain, the clouds faded away, and the sun was shining down on us for the rest of the day. As I looked around, I saw the monstrous, green trees standing over me. It was beautiful.

As we moved farther down the river, I heard the water flowing gracefully. When we moved deeper into the gorge, it got louder and louder. This was our first rapid. It seemed like we were approaching the rapid slowly, but we were at the top of the rapid in the blink of an eye. It felt like time froze. I was so excited and nervous; I thought I was going to die. It was a bumpy ride down. Getting splashed with water, we raced up and down the rocks. There was not a patch of dry skin on us by the time we hit the bottom.

After we got through the easy rapids, I was so excited! Going down made me feel like I could do anything. Our tour guide told us we were going to approach a Category III rapid. It was more intense than the Category I rapid, and I got a little more nervous. It took us a little while to get to the rapid because we had to go down a long river. We were allowed to jump off the raft and swim down the river until we had to get back in.

After about five minutes, the rapid was approaching. All of a sudden, I got very nervous because it was even louder and bigger when I saw it. The boat raced down the rapid. I was bouncing around with my friends, and we were screaming all the way down. When we approached the bottom, there was a whirlpool-like thing that spun you around if you went in. Our tour guide told us we had to try our best to stay out of it, and we did stay out of it!

About three minutes later, the Category V was coming. I could see it approaching. This was a monstrous rapid. Water was splashing on the rocks, and there were tons of rocks in the water. The rapid looked very complex to paddle around. All I saw was white water all over. It was like a million tiny people running down the rocks. I was so nervous because there were five big, solitary rocks sticking out, and I was thinking we were going to hit one and get flattened like a pancake. We headed down the rapid, and it was bumpy and fast. Water was splashing everywhere; I could barely see since the water filled my eyes. After twisting and turning around all of the gigantic rocks, we went for one last small ride down the rapid. When we settled at the bottom, we were hooting and hollering because it was so fun! We wanted to go back up and do it all again!

I was no longer scared. I realized at that moment that I could do anything. I was excited to race down all of the rapids!

We were getting toward the end of our trip, and there was one last rapid. This was a smaller one, so I was ready. Our tour guide let all four girls sit in the very front of the raft. We were all drenched! We were approaching a bridge. Beaming above us, this bridge was about 880 feet tall. This marked the end of our trip. On the bus back to our campsite, my dad started talking to me. “Ava, what did you think about that Category V rapid?” he asked excitedly.

“I was super nervous at first, but when we got to the bottom, I wanted to do it all over again!”

He laughed. My dad knew I was nervous, so he was very proud I did it. “Would you say you became more confident of yourself?” he asked me.

“Yes, I would say I became much more confident of myself.”

I smiled, and we talked about our favorite parts. When we got back to our campsite, there was a ropes course we could do. Since I learned how confident I could be, I did the ropes course and went on one of the hardest ones. I completed it and became even more confident!