River Rafting Athens AL

Local resource for river rafting in Athens. Includes detailed information on local businesses that provide access to whitewater rafting, river kayaking, river guides, rafting lessons, kayaking lessons, river tours and rafting tours, as well as advice and content on rafts, kayaking and water sports.

Academy
(256) 340-7800
1205 Wimberly Dr.
Decatur, AL
 
Andrew Haffenden
(205) 663-6018
1817D Woodbrook Circle
Alabaster, AL
Agency
Nature Travel Specialists LLC
Membership Associations
American Society of Travel Agents
Destinations
Antarctica/Arctic Region, Asia-Southeast Asia, Australia / New Zealand, Latin America & Mexico, Pacific Islands-Tahiti, Fiji, Bali, etc., South America, U.S. - Alaska
Specialities
Adventure Travel, Camping / Hiking, Eco-Tourism, Great Outdoors, Nature, National Parks, Rafting, Safari, Scuba Diving, Student / Youth
Website
www.naturetravelspecialists.com

Data Provided By:
Academy
(334) 290-6600
1557 Cotton Exchange
Prattville, AL
 
Academy
(256) 439-6260
601 George Wallace Dr.
Gadsden, AL
 
Academy
(205) 403-6145
2810 John Hawkins Pkwy (Hwy 150 at Paradise Pkwy)
Hoover, AL
 
Sports Authority
(256) 327-8640
Bridge Street Town Centre, 6890 Governors West
Huntsville, AL
Services
Golf Day Shop, Golf Simulator, Golf Hitting Cage, Golf Trade-In Program, Ski-Snowboard/Bike Tech Shop, Firearms/Hunting, Hunting and Fishing Licenses, Delivery & Assembly
Hours
Monday - Saturday: 9:00am - 9:30pm
Sunday: 10:00am - 8:00pm
Holiday hours may vary.

Academy
(205) 981-4150
310 Doug Baker Blvd (in the Lee Branch Shopping Center)
Birmingham, AL
 
Sports Authority
(256) 327-8640
Bridge Street Town Centre, 6890 Governors West
Huntsville, AL
Services
Golf Day Shop, Golf Simulator, Golf Hitting Cage, Golf Trade-In Program, Ski-Snowboard/Bike Tech Shop, Firearms/Hunting, Hunting and Fishing Licenses, Delivery & Assembly
Hours
Monday - Saturday: 9:00am - 9:30pm
Sunday: 10:00am - 8:00pm
Holiday hours may vary.

Academy
(205) 391-6860
710 Skyland Blvd
Tuscaloosa, AL
 
Academy
(251) 380-5340
3725 Airport Blvd (in the Mobile Festival Centre)
Mobile, AL
 
Data Provided By:

River Safety: Where do we draw the line?

River Safety: Where do we draw the line?


Rafting in Montana Spring is full of paradoxes. After interminable gray skies and snowy hillsides, the days get longer and the nights warmer. Rivers begin to rise. Driveways and car racks fill up with dusty boats as anxious boaters prepare for the season. However, despite the cumulative human desire to have the cold days behind us, and to launch our boats on swollen rivers, spring is not summer.

As was the case last May on the Gallatin River in Montana. The river had risen after a few warm days. Overnight, once vacant put-ins were populated with eager kayakers, rafters, and canoers. However, as any veteran of western Montana knows, a warm day in May can include snow flurries and freezing temperatures.

While teaching a Swift Water Rescue course, a cold front moved in and the snow began to fly. Participants in the course would swim the river, and quickly huddle beneath a tarp to keep out of the wind as we discussed rescue techniques. Fortunately, most participants had drysuits on, and their discomfort was just that, discomfort, and did not pose a significant risk to life or limb.

As we clamored in and out of the icy river, I noticed a group preparing their raft for a float down the Gallatin. I began to assess their preparedness. I watched as they inflated their raft. It was an older bucket boat, but appeared to be in good repair, and seemed adequate for the class III-IV float they were about to embark upon. I watched inquisitively as they placed three raft paddles and one kayak paddle into the boat--I had not seen a kayak. I was amazed that during this process the group remained in their shorts and flip-flops. Perhaps I was jealous of their thick Montana skin as I shivered from the cold. The group leader then changed into a wetsuit and donned his PFD.

I lost track of them for a time as we continued our class. When next I noticed them, they were preparing to launch. The leader, a middle aged man who I assumed was the father of the three teenagers carrying the boat, was carrying the kayak paddle and wore the wetsuit. The teenagers, however, were in cotton T-shirts and shorts with horseshoe PFD's on!

It was now clear to me that these people had no idea what they were getting into. Boat flips and unexpected swims are common on the Gallatin at that level. Even if they had great lines--which seemed unlikely judging from their gear (kayak paddle, older boat, horse-shoe PFD's)--they would still be getting splashed by 35 degree water in a snow storm. No matter how warm blooded they were, hypothermia was going to be a companion on their rafting trip.

Here was my problem. The river ethic I had been taught, included freedom. Freedom for every boater to make choices on how they want to pursue their adventure, and freedom from others telling them how to do it. The river is a frontier, a wilderness, a place to escape the rules of society and immerse yourself in the laws of nature.
The othe...

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