Parkway in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is a street clogged with desperation. People desperate to make the next turn so they won't miss the Lumberjack Feud dinner show. People desperate to get back to their hotels and watch cable channel 192 that will tell them they can't miss the Lumberjack Feud dinner show. People desperate to get out of stop and go traffic that only allows twenty minute miles.
But we're having a good time!
Seriously, we are having fun. We own every flavor of Moon Pie that they make and we went down a coaster that speeds down a mountain. That ride was awesome. Julia didn't want to ride it on her own so she went down with her mother. I'm glad because I'm sure if she went with me we'd be torn from the track and flung into a gorge.
I had my first Five Guys burger. They've been hyped for years so I was eager to see what the fuss was about. It was good. But the fries are the remarkable thing. The woman behind the counter asked us if the four of us wanted to share a large order of fries. I assumed the order would be ample so I went ahead with the recommendation. Holy cow did they give us some fries. They were in a huge, brown paper bag and enough to feed thousands (almost).
I'm sure the highlight for everyone on this day was whitewater rafting. The process is long but essentially you get to the place, they put a helmet, life vest and paddle in your hand. They put you on a school bus and drive you up river. You get in a boat and you try to stay in the boat as the guide attempts to knock you out of the boat by steering you toward huge waves of river water.
It rocked. Our guide, Luthor did things with our boat that I don't think he was supposed to do. We did maneuvers reserved for people who paid more for an "extreme" experience. He taught us how to lock our feet into the raft but at a few points it wasn't enough to keep my legs from flying up in the air. Allie and I were at the front of the craft so rowing in sync was our job. She did it well. I have to say, watching the looks of horror cross her face as we hit some of the rougher water was a highlight for me.
Each rapid had a name except for one. Julia recommended that our guide name it "U-Turn". Luthor thought it was a good idea and said, "From this point forward, it will be called, 'U-Turn'!" Julia was pleased to have left her mark.
At one point Luthor told us we could flop out of the raft for a swim. We were shocked when Julia was one of the first to drop into the water. She usually requires a half an hour of coaxing to do anything that seems dangerous but this time she was the adventurer. That meant I had to follow her. I thought I could get back into the raft fairly easily. Nope. Luthor had to grab me and lug my 260 lbs. back into the safety of the boat. I had my wallet in my pocket and it's still damp and it still smells of river water.
When we returned we found a place to do some wash. Deb and I sat and watched our clothes tumble while the girls were alone in the hotel room partying down. They were so drunk by the time we got back to the room. Shameful.
Today, we head through the mountains in search of waterfalls.