Ohhh wow, been a while since I've done this. We did the Ohiopyle Youghiogheny river trip twice when I was in boy scouts. Lots of fun!
Basically a handful of people in a raft, all using teamwork to navigate the raft through the different parts of the river. Just watch out--some of the passages are real doozies! There was one point where the river flows between two rocks (dimple rock?), and most people end up falling out of the raft. Last time we went I was the only one to make it through, by throwing myself broadside against the body of the raft as it tilted up against one of the rocks; everyone else fell out and floated downstream until they were able to get back into the raft (or get to shore, where the tour guides helped them out). That part's actually very scary because there's a large compartment under one of the rocks and if you somehow end up in there, they CANNOT get you out, and people have ended up in there (to which they drown; it's a death sentence). I wouldn't worry about that too much, just concentrate on doing what the tour guides say and stay in the raft if you can help it
I've been on a few rivers between California, New Mexico, and Arkansas. The last time I went it was in the mid-high 40s Fahrenheit. The water was all snow melt and it was in a gorge so there was maybe an hour and a half of direct sunlight. I froze my ass off. My body started whitening itself to let my brain know what was going on. I really love the rafting but I really hate the cold. Also, I prefer canoe/kayak to raft.
I went on the Rogue (Class 3) a few years back. We got our instructions about what to do if someone/you go overboard. Sure enough we hit some rapids and I fell out. Immediately a woman at least 75 years old weighing about the same number of pounds grabbed me by the vest and hauled me back into the raft. It was amazing!
Anyone like this sport? My ass is going down the Youghiogheny in Ohiopyle next month and I'm kind of scared. Thoughts?
OMG!! I love whitewater!! I've been a kayaker for about 10 years, and I was a raft guide for two summers! I also kayak quite a lot down pretty much any river you can throw at me. Do it!!
I've never been down the Yough, but if it's a commercial trip and you're in reasonable condition (in other words, you're not 200 lbs overweight or too frail to swim), I promise you will be absolutely fine. They are required to scare you a little at the beginning by giving you a safety speech, but I can give you the bullet points to take home, right here and now, in their relative order of importance:
1) If you fall out, keep your feet away from the bottom.
2) Swim away from the rocks.
3) Don't hit anyone with your paddle.
Oh, you'll have so much fun! I've been rafting three times on the New River in West Virginia. We went up to Class 4 rapids, and I had a blast. Rhinosaur is right, they have to scare you a little at the beginning. But when you get there, look around at some of the frailer, fatter, or older people lining up to do it. If they let those people do it, you'll be fine
Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.
I think my fear is falling overboard because I'm not a strong swimmer, but I guess that's what the life vests are for. But we aren't doing anything too scary because the kids are with us. We will be there for two days so I think the plan is to do the middle Yough the first day which is supposed to be appropriate for children and seniors. Then we have plans to do the Lower Yough on day two - which is more difficult. There seems to be some issue right now whether my youngest son will be able to do the Lower, in which case it's probably going to be me who waits at the hotel with him. Or the two of us will make a side-trip to Falling Water.