Project 50: White Water Rafting

White Water Rafting

I have been visiting Ohiopyle for the last ten years. In that time I did not visit Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob nor venture down the famous Youghiogheny River for the famous white water rafting that Ohiopyle is known for.yough riverIt was time to remedy that!

The name Ohiopyle was derived from a native american indian word “ohiopehhla” meaning white frothy water.

Coach Hanks was a long time fan of white water rafting and we got two more Neo Trailer’s (Slim and Baby Sasquatch) to venture out for white water rafting. I’ve always heard great things about whitewater rafting, and everybody I’ve ever known that’s done it has raved about it. Whitewater rafting can be done all over the country – whether that be on california river trips, in the waters of Colorado, or of course here in Ohiopyle.

Of course we went running before. Our raft trip didn’t begin until 11 am, that gave us all morning to run! (Mine was in the form of a hike, not a run.)

mile zero Flag on Trail

Lower Yough

We booked our trip through Wilderness Voyageurs. Our trip “Captain” was Sasqatch. Maybe his real name, maybe not. We got the briefing on how to bundle ourselves into the life jackets, helmets and paddle issued. Then we were off to the Yough! (Pronounced Yock or Yuck.)

The lower loop of the Yough is very user friendly to the white water rafting companies. It’s 7.5 miles of Class III-V rapids. In addition, you would go through a rapid and then have time for some slow water to recover and get your next instructions from the guides, called a “drop and pool river”. Our trip was called “Guide Escorted” which means guides were in kayaks and rafts around us, but we captained our own boat. We had about six guides out with us on the water.

One guide would go over how they wanted us to take the rapid, like go to the right of that big rock, paddle, paddle, paddle. On some rapids, a guide would stand on a huge rock, and we would watch his hand signals to let us know when to paddle forward, when to stop paddling. The guides knew what they were doing!

white water raft

I was a bit scared in the first couple of rapids. Hence my look in the photos taken at the second rapid! I was determined to just paddle paddle paddle and get us through the white water.

concentration on raft

I started to relax a bit more and then started having fun. white water raft It was a hot day on the Yough, but there was time to jump off the raft and do a bit of a swim. It seemed about the time I was getting comfortable on white water our journey was over!

I would recommend Wilderness Voyageurs for your trip on the Yough. One, the Wilderness Voyageur Store is open year round. I like to give a little shout out for the business that is open in winter. I know, because we’ve been over winter time running out of Ohiopyle. Two, the guides were friendly and knowledgeable. I felt very safe following their directions and commands as we rafted down the Yough.

Have you gone white water rafting? Would you go again?


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