Labour Day – Whitewater Rafting at Poconos!

31-August-2008, Pennsylvania, Poconos, Leigh River, Whitewater Rafting, 12 miles, 7 hours, 4 people -> Exhilirating Fun!!

It was the Labour day weekend in the US, and what better way to spend it, than in one of the best sporting adventures ever created – Whitewater Rafting.

Rafting or whitewater rafting is a challenging recreational activity utilizing a raft to navigate a river or other bodies of water. This is usually done on whitewater or different degrees of rough water, in order to thrill and excite the raft passengers.

There are many places to raft in the US but one of the best places for rafting in this country seemingly is the Whitewater rafting in the Poconos. The Poconos is a mountain located in Pennsylvania (a 2hr drive off New Jersey). Many adventurers come to this place every year to raft in the whitewaters. In fact it is rated as the best place for rafting by the world’s best rafters, The waters here provide several thrills and spills and ergo, exciting adventure.

Although there are several agencies for rafting in Poconos, we went to the Whitewater challengers who had high ratings from the US government – and we came away mightily impressed. They were very organized – from inward parking to dropping us off – just perfect. Very professional and extremely committed. I would recommend them to anyone who would want to go rafting.

The actual rafting experience was simply awesome. The experience in whitewater rafting is totally unique every ride one makes because the water rapids are different each time. Our rafting was through the Lehigh River Gorge which has class I II and III rapids. The Poconos mountains in all its pristine glory overlooked the Leigh River gorge. The trip was about 7 hours (12 miles, approx 19km) on the river, a little overview of safety and what to expect, about a 20 minute school bus ride to the trail to walk down to the river and about a half mile to a mile hike down to the river. After about an hour of setup, intro and travel time we hopped in a raft and shoved of down the gorge. There were four people in the raft (three of my friends and myself), a bail bucket, a lunch bucket and of course we all had paddles and life jackets. This particular weekend was a dam release weekend which means they let a ton of water out of some dam upstream somewhere and there is enough water in the gorge to create some rapids and go rafting.

Our group on the raft was very interesting. Since this did not involve any Class IV rapids, there was no professional guiding us on the raft. Therefore, we four of us had to figure out the navigation of the raft for the entire 12 mile trip – and that is where the problem began. You understand ‘mutiny’ – this was even worse. Whosoever took the responsibility of guiding the direction of the raft came under a lot of flak, and nobody on the raft listened to him. Make no mistake, each of us took turns to ‘guide’ the rest in the right way, but to no avail. There was never a common understanding inspite of loud urges of ‘left, left, left’, ‘right, right, right’ and ‘All, All’ – people in the raft did what they pleased and what they thought to be the right way to guide the raft. Getting stuck on rocks, spinning through the initial rapids and in general, attracting attention due to our loud shouts – it was one helluva ride for 12 miles – interspersed by few periods of silence and brilliant rafting. It was fantastic fun at the end of the day when we finally reached the destination and people on the raft (including thyself) were taking credit for guiding the raft in the right manner – an illusion no one would be able to erase for a long time to come. The only casualty on the entire 12 mile trip was P dropping his raft into the river after we hit a rock at a wrong angle and with a bad velocity, about 4 miles from the end point. We however traversed through some difficult rapids among rocks and some swirling rapids inspite of the casualty very efficiently before reaching our destination. We were extremely lucky not to have run into injuries along our entire trip inspite of our ‘skilled’ rafting.

But, nobody gets it right the first time. We practise, we learn – and next time any of us are on any raft, I am sure this rafting experience would come in very handy. 7 hours in the blazing sun on a tricky river, paddling and shouting, was enough to pulp our muscles for the next two days. For anyone looking for an adventurous trip, I would definitely recommend Whitewater rafting – it is an experience which words cannot describe and an occurrence one would never forget.


2 comments so far

  1. Richa on


    I am Richa from SiliconIndia, I trust my email finds you in good health and high spirits. I am also an avid blogger and thought it’s a good time to initiate an interaction by updating you on some of the recent happenings at SiliconIndia.

    • We are now a strong community of 1 Million professionals
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    We have leaders like Narayan Murthy, Azim Premji to fresh graduates who share their opinion & thoughts to contribute their knowledge and advice through blogging.

    We would love to see you, embark on blogging here and sharing your perspectives to the rapidly growing SiliconIndia community and appreciate your community initiative here.

    Please mail me back at with your suggestions and feedback.

    Richa Sharma
    Blog Editor – SiliconIndia

  2. P on

    Good One !

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