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:
- 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.