What’s the first thing that you think of when you hear the words “whitewater rafting?” Some things that come to mind may be “dangerous or risky.” After personally experiencing a rafting trip, though, I think of “eye-opening.” Sure, it was exciting, but also surprisingly about insightful.
While rafting in Harper’s Ferry, WV near D.C., I was impressed by my river guide, Artie. As soon as we left shore of the Shenandoah River, he immediately began our lesson. As we crossed the river he explained that the current is stronger on the right side of the river in that particular area during that season. At one point on our trip we were shown two Bald Eagles and were told how sixteen birds now populated the area after two were reinstated in the area just a few years ago. As we crossed into the Potomac River, we heard about how Harper’s Ferry had once been anticipated to be one of the biggest cities in America due to the two rivers: the Shenandoah, which flows northernly, and the Potomac, which flows south-eastern. The two rivers merge in Harper’s Ferry make it an excellent trading and traveling opportunity. It was amazing to hear how much my guide knew about rafting, the natural and historic aspect of our journey, and to learn about and witness it first hand.
Whitewater rafting can be mistaken as an activity only for risk-takers. What about people who want to expand their knowledge while experiencing something new? It is actually really easy to pay attention and retain information when you are thrown into a new environment with a knowledgeable guide. You naturally want to get to know your surrounds because you are curious. Whitewater rafting is a fun, exciting, and unconventional way to get out there and learn something new.