I finally made it to the U.S. National Whitewater Center and, like everybody else I know who has been there, loved the place. For $35, I spent almost two hours on the water, taming those waves, at least the waves that weren't taming me. We spun, bounced, took water, flew through the air and lost one man overboard. He was a brave man, too. He climbed back in and jokingly admonished his wife for not hanging onto him. There were six of us in the raft.
Our admiral, leader, captain -- I forget his title -- was Maverick, and he was hilarious. It wasn't one of those Kevin Costner things where he stood at the front of the boat looking like a master and commander. He told us we were the best group he'd ever had, and I bet he hadn't told anybody that since his last group. He sang Elvis and Three Dog Night and said "awesome!" and "Nice."
When we reached shore, we walked over to The Eddy Bar and Grill. People filled the tables, drinking beer, eating wins and listening to the guy spinning reggae as they watched the rafts and kayaks and, finally, the sun go down over the water.
Along with the people of the water there were cyclists and climbers. I ran into George, a buddy. He describes the place as a theme park for the fit. But you don't have to be fit to enjoy it.