Normally each summer, we try to take a two week vacation to somewhere new and exciting. But with Jennifer’s new job, we had to limit ourselves to only one week; so we hit up the old faithful Smokey Mountains for a week crammed full of whitewater. This is also our first family vacation without Trevor. He decided to stay home and earn a little more money toward a new car.
While reading through my normal blogs today, I came across an interesting story from Orlando Business Journal. It was regarding the vacant property next to Festival Bay Mall on International drive. Apparently, there is now an “outdoor recreational adventure sports complex” planned. It is currently called “Acquasol”. Activities in the Master Plan Rafting/Kayaking Whitewater River 167’ tall SnowFlex mountain for Skiing and Snowboarding, with chair lift SnowFlex Tubing hill, with magic carpet ATV Tracks Splash Pools Zip Lines Ropes Course Rapelling Tower Climbing Walls Canyoning and Bouldering Now THIS is a project I can get behind. How cool would it be to have rafting, boarding, and mountaineering within an hour’s drive? Download the Master Plan PDF
Our activity today was an all day rafting trip on the the Arkansas River, though Brown’s Canyon. It turns out that the outfitter that we used (River Runners) is the sister company of the one we used in 2008 in Utah, Adrift Adventures. We began the day at 6AM, as we had a two hour drive from Keystone to Buena Vista. We were on the river by 10:30AM heading toward the canyon. Before lunch, we stopped at a rock ledge to jump off into the river. Both Jennifer and Brandon were a little apprehensive about it at first, but in the end everyone jumped. Trevor was the first one in the whole group to do a flip, although he did land on his face.
After a quick breakfast at our hotel, we headed out to Canon City, Colorado to raft Bighorn Sheep Canyon on the Arkansas River. Apparently, this past winter’s snowfall was unusually low, thus the snowmelt has been low. The Arkansas is a free flowing river, unlike most of the dam controlled rivers in the East. While the rafting was a true class III-IV, like it would be normally, it was still a blast. The lower flow still provided quite a few good rapids and more time to enjoy the sights. On a humorous note, the outfitter we used named all of their rafts after the family members of the Wonderful Whites of West Virginia.