Having officially finished my first day of white water rafting guide training, I feel confident in saying, I LOVE IT.  I have had my fair share of jobs, several seasonal summer jobs In multiple places, but never has one so struck me. Everything about the job, the rafting, the other guides, the local mountains, have thus far been amazing.
It is still Day One, but I am looking forward to what’s to come.

The first thing that I noticed is that everyone else here is like me. We are all mostly twenty-something year olds, most of us have a degree in something, and about everyone I have talked to has done a little, if not extensive traveling.  In short, we aren’t ready to “grow up”.   That term, “growing up” sure has been changing lately, but that’s a post for another time.
Another thing i realized is that I have SO many opportunities to do things down here. White water rafting, zip lining, cave exploring, mountain hiking, hiking, camping, traveling (Nashville, North Carolina, Georgia), and more exploring thank could wish for!!!

We will see what happens.

As for my first day, I was timid at first. Last night, after having ridden on Greyhound for 25 hours, I arrived in Tennessee and it was colder than I expected. Last night the temperature dropped to 40 degrees or less (tonight is expected to be colder). And I am not complaining about my housing, but I will say they are not made for cold weather… at all.
This morning when I got up, the temperature was not much better. The water was bone chilling. At that point the only good thing I can say is that my body got numb faster, cutting off much of the feelings in my legs.

The first run down the river we were considered guests, I was nervous, my body hadn’t numbed yet, and I was still timid.

The second time down we were expected to do some guiding. I was nervous, but found my years as a child doing canoeing really helped me to “read the water”, and without much incident, we all made it down having done fairly well.

The third time down the river we knew what to expect, our bodies had thankfully lost all feeling, and we knew most of what was expected.  However, we had more incidents than the first two times (but in my opinion it made it more adventurous!!!). One guy fell out of the boat (the first and only for the day, poor guy), all three rafts got stuck on rocks at one point or another, and having feared for loosing my contacts all day, in the last half hour or so, the inevitable happened.
I lost my left contact, but not to waves or water, but because of a branch…
The current dragged us to the left side of the Pigeon River, but as we did, we were dragged through a bunch of twigs and branches. Seeing a potentially hazardous branch sticking tight towards the raft, from my third seat back, I used my paddle to knock the branch out of the way, but because I was watching four feet ahead, I didn’t notice the branch hanging in front of my face.
With eyes wide open the branch expertly knocked me in the face, ripped my contact off my eyeball, and laid me flat against the raft.

Just another lesson learned, another memory for the keeping.
Ill call my day a win.

But before I go, words of advice, DON’T FORGET TO TIP YOUR RIVER GUIDE! 😉

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