In the Victorian era, teatime without doilies and riding a penny-farthing down a mild incline were considered extreme sports. Today's Groupon would shock such staid sensibilities: for $23, you get a white-water-rafting trip from Big Frog Expeditions (up to a $46 value). Big Frog's outpost is located in Benton, Tennessee, about four hours northeast of Birmingham.
Big Frog Expeditions charts a course for exploration with safe and exciting white-water excursions down the flowing water of the vibrant Ocoee River. Rafters will spend nearly 3.5 hours traveling through their choice of one of two sections of river, the Upper Ocoee River or the Middle Ocoee River, on one of a wide selection of available rafting dates. The Middle Ocoee contains 26 adventure-packed rapids over a 5-mile stretch of dam-controlled river and the Upper Ocoee section hosted the 1996 Olympic white-water competition, soaking the world's best athletes with splashes of raw adrenaline.
Once on the aqueous road, professional guides commandeer the self-bailing rafts, steering through frothy spumes of continuous Class III and IV rapids. Big Frog provides all necessary white-water equipment, including Coast Guard–approved personal-flotation devices, paddles, and helmets, along with transportation to the launching site, pretrip orientation, and a gearing-up session.
Appropriate attire includes a swimsuit, sunscreen, and sunglasses (with retainer cord), plus a towel, change of clothes, and dry shoes for postwater dampness relief. Once shuttled back to base camp, take advantage of Big Frog's hot showers and changing rooms, where adventure-groggy torsos are cleansed while rapidly washed heads reminisce quietly about the heart-thumping extremes of the day. As with most fun activities regulated by state law, participants must be at least 12 years old.