Spring Carnage on the Ottawa River

It's 5:15 on a Saturday morning and I'm jumping out of bed with excited anticipation. 

They say spring is the best time to go whitewater rafting on the Ottawa River... and the Spring of 2011 is promising not to disappoint.

Combine the Class I - IV rapids with the snow melt and the record rainfalls this spring,
and we're slated for an epic rafting adventure as we jumped into our raft towards the world famous Rocher Fendu rapids of the Ottawa River.

If you don't already know, I hate getting wet. And let's not talk about my thoughts on head dunking. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that my swimming skills aren't the greatest. 

Yet here I am, up for the challenge! 

No better way to learn how to swim than to be exposed to a potentially life threatening situation, right?

First, a look of a map of the rapids on this section of the Ottawa River... 

As we approach the first rapids of the day, McCoys Chute, our guide tells us this is just a warm-up for things to come...  Tell that to the huge wall of water crashing into my mouth!

Next on the list was The Lorne... after a short briefing from the shoreline outlining the Bus Eater, it was back on the raft to give this bad boy a shot as we show the mighty Ottawa River who's boss!  As we approach, our raft started rotating and we were soon heading backwards into Lorne... not a pleasant feeling!  It's at about this time when I start wondering what have I gotten myself into...  Luckily, we managed to get back on track and went on our first rollercoaster ride of the day!

Get ready to swim!  What?  Not if I can help it!  Well, I guess I couldn't help it because one second, I'm paddling away, and the next, bamm, crashing waves of water hitting me, and the next thing I know, all I see is dark brown water....Which way is up?  Shouldn't it be getting brighter??? Time to flip around.... How long have I been under?  It feels like an eternity.... So this is how my life story ends... Ahh, I see light!  It's getting a little brighter!  Thank you PFD!  Hmmm, where's my raft?  Which way did they say to swim?  Which way is right?  Or was it left?  Oh, I see a couple of people floating nearby?  More rapids approaching!  Oh boy!  Oh wait, a raft is approaching.  They look friendly.. why can't I get closer???  I'm trying to swim but I'm not moving! The other floaters are closing in on the raft... why aren't I?  Hello new friend, yes, I would like to grab your T-handle. Thanks buddy.  You just saved my life!  Back on board but more rapids are quickly approaching.  The paddle's back in the water. Time to get back to work... but the guide shouts out, "Hey you, up front, stop paddling and just hang on tight!" 

Oh, what a day!  There is so much more I can talk about like the other rapids, people, food, and facilities but I'll leave that up to you to discover on your own when you head out for a rafting trip on the dynamic Ottawa River.  Thanks RiverRun Rafting for making my first whitewater experience one I won't forget anytime soon.



  1. Too funny, glad you had a great day, or was it? Kevin and I went whitewater rafting on the Ottawa River many years ago and loved it. At the lunch break we did the bodysurfing through one set of rapids, I think we were asking to die. Never again!!! Glad I did it but never again. Loved the rafting though. We would like to do the rafting through the Grand Canyon at some point.

    Kevin and Ruth

  2. Oh, I definitely had a great day! I can't wait to do it again... perhaps when I visit the Grand Canyon... in the meantime, I should probably practice my swimming skills.

    Thanks for the note and don't be strangers!


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