The thrill of the plunge has lured me toward whitewater rafting for many years; the fear of the dunk, however, is what has kept me from it. I’ve pictured everything from drowning to wiping out on jagged rocks. I figured that being brave enough for the rapids was something only crazy thrill seekers did. I only take manageable, calculated risks, so for me, I just didn’t see this happening—ever. And then I found ASCI.
Adventure Sports Center International (ASCI) is a man-made whitewater river channel in Deep Creek, Maryland. It is one of only a handful of these courses found in the world and is the only one found at the top of a mountain. ASCI is great for novices like myself but still offers enough excitement for the rafting enthusiast—I thought it a great place to dive in and get my oar wet, so to speak. After taking on the excitement of my first “class-4” rapid, I’m hooked! I loved the hustle with my fellow rafters; I loved learning how to maneuver the twists and turns of the course; I also love that there is no more fear of wiping out (thanks to the course’s smooth bottom), and no more fear of drowning (thanks to the lifeguards). I managed to get through my first whitewater experience, and I lived to tell about it.