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The Bucket List
Old 06-23-2013, 06:54 PM   #1
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The Bucket List

The other day, we were invited to go white water rafting on the Chatooga River in South Carolina, our new adopted home. Now, in the past, we have rafted on wild rivers at Glacier Bay National Park, and on the Arkansas in southwest Colorado. But not here in South Carolina. How bad could this be? This river just happens to divide South Carolina from Georgia, and coincidently, is the river that the movie Deliverance was filmed on (do you hear banjo music?). The couple that invited us was in their early 70’s. What could possibly go wrong?

As it turns out this was section IV. Those in the know, (and we were woefully uninformed, which is entirely my fault.) know this is class IV and V rapids. Oblivious, we embarked. At the start, it was a great and exhilarating day. At the last of the rapids, Sock’em Dog, our guide led us into the maelstrom. My DW and I paddled hard. We were slammed into the bottom of the raft, but made it through. Our guide was not as lucky. She was vaulted out of the raft and hit her head. She emerged, what seemed minutes (actually seconds) later, face down, floating down the river. I tripped my way through the rocks in the shallows, trying to get to deep water to help. With bruised shins, I failed. Fortunately others in a Kayak, from behind, made it to her, and pulled her to safety. We evacuated the river. Our guide had a concussion, and water in her lungs. However, she will be OK!

Two weeks later a group from Florida made a similar trip through these exact same rapids, with the exact same outfitter. They were not so lucky. One of their members was thrown into the river, pulled down by the swirling currents, and has yet to be recovered.

DW and I are feeling fortunate, blessed, and no longer have the urge to go white water rafting any time soon. Count your blessings, and pick your bucket list items carefully.
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:18 PM   #2
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On the same subject:

Bucket lists gone bad: When senior thrills become life threatening

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“Fill your bucket list with things that are actually safe and enjoyable – or at least prepare for them sufficiently if you’re going to enjoy them,” Stanton said. “You don’t want your bucket to be full of the first bucket of dirt for your grave.”
BTW, a friend wanted to go skydiving on his 80th birthday. DW and I went out to watch him and caught this photo of his landing - where he broke his ankle, requiring surgery and months of physical therapy.
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:53 PM   #3
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Good to know the 82 yr old woman wasn't scared off her bucket list even after the awful, harrowing skydiving misadventure. More power to her! A life of complete safety sounds pretty boring to me, some prudent risk is allowed - but to each his/her own. Many of the most thrilling experiences in my life involved some significant risks, and life has been fuller as a result. YMMV
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As for Everett, she’s still scratching lines off her bucket list. Last year, she rode shotgun in a NASCAR vehicle for several laps at a California racetrack.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:39 PM   #4
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Holy guacamole Batman, that is one scary story. And we're going Ziplining for the first time on Thursday. This was on DH's bucket list....
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:42 PM   #5
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My bucket list has things like going to a "real" blues club (something outside our typical activities). So far no injuries.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:42 PM   #6
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Where are you ziplining? We have done that several times. All of our experiences have been very safe. Almost overkill. But that is just fine. You will have a great time!
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:08 PM   #7
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Wow. That could easily have been a fatal accident, drowning and head injury! Glad you escaped unharmed.

A Google search shows that this is the most challenging stretch of the river:

Chattooga River Rafting Trips

http://www.southeasternexpeditions.c...t-information/

Is it a coincidence that this same outfitter has had two serious incidents in a short period of time? There must be some underlying factors, e.g. Spring floods, inadequate training, nonadherence to safety procedures, etc.
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:49 PM   #8
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It's fine to have a bucket list but you should start making the list in your 20's which was when I did my rafting, canoeing, kayaking, downhill skiing, rock climbing, skydiving, etc. If I were to make a bucket list now it would be with non-contact sports and traveling.
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Old 06-24-2013, 03:29 AM   #9
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I don't know why not save the dangerous activities for near the end of your life.
Now the physical activities mountain climbing, skiing sure, but something like parachuting isn't physically demand which is why Bush Sr does it.

The trip to Mars sounds a lot less scary at 53 than it would have at 25.
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:46 AM   #10
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My friends DW wants to swim with the great whites, but I don't think he is game for it (pun intended). As for me, I like the more sedate items like visiting all the ballparks for a ball game, both american and national, in the next few years.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:40 AM   #11
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I agree with martyp....I did skydiving for my 25 birthday! Now my bucket list is comprised of visiting the 8 wonders of the world and Ziplining in Costa Rica! No rapids for me....I have a healthy fear of Mother Nature!
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brdofpray View Post
The other day, we were invited to go white water rafting on the Chatooga River in South Carolina, our new adopted home. Now, in the past, we have rafted on wild rivers at Glacier Bay National Park, and on the Arkansas in southwest Colorado. But not here in South Carolina. How bad could this be? This river just happens to divide South Carolina from Georgia, and coincidently, is the river that the movie Deliverance was filmed on (do you hear banjo music?). The couple that invited us was in their early 70’s. What could possibly go wrong?

As it turns out this was section IV. Those in the know, (and we were woefully uninformed, which is entirely my fault.) know this is class IV and V rapids. Oblivious, we embarked. At the start, it was a great and exhilarating day. At the last of the rapids, Sock’em Dog, our guide led us into the maelstrom. My DW and I paddled hard. We were slammed into the bottom of the raft, but made it through. Our guide was not as lucky. She was vaulted out of the raft and hit her head. She emerged, what seemed minutes (actually seconds) later, face down, floating down the river. I tripped my way through the rocks in the shallows, trying to get to deep water to help. With bruised shins, I failed. Fortunately others in a Kayak, from behind, made it to her, and pulled her to safety. We evacuated the river. Our guide had a concussion, and water in her lungs. However, she will be OK!

Two weeks later a group from Florida made a similar trip through these exact same rapids, with the exact same outfitter. They were not so lucky. One of their members was thrown into the river, pulled down by the swirling currents, and has yet to be recovered.

DW and I are feeling fortunate, blessed, and no longer have the urge to go white water rafting any time soon. Count your blessings, and pick your bucket list items carefully.
Glad you made it! Yes, I agree. All of my crazy "bucket list" activities were successfully completed in my 20s. I did enough of them then; peaceful and serene bucket lists items that will not endanger me needing to activate my $5500 health insurance deductible is all I do now.
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:33 AM   #13
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Hmmm - back before Katrina a certain (un-named) hospital built a huge addition strictly for 'sports medicine'.

Long ago I tore up my bucket list.

And I really do like watching grass grow and paint dry. Really!

heh heh heh - After the list went I gave the bucket to Goodwill. .
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Old 06-24-2013, 12:55 PM   #14
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In years gone by, a great joy in my life, was leading youth groups on extended canoe trips... Boy Scouts, and Church groups... mostly in the Adirondaks, for between 4 and 12 days.

The last trip was 6 days with a mixed group of teens, on the boundary waters in Minnesota starting out in Ely MN. We were on the third day, and on a 1 1/2 mile portage, when we came upon a married couple on the trail.. he with that 80lb. Grumman on his shoulders and she with 2 Allagash packs, one front, one back... Not unusual, except that she was 80, and he was 84.

They were returning to base, 3 days short of a planned 7 day trip. Not because of health, or being tired, but because the previous evening two bears had attacked their campsite, destroying their food cache which had been strung on a line strung between two trees, and then tearing apart the contents of the packs.

We camped in that same site that evening, and all of 12 members of our group survived. Bears had been fed.

Age 80 and 84 on a 150 mile canoe trip... I added this to my bucket list. Haven't given up on this yet, but will need a lighter canoe. My one hour paddle forays out on the lake at our camp gives me some hope, but now, I think an air mattress would be needed, and there are no electric outlets in the Boundary Waters, sooo...
... but it's still on the bucket list. Seven years to go to beat my hero, three years to go to to equal his wife. Hope springs eternal.
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:42 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by citrine View Post
Now my bucket list is comprised of visiting the 8 wonders of the world
OK, I'll bite.

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Old 03-31-2014, 01:06 PM   #16
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I don't have a written down bucket list. Mine come and go and I go after them at my leisure. Hot air balloon ride was the most dangerous (?) one I did, hitherto. Yesterday, on a much safer side, I reduce my bucket list by playing the last of Pebble Beach courses (played two in Dec, played two more last weekend). The next immediate bucket list item is to play the Bandon Dunes courses. Other than that, my BL is wide open for additions. But for sure, no jumping out of plane, paragliding the alps, etc.. I think I had done enough stupid (and dangerous) stuff in my life already.
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
In years gone by, a great joy in my life, was leading youth groups on extended canoe trips... Boy Scouts, and Church groups... mostly in the Adirondaks, for between 4 and 12 days.

The last trip was 6 days with a mixed group of teens, on the boundary waters in Minnesota starting out in Ely MN. We were on the third day, and on a 1 1/2 mile portage, when we came upon a married couple on the trail.. he with that 80lb. Grumman on his shoulders and she with 2 Allagash packs, one front, one back... Not unusual, except that she was 80, and he was 84.

They were returning to base, 3 days short of a planned 7 day trip. Not because of health, or being tired, but because the previous evening two bears had attacked their campsite, destroying their food cache which had been strung on a line strung between two trees, and then tearing apart the contents of the packs.

We camped in that same site that evening, and all of 12 members of our group survived. Bears had been fed.

Age 80 and 84 on a 150 mile canoe trip... I added this to my bucket list. Haven't given up on this yet, but will need a lighter canoe. My one hour paddle forays out on the lake at our camp gives me some hope, but now, I think an air mattress would be needed, and there are no electric outlets in the Boundary Waters, sooo...
... but it's still on the bucket list. Seven years to go to beat my hero, three years to go to to equal his wife. Hope springs eternal.
Excellent story imoldernu. At 66, we're still canoe camping but have toned it down quite a bit from our younger days doing fly-in / paddle-out Quetico trips. Now we prefer portage-free river trips where an outfitter puts us in and picks us up downstream a few days later.

On another thread, the subject of possible reduced spending with aging was discussed. The point was that many folks will slow down and be perfectly happy not traveling, not going out for live entertainment or dining, etc., and just be content to stay home and take it easy spending less. Many anecdotal examples were given of oldsters spending much less because sitting on the porch in their rocker was what now appealled to them.

OTOH, it seems like some of us feel that if our geriatric desires for activities normally reserved for the younger crowd is still with us as we take on the years, it'd be nice to have the resources to make them happen. DW and I could never (not even close) pull off some of the canoe camping trips we've taken over the years at this stage. It isn't a matter of overall energy levels being down or having developed a lethargic attitude. We've just developed some specific physical limitations.

I've made some inquiries into the cost of bringing a guide along. Ouch! $250+ per day. A guide could do the specific things we can't do anymore for us and, assuming you hire the right one, can provide a wealth of interesting dialog, information and entertainment on the trip (including wrestling those bears for ya!).

So, after a budget review, we're adding one more trip "Up Nort" to our bucket list. And it'll cost in the vicinity of 2 kilobux (today's dollars) more than when we first did it almost 40 years ago thanks to the cost of paying others to help.
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:15 PM   #18
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I got white water rafting off my "list" when I was 25. Did the Moose River in upstate NY after 3 days of the rain. The flow was right at the "cancel" rate and group organizer decided to let it go.

This river has a 12 foot water fall . After 3 days of rain ... who knows .... 14ft? So I am in the back corner near the guide (who has a ROPE around his feet to stay in the boat). We paddle hard heading into the falls. As we hit the bottom the boat rocks upward and to one side. I am sucked out of the boat. After what seems like minutes (seconds really) I pop up coughing water. Now the chase is on. The kayaks are working to catchup with me as I race past cliffs to my right. One finally gets to me and has me grab his tail. He takes to a ledge on the cliff just above water level and says "wait here, a raft will pick you up."

The "pickup" consisted of each of the remaining rafts attempting to get close enough so I could JUMP into the moving boat. The last raft was successful and I leaped into the boat as it raced past the ledge I was on.

Sooo a bit further down the river is calm and we beach for a planned snack. Of course my boat - loaded with my friends - cheers our arrival. Our guide pulls me aside - way from the group - and says "you were lucky".

I say "Lucky? I don't feel lucky. I was the only person on the tour to swim."

He said " You were VERY LUCKY ... those cliffs you passed have underwater caverns in them. There are two people who were lost years ago. They are believed to be turning in underwater caverns along that cliff. The could have been you!"

All done with WW rafting ... been there, done that.
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