Yesterday I donned my Blue Heron t-shirt and recalled the delightful rafting experience I enjoyed there with my daughter and (very likely) future son-in-law. It occurred a year ago, almost to the day. I don't usually write reviews like this, but promised myself I would post something this time. It's taken me a year - but they earned it.
Although the details aren't as fresh in my memory now as they were then, I recall that we had a rafting expedition that was perfectly suited to our group's level of inexperience. I remember, too, thinking that the price was very reasonable. It was just the right level of excitement: there were plenty of genuine thrills, but we weren't all-out terrified. There were opportunities for pictures, and we were provided with snacks. At one point, we stopped along the shore and were given the opportunity to leap into the river from a bluff - that was a hoot! If I recall, Laura was our guide. She was very knowledgeable, and during the less rollicking moments of our trip, she shared all kinds of information and lore about the river, the folks who lived along it, and various interesting rafting expeditions over the years. That was fascinating.
When I asked her about the history of the company, and about the other companies in the area, she displayed a level of class that is, sadly, not so common these days: while singing the praises of her Blue Heron colleagues, she had only nice things to say about her competitors.
I had a preview of that kind of classy attitude before the trip got started: we could buy some dive slippers or water shoes - but they also had dozens of pairs of used shoes - sneakers and such - that previous patrons had left, which we could pick from at no charge. I opted to buy some new slippers, which I have since used repeatedly, but giving customers that option, even though it might mean reduced profits, really resonated with me. It kind of reminded me of that scene in "Miracle at 34th Street" - where the department store Santa... well, you'd have to see the movie.
In sum, the trip was thrilling and fascinating, led by a seasoned, classy guide, with a company that keeps costs reasonable. I will return to Asheville soon, and I wouldn't raft with anyone else.
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