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Whitewater Rafting at Great Falls (lunch along the river is included)

Please read the entire write-up so that you know what the details and logistics of the event comprise.

 

 

 

 

Here we are getting suited up at our last rafting adventure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here we are getting our safety talk before we head down to the river

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And they're still smiling!

 

 

 

 

The first 30 rafters who pay the $58 by check are in; make out the check to me and mail it to me.

We are meeting at Carderock, Maryland, at 9:30 AM, and then heading across to Great Falls, Virginia, by bus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And there they go, over the placid area of the river.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many residents of the Washington, D.C. metro area don't even know about the existence of this fantastic water activity.

 

 

We have a special use permit from NPS to raft here.  It is a bit difficult to walk over the sharp rocks, but we'll be okay.

 

 

 

 

Here is the put in.  You always want to scout it thoroughly before you enter it, since once you're in you're gone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The red arrow points to the put in.

 

 

 

This trip is safe and wholly appropriate for novices, but limited to adults who are over 18.  No prior whitewater rafting experience is needed. You may bring guests on the trip.  However, the ability to listen and follow directions are required.

The pictures you see here are from our prior rafting trip, and all had a fantastic time.  Naturally, lunch is included in the price, and we all eat well along the river.

 

 

On our last trip, we assembled at the scenic overlook beside Great Falls as the tourists stared at us all wide-eyed.

 

 

We will have a 4.5 mile whitewater trip on the Potomac River starting at Great Falls, Virginia, right where we begin our hikes. We are putting in at the river just below the majestic waterfalls on the Virginia side, walking down to the river from the Visitor Center, and our group will give the tourists plenty of time to run to the scenic outlooks to get photos of us.

As well as lunch (since food is always a part of my activities), we get a guide for each raft, and all the safety gear such as a helmet, a lifevest, and a paddle.  If you fall out of the raft, you will be plucked out and put back in the raft.  The swimming in the placid area is voluntary, and you do not need to swim or know how to swim on this trip.

We are meeting in Carderock, Maryland, past Old Angler's, by the Naval Surface Warfare Center, and we will get transported across the river to Great Falls National Park, Virginia. The National Park Service has approved this trip.  All attendees will need a posted profile photo to RSVP.

 

 

After going over each rapid, it is good to do a head count - all heads are usually accounted for.

 

 

 

We will be getting wet, and swimming, so, while the river can be chilly and the sun can be strong, for our safety and enjoyment, it is suggested that we bring:

  • Sunscreen
  • Thermal top or rain shell (not cotton) and, if it is hot, a T-shirt (and shorts)
  • Hat for sun protection
  • Sunglasses with retainers
  • Light sneakers or sport sandals or water shoes (not flip flops)
  • Sturdy water bottle (not glass or metal)

Note that the member from our group who had water bottles duct-taped on his ankles on a prior trip had a special permit to do so.  Bring a change of clothes and keep them in your car for the trip home.

Please be aware of the cancellation policy. That is, there will be no refunds for cancellations, no shows, or late arrivals, regardless of the reason. If you are late because of traffic or you saw something interesting along the way or you got lost or you fell asleep in your driveway, you will miss the trip and there will be no refunds. The outfitter reserves the right to cancel the trip due to unsafe water or severe weather conditions. If a cancellation is made by the outfitter, then each will get a full refund.

 

 

It took no time for even first-timers to learn all the key strokes to control the rafts in the rapids.  And how to hitch a free ride.

 

We are meeting at Carderock Park, Maryland, and the outfitter's bus will take us to Great Falls, Virginia.  Note that the final RSVP comprises actual payment for the trip that is made to me.  Any checks I get beyond the first 30, I will tear up those additional checks, and let the pertinent senders know of it.  If there are any questions regarding this trip, please contact me by email.

 

 

 

Here are some of our members heading towards the next set of rapids.

 

 

We can take 30 people, and it is $58 per person (this includes a $3 park admission fee) and payment must be made to me by check. Lunch is provided for us on the river. Entertainment will be provided in that cost as well.  And we are using Potomac payments instead of Amazon payments (i.e., checks by mail or cash if you see me at an event).  The payment is the RSVP.

 

 

Always watch out for dangerous debris on the river - this one is known as a Floating Tom.

 

 

There are two required forms that all attendees must complete and submit: "Great Falls Rafting Medical Form" and "Great Falls Rafting Liability Waiver" and these are required by the National Park Service since we have special permission to use the area for this activity.  You can send me the payment by check only (made out to me) as well as the two completed forms in the same envelope.  Here are the links:

Whitewater Rafting Medical Form

Whitewater Rafting Waiver

Bob's Mailing Address For Payments

Please be ready to leave at 9:30 AM in the parking lot in Carderock, Maryland.  Here are the directions:  http://www.outdoorexcursions.com/courses/Rafting-FAQs.html

 

Three-foot waves make for a challenging landing, but all did fine - one can even see the red helmet of one of our members going for a swim.

 

 

 

 

This is why it is good policy to tip the guide with the rescue rope.

 

 

 

As noted, bring some cash to tip the guides after our trip, but keep it discreetly locked in your car.

Directions to our meeting point in Carderock, Maryland:

From the Beltway (I-495) get off at exit 41, marked Clara Barton Parkway/Carderock, going towards Great Falls, MD (makes sure you are heading away from DC).

Follow the signs to Carderock on the Clara Barton Parkway.

The Carderock Park Recreation area is part of the C&O Canal National Historical Park.

Yes, that is an operational SAM missile battery located on your right on the grass, in front of the Naval Surface Weapons Center.

Exit the Clara Barton Parkway after 0.8 miles at the Carderock/NavSurfWarCen exit. Turn left after the exit and go across both lanes of the Clara Barton Parkway.  If you get to the intersection with MacArthur Blvd, then you have gone too far, so turn around.

Drive into Carderock Park. We will meet in the first parking lot to the left.  Be there before 9:30 AM since we are leaving at 9:30 AM.  Our bus will then bring us to Great Falls.   Bring cash with you to either tip your guide after the wonderful trip or pay off your guide before it as a form of life insurance.

 

 

From the Great Falls scenic overlooks, we looked very small compared to the mighty Potomac River.

Join or login to comment.

  • A former member
    A former member

    Loved it! Could have stayed on the water for a longer ride. Our guide, John, was very good at his job and helped make the event fun.

    July 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks Bob for organizing this! It was a fun rafting trip and also great that it was so close and we did not have to go to W VA.

    July 8, 2013

  • Jeanette

    Great time! The guides were terrific, and the trip was handled in a professional way. Beautiful weather, nice scenery. The Boat 5 folks did a wonderful job paddling! Thanks Bob for organizing this trip.

    July 8, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I want to thank each and every one of the rafters in our fantastic group for their generosity in tipping our guides. As well as telling really corny jokes, their job is to make sure we lived if anything did happen on the river, and they don't earn much for that task. Thankfully, we had no problems, but they are all trained in First Aid, CPR, Swiftwater Rescue, and yelling really loud.

    July 8, 2013

  • Vicki E.

    Kudos to Bob for organizing this event, and to OE. Great weather, people, food, lots of fun, and the weather was perfect. Good seeing people I have met before, and many new ones.

    July 7, 2013

  • Cindy G

    What a great day on the water! Wonderful weather, cool guides, a terrific group of fun people & delicious food. What more could we ask for? Oh yeah, the storm held off until after I got home! Thanks, Bob & OE!

    July 7, 2013

  • Doug R.

    It was wonderful in all respects! Thanks...

    July 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    What a great day for a rafting trip down the river! Great fun, great people

    July 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    My first time whitewater rafting and this was a great introduction. Couldn't have asked for better weather, water temperature, company, or guides.

    July 7, 2013

  • Sheila

    Another totally fun trip organized to the T by Bob as always! Perfect day and a great group of fun and friendly people. May have to make this an annual event! Thanks, Bob, for all your hard work.

    July 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks, Bob - it was a great day!

    July 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I just have to say this. In my vehicle I have a a lightning detector as well as a NOAA weather radio that is connected to the Sterling Doppler. Well, in less than one hour after we were done with our trip, a loud warning went off, and the message said that there was severe lightning 0.4 miles from my physical location that actually hit ground and that I was to seek shelter immediately. Of course, that type of lightning can easily strike within a 10-mile radius, so it would have "affected" our entire area (and us). I thus paid homage to the river gods for allowing us to get back to safety with such amazing timing. It could not have been planned any better. Now, regarding the trip. We had waves, ripples, eddies, whirlpools, and flatwater. I can even add mountain climbing in there, given the terrain we traversed to get to the river. All of us made it safely and with enjoyment (and with good food). Scott told me that we were excellent. It was a good day on the river.

    July 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Another one of these perfect days! So much fun! Thank you. Bob!

    July 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    This was a great event. The water was just right (volume and temperature, the company was great, the weather played nice, Bob got just the right amount of "what for" from everyone, the food was good and the outfitter's team was very experienced and helpful. It was great to meet some new people and laugh with everyone.

    July 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Out of commission today.

    July 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    If any of you have waterproof cameras with a wrist strap, please bring them. I am not bringing my SLR camera on this trip......

    July 6, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I'll have one Bob! Be sure to have your hair done!!

      July 6, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I will even use waterproof Rogaine!

      July 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I just purchased Doug's ticket. I need to sign those two forms but I don't have the means to print them out right now. Will there be blank forms available tomorrow to sign?

    July 6, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      There will be forms at our meeting spot.

      July 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to attend this, so my spot is available. PM if interested.

    July 5, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I don't have your email address. In the AM is also okay.

      July 6, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      TK has purchased my spot.

      July 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    One more spot left with one of the Dougs. Contact this Doug through his profile to send an email: http://www.meetup.com/Over-40-and-Kicking-It-Up-Adventure-and-Social-Club/members/8729750/

    July 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Bob, I just talked to Doug Hartman and getting on of his tickets, will RSVP and see you tomorrow!

    July 6, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Make sure you read the entire activity narrative so that you do not go to Virginia instead of Maryland by mistake......

      July 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Both tickets have now been claimed, by Debbie D and Barbara. Hope you have a blast!

    July 6, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      That was fast!

      July 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Folks - Remember to be on time tomorrow, and to go to the right state; while our nation has many states, we are meeting in Maryland. If you have any questions, you can reach me today. SYOTR.

    July 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry, not able to paddle at the moment.

    July 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Argh! I have ended up on the injured reserve list and won't be up to paddling. Two spots for tomorrow are available, email me, [masked].

    July 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Bob,
    thanks to kambiz,
    I will bring the waiver forms with me ,not mail it(being holiday)is that ok?
    I am looking forward to it.I did these in Maine at forks,this would be my first one in Va(WVa).Hope to do more .
    Sam you got in too, C U there

    July 2, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      sorry for the mistake,

      July 4, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      i thought sam got the 2nd tic,

      July 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Might be looking for 1 more ticket! Will know later this evening. So, yes - I know they are first come, first serve.

    Bob runs a GREAT trip no matter where we GO!

    July 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey Bob:

    I just saw your email, thanks!

    It looks like there’s an extremely high "HOME-STRETCH" demand for
    tickets for this Game!

    So, if I don't make it to Home Plate before the Bottom of the Ninth thanks any way "Coach" for all your help!!! :) Now I know the secret is to... "BOOK EARLY"

    I won't strike-out next time. Thanks to your heads-up, I was able to lock in spots for July 20th, July 27th and August 17th! So, if I don't get the chance to "Hit" the Rapids this time around- I'm still looking forward to hanging out with the group in the very near future!!!

    July 4, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Sam - I tried to get a hold of you; I assume that you were not able to see your emails yesterday...... Unless you can get the slot belonging to Mary S (her email is at [masked]) that is it for the slots for this trip. We can only take 30 rafters due to safety reasons. But your getting in on three other river trips, that is great! See you on the water soon. - Bob

      July 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is there still a ticket left over, somewhere? Please let me know - I'd be happy to join the crowd!

    July 3, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Barbara - I might not be able to attend. If you are interested and it is not too late to do an exchange , I would sell my spot. [masked]

      July 3, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Barbara has Beth's; contact Sam or Mariela!

      July 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Folks - After the slots trading we have seen in the past few days, we now have 30 people as shown on the RSVP list.

    July 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Folks - The river may be up by the end of the week at our location because of the current upstream rain. We will know more in time......

    July 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Raaj,

    I'm not sure I'm reading this right,
    because I wasn't able to buy a spot.

    Are you saying you have an extra ticket/spot I
    can buy from you?!

    July 2, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Sam - Raaj made a mistake. Contact me offline at [masked] on the other thing I wrote to you about...... - Bob

      July 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Bob,
    i will be on the trip on july 7th( replacing kambiz).
    thanks Kambiz.

    July 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    kambiz
    I emailed you my request for the ticket.
    please let me know.
    thanks

    June 28, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hi Raj--I received your check. I will email Bob to replace my name with yours. There are no tickets as Bob informed me.

      July 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks for the Life-line Bob. I sent Kambiz an email.

    If I can get a slot for this trip I'll be sure to bring some extra cash for my friend with the rescue rope. Just in case :)

    July 1, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hi Sam,

      July 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    By the way, is it better to tip the Rescue
    guide before or after? Just curious. :)

    July 1, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks for the "awareness" message...dare I say tip! I had no idea this is customary...so I appreciate the info!

      1 · July 1, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I will be sending out an email shortly with more information for the attendees, but for now almost everything one needs to know is right in the activity narrative......

      July 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    If you folks tip me, I will ensure I take no pictures of you that make you look like a plumber......

    July 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have one spot available for the whitewater raft trip this Sunday.
    Anyone interested in purchasing ($58), please email me:
    [masked] or phone:
    cell: (540)[masked]

    July 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Folks - If there is anyone who has to sell a slot because of a conflict, please see Sam's email below, as he is interested. I know there were others with older inquiries for slots, and perhaps they are still looking as well......

    July 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Bob:

    I’ve been looking forward to a great whitewater rafting adventure all year. This adventure looks like yet another sold out stellar performance! Any plans for an encore?!

    If so, just tell me when and where. I’d like to buy my tickets now- well in advance! :)

    July 1, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Sam - Yes, this trip filled fast; it was in the plans for more than six months. This particular paddle is actually more involved than the other river trips because there is a greater chance of finding out if God exists on this paddle than the others. Now, you can see there is Kambiz who is selling his two tickets as he is now faced with a conflict on that date but he may have someone already for them - you would have to check with him, however; and there may be others who have to sell theirs because of conflicts. That is the only way to get a slot on this trip at this stage. I once was guide for Scott, who runs this outfit, and he does a great job. But because of the safety logistics of this specific trip, we can only get 30 people on the rafts. Good luck. - Bob

      July 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Bob, I'll be coming down Falls Rd to MacArthur Ave (from the west)...is there an address so I can GPS, or a landmark to watch for from the west? Thanks - I am sooo looking forward to this triip!

    June 28, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks! This helps alot!

      June 30, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      No problem. It is right across the divided highway from the Naval Surface Weapons Center in the only park (with free parking) along the river.

      June 30, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have 2 tickets for sale.

    June 27, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Please write to Kambiz at: [masked]

      June 28, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Kambiz,
    i wouldlike one ticket if still have them for sale
    thanks

    June 28, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Looking for 1 opening if someone can't make it.

    April 13, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Linda got Molly's spot as she was the first to contact her.

      June 20, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      BOOOO!!! (just kidding... ) have fun Linda!

      June 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    please let me know if any cancellations,
    thanks

    June 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Remember that we are meeting in Maryland. And bring some dead presidents to tip the guides......

    June 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is anyone interested in carpooling from DC? I live in the Van Ness area of DC, and I am willing to drive or be a passenger.

    June 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Folks there is ONE spot available, as Molly Hicks cannot make it. Please contact her at :
    [masked]
    If someone buys it from her, let me know who it is. Thanks. - Bob

    June 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Bob,
    please let me know if you have a 2 group or openings on first,
    thanks

    April 9, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      It took several months to get this trip squared away, so it will be the only one I do at Great Falls. The only way to get in on this one, is if any attendees sell you their already paid-for slots. Take a look at the other river trips on the calendar, notably at Brunswick, where there are still openings. Good luck.

      April 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    We now have 30 rafters have paid to date for the trip, so that's it:

    Bob C.
    Sarabeth R.
    Susan J.
    Lucinda D.
    Mary S.
    Victoria E.
    Constance M
    Maureen M.
    Tom S.
    Sheila M.
    Elizabeth P.
    Christine D.
    Linda De.
    Karen R.
    Molly H.
    Julia R
    Fred M
    Richard B
    Doug H
    Doug H's Guest
    Kambiz K
    Kambiz K's Guest
    Cindy G
    Doug W
    Laurel D
    Doug R
    Jeanette T
    Ken R
    Jennifer D
    Kathy L

    March 28, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Folks - There are now solely two spots left and once I get payment for those two then that is it!

    March 25, 2013

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Your organizer's refund policy for Whitewater Rafting at Great Falls (lunch along the river is included)

Refunds are not offered for this Meetup.

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