U.S. National Whitewater Center: Part 1

My vacations usually just involve going to visit family, but this time I made a detour on the way to see them!




Friday morning, Mark and I woke up bright and early to head to the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, NC.


Our hotel offered free breakfast, so I grabbed some before leaving for our big day.




I had a bowl of mixed fruit: grapefruit, pineapple, pears, peaches.




…and a toasted blueberry bagel with PB and honey.




Mark had the same, plus a giant belgian waffle.




We arrived at the National Whitewater center and were pretty impressed with it. We had debated driving out to the mountains for “real” whitewater rafting but decided that it would take way too much time out of our short weekend. I was unsure how I would like a manmade river, but it turned out to be pretty awesome!





We started our morning with Flatwater River Kayaking, but all the pictures are on my disposable waterproof camera, so you’ll have to wait for those.


It was a nice relaxing way to start the morning since things got pretty intense later in the day.


Between kayaking and rafting, we grabbed a quick bite to eat at the River’s Edge Cafe and Grill right there on the property.



Having a full belly while rafting didn’t seem appealing, so we split a Chipotle Chicken sandwich with sweet potato waffle fries. Wow, those fries were INCREDIBLE!!!



I was starting to get nervous for rafting. We had a “trip talk” before getting on the rafts where the raft guides explained everything there was to know about safety, paddling, and how to deal if you fall out of the boat.




There were two channels, a training one and a competition one. Each one has Class II-IV rapids. In the center, there is a giant pump that creates the intense water flow. It’s actually quite an amazing engineering feat!




The channels had built in rocks, and removable pegs to create different level of difficulty. I was really impressed!




Can you spot Mark and I in the photos?





If not, Mark is in the front in a white helmet, and I’m right behind him in the blue helmet.




Wow, that was a blast!!! We got to raft for about an hour total, which was plenty long enough.


I fell out of the boat once. It wasn’t really that scary! Mark and the guide yanked me out of the water and back into the raft in seconds. I didn’t really even know what happened because it all went so fast.


Even though there are lifeguards all around ready to grab you out of the water at any minute, there was still a sense of adventure. I was worried that being at a manmade river wouldn’t feel like we were in nature, but it was out in the middle of nowhere with trees and plenty of scenic views.




Did you know that the U.S. Olympic athletes train here? Cool!




To be continued…


❤ MegaNerd


14 Responses

  1. That is quite the engineering feat! Looks like ya’ll had a great time!I can’t believe how much that boy can put away in one sitting!

  2. That sounds great! I went whitewater rafting once in a ‘real’ river in Colorado – and it wasn’t nearly as exciting as what you did!!! I think we must have signed up for the beginner-beginner course because my little brother was pretty young at the time. And there were some old folks on our raft! Anyway, I remember being all pumped up for a great adventure, and them being bummed that it was so boring. 🙂

  3. That sounds awesome! My family always talks about going on a WWR trip but I’d like to try something like this first! Too bad you fell out of the raft!

  4. Wow, that sounds awesome and exciting! 🙂

  5. so cool! i’ve been rafting twice now (once in colorado and once on the ottawa river, between ontario and quebec) and both trips were really fun/exciting. i managed not to fall out, but i helped pull someone that did back in and it was intense.

  6. That is awesome. I’ve lived in NC for years and years and never knew that was there! I have white water rafted before and that was great! Next time I’m near Charlotte I am going to check that out for sure! 🙂

  7. I read Emilys blog as well (thefrontburner) and she went to the same place over the weekend.

  8. How fun! I want to go there… I had no idea they had man-made white water rafting places!

  9. your adventure looks epic! I still dont have enough guts to try white water rafting

  10. SO cool – what a nice experience!

  11. haha, so fun! When I went with my friends, one of the guys fell out and we couldn’t get him, so he climbs up on a rock and starts acting like a pirate…then jumps in a raft with some other people and goes on his way.

    I love my friends.

  12. That looks so fun!! I’m a chicken and don’t swim well so yeah . . . Can’t wait to read part deux!

  13. I didn’t even know that existed! I have been rafting on two rivers before and have never heard of a manmade one!

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