Spring rain can bring about many different reactions in people, but there are three that seem to be more common in my experience than others. There are those that think of rain and envision cozy sweaters, warm drinks, window seats with book in hand, and peaceful naps. The others are typically reminded of wet socks, muddy shoes, soggy hair, and an overall dampness that seems to seep into the skin and leave a chill in the bones. Then there are those that, regardless of how warm their feet are, after checking the forecast, radar, and water levels, begin gathering all of their gear and plan their next big water adventure. Because rain can mean higher water and higher water means bigger rapids, and bigger rapids mean more “woohoos” per cubic foot.
To book a tour this spring check out our Whitewater Adventures.
Most guides and experienced enthusiasts that own their own equipment will go out whether they are working or not, but one of the main reasons these people get into this line of work is not only to be able to work outdoors instead of in an office, but to be able to share their love of the outdoors with the rest of the world and help create lasting memories. Sometimes we get to share knowledge of the ecosystem, sometimes we get to share the joys of taking a break from technology and lazily floating down the river in a tube, and sometimes we get to share in the adventures like rafting in high water where you get to crest over waves that seem to stand your raft on end or plow through a huge hole and watch the water crash over the faces of your eager and smiling friends and family, or, depending on the water level, kayaking those waves and holes with just as much enthusiasm and joy.
Spring rafting and kayaking on the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers is an often forgotten experience that everyone should participate in at least once in their lives, because this means getting to experience a wild ride you won’t soon forget. Do not be deterred by the colder than usual water and/or air temperature because you can just rent a wet suit and splash top to keep you warm, or the forecast calling for rain for the next three weeks straight because you are going to be be getting wet anyway. So when you are sitting in your cozy sweater and scowling at the tracks left by muddy shoes on your floor, remember that even though it can still be a bit chilly out, there is still adventure to be had and memories to make. And getting you to play outside again just makes what we do that much more worthwhile.
So while you are now getting your friends, family, and coworkers out of the rainy doldrums and into some epic whitewater I will leave you with a saying I came up with for just these occasions: “The water has risen and so must the guide, so let’s get out there and go for a ride!”
Senior Guide and Operations Managment Team at River & Trail Outfitters