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Rafting Retreat

Julianne Connors

This weekend was Alpha Chi‘s annual rafting retreat in Ocoee, TN. There was tons of sisterhood bonding and fun!

We set out Friday afternoon for the three hour drive to just east of Chattanooga. I had actually been to this tiny town three months prior. The summer program that I did took us rafting the first weekend in June to the same river. Unfortunately, eastern Tennessee had abnormally high rainfall this summer, so the river was traveling too fast to allow rafting. Instead, we went on a nice calm trip down a nearby river. I was definitely excited though after being denied once.

We ready to raft!

The rafting place had some cabins that we stayed in Friday night before our excursion. We spent the night playing board games (I’m a new fan of Dutch BIitz) and it was really fun just hanging out with my sisters. Saturday morning we got up and had bagels for breakfast before we had to go to the safety talk for rafting. I’d consider myself pretty knowledgeable about white-water rafting at this point, considering I’ve gone three times in the past three months on three different rivers. Each time the experience is enjoyable but I’ve learned how rapids that look really scary aren’t actually that bad.

Soon we were off on the river, paddling away and through the rapids. The Ocoee River was probably my favorite so far just because there were so many rapids and they were pretty big. At one point we got to swim, which was wonderful, since the weather was rather warm. I also sat on the front of the raft at one point-it’s called riding the bull. It was a little scary with having my feet dangling off the end, holding on for dear life, and getting drenched, but I ended up having a  lot of fun!

Once the trip was over, we got food and headed back to Vandy. For a less than 24 hour adventure, I certainly enjoyed white-water rafting and having time to get to know my sisters better!

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