45 Years Ago, Wildwater Opened on the Famous Chattooga River
In 1970, Jim and Jeanette Greiner traveled from Atlanta, GA to their home in Virginia. Having recently read the book Deliverance, Jim was keen to explore local rivers.
Jim and Jeanette were avid rafters, having recently rafted on the New River in West Virginia and on the Youghiogheny River in Pennsylvania with an outfitting operation that had recently opened. Whitewater rafting had been popular in the West since the late fifties and was just now growing in the east. When Jim and Jeanette stopped at the Highway 76 Bridge over the Chattooga River on the Georgia / South Carolina border, they encountered a canoeing group from Clemson University. After hearing stories of the river, Jim was intrigued even further. Learning the Chattooga River was the main setting for the movie version of Deliverance, and that filming was underway, it was “now or never”!
Jim invited his new rafting friends from West Virginia (Jon Dragan, Wildwater Unlimited), Pennsylvania (Lance Martin, Wilderness Voyageurs) and his cousin Gamble Bowers (who later opened Transmontane Outfitters in West Virginia) to raft the Chattooga River with him. After an exciting day on the river, Jim asked his friends what they thought of the Chattooga and his idea to open a rafting company; the answer was “If you do not do it, we will”. So in 1971, Jim started Wildwater Ltd. Outdoor Adventures, and the rest is history! Check out the photos of how things have changed over the years! #wildwater45th