What happened on day 4 of Guide School? Our raft guide trainees found themselves on the Ocoee River, taking turns guiding the “Upper Ocoee”, in which the 1996 whitewater Olympics were held. John Mooneyham is a local who decided to give rafting a try. Let’s see how he enjoyed the Ocoee trip yesterday.
“The Wildwater training team traveled to the Ocoee outpost yesterday to meet up with some seasoned veterans. We were welcomed and given a tour of the facilities before working on our boat-loading skills. After the bus was loaded and ready, the new recruits were bussed to the river to tackle the mighty Ocoee. Most of the river was a maze of small trees and tricky turns, but we soon realized that the river held many surprises. The Olympic Section was a series of man-made rapids constructed for the 1996 Olympic Games. Most of the trainees ran the section smoothly, however there were some swimmers that got popped out at the last rapid, Humongous. We continued downriver and completed the middle section after walking our boats around the dam.
In the evening, everyone at the outpost practiced their rope throwing skills in an event called the Rope Throw Rodeo. Targets of various types were set up around the outpost for guides to hit with their rescue rope bags. Everyone enjoyed the evening and the opportunity to learn some new skills while improving upon many others. The trip to the Ocoee was a crucial part of our training, and an opportunity to learn from some knowledgeable individuals. Guide school is almost over, and I am anxious to get back to my local area on the Pigeon River and show what I’ve learned.”
Next, the trainees return to the Chattooga for the final day of their school, before they move on and continue their training at their own rivers. Stay tuned for the last day of Guide School!
Special guest author: John Mooneyham, Pigeon River raft guide hopeful