Maryland Outdoor Club
Sat, Jul 12 2003 - Whitewater Rafting & Camping (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): Amy Pickwick
Participants:Amy Pickwick, Rebecca Firoved, Aaron Firoved, Trent Cooper, Gina Vachino, Kristen Buck, Laura Hustead, Jesse Allen, Keira Wickliffe, Adam Miller, Christine Bowles, David Bowles, Laura Paszkiewicz, Mara, Alan Fonteneau, Mark Zawodny, Colin Babb, Katie Stofer, Todd Biggs, Rani Gran, KC Yi, Andrew Malchow, Brian Loughery, Ryan Meadows, Young Kim

Write Up:
What a trip! What an experience! I think everyone will admit that they had a great time. So if you missed us on this trip and want to hear a bit about it well, then, here it goes....

Our group met up early Saturday morning in front of The Bon Ton Dept Store in Frederick, MD for Dunkin Donuts, bagels, gourmet box coffee, juice and fruit. As each person began to arrive, we took some time to mingle and meet the new faces and to say hi to the returning ones. There were 27 of us in all and we were all filled with anticipation of what the day was going to bring. (One more joined us at the rafting outfitter).

Carpooling was a trip; relocating camping gear from one car to the next was an interesting event. Once we got loaded up, time began to fly. Several of us stopped at the scenic Sideling Hill tourist rest area to take a pit stop, and to catch a great view of the rolling hills of Maryland while others had to evaluate whether their smoking car was going to make it through the duration of the trip. It did, and we were all glad.

We arrived at our destination (White Water Adventures in Ohiopyle State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania) about 30 minutes prior to launch. Due to the height of the water, the rafting company decided to serve us lunch prior to rafting, as opposed to serving it during the trip itself. The lunch was better than expected as we had our choice of breads and meats for the deli sandwiches and choice of water, tea or lemonade for the drinks. This is the best lunch set up I've seen yet from any outfitter. For our viewing purposes, they provided videos of other people's adventures down the river and through the Dimple - the most dangerous spot on this river. The dimple looked pretty rough on film and definitely got some people's attention. This is also the spot that the river had claimed a rafter the week just before our trip.

Immediately after lunch, we grabbed our helmets and already wet life preservers and joined the head guide in the training area by school bus. The guide did have some people fooled thinking there was a difference between right and left handed paddles. During the instruction the sunshine we had been enjoying turned into a massive rainstorm. This cut the training short and got us out onto the dangerous water even faster. Not sure how this makes sense with safety and all, but anyway we trudged down the hill and into the water ready to go.

The water was over 6 feet high (normally 2.5 foot tall) so the outfitter took us in guided 8 to 10 man rafts as opposed to the usual 4 to 5 with the guides kayaking separately. The rain had quit, long enough for everyone to get cold with goose bumps and chattering teeth. We lost one person into the first set of rapids only to wonder what the rest of the excursion was going to entail. Luckily, no one else fell out of the raft unintentionally the rest of the day.

For those that never rafted before that was all right with them initially, but by the time we were half way down the river they were asking for more. How ironic. If it was more they wanted it was more they got when a select few were allowed to ride the bull - Young, Amy, Lindsay and Ryan. I can't tell you what they experienced but I can tell you what I saw and heard. I know most of us won't ever forget it, especially when the raft went near vertical with our designated bull riders riding the top of the raft, bouncing up and down with each wave we hit. Interesting enough they survived, but not with out a few screams and I can't believe you set me up for that comments. :-) Haha. One raft, not in our group, did a vertical flip going through the same set of rapids. I think they all made it back into the raft safely.

Towards the end of the river, some of us dove into the water and some of us swam while other rafts got into water fights. This is the first time we have seen another guide run, leap

Have some photos from this event that you'd like to share in our photo album? Please forward them to Amy Lipsius at Please note that we prefer to receive the photos in approximately 640x480 or 750x500 pixels - do NOT send original high-res photos. If you have a LOT of photos, please submit up to twenty of your favorites (only) for a day event, or up to forty of your favourites for a multi-day event. Thank you.