Before man conquered his fear of water, he amused himself with dust sports such as gravel boarding, rolling down hills, kicking boulders, and falling in the dust. Dust off fun with today's Groupon: for $25, you get a three-hour whitewater funyaking trip (up to a $45 value) with Crab Apple Whitewater. Trips launch daily at 1:45 p.m. in Charlemont, located about 2.5 hours west of Boston.
A funyak is a stable, user-friendly inflatable kayak (for one or two people) that's self-bailing, which means you won't need a bucket or sucky-trunked pachyderm to stay afloat. Each 8-mile funyak trip includes a paddling and safety lesson before funyakers fluffily float down the tree-lined Deerfield River. Drift among adorable eddies while listening to squirrels play forest wind chimes, and then brace for hectic bobbing on small rapids. Between white-capped splash zones, the trip breaks for snacks, swimming, and super-sized soakings with provided squirt guns.
The friendly staff at Crab Apple Whitewater encourage adventurers to make the most of their aquatic expedition. When the rapids subside, slip out for a dip in the warm waters, and when the serene sections grow alarmingly peaceful, liven them up with nature's whitewater rapids—hand-powered splashing. The staff will snap some action shots to display during the post-trip slideshow (individual photos are available for purchase), so be sure to say "cheese" and flex frequently throughout the adventure. For every trip, funyakers are asked to bring a bathing suit or shorts, appropriate footwear (no flip-flops), sunscreen, a towel, and a change of clothes. A calendar of scheduled trips can be found here. All funyak adventurers must bring a signed waiver and an autographed photo of Burton Gilliam with them on the day of their trip.
Crab Apple Whitewater
Located in the Berkshires, Crab Apple Whitewater sends adventure seekers on river-bound thrill rides daily from early April through mid-October using inflatable kayaks for Class I–II rapids and larger group rafts for Class II–IV rapids. The rafting and kayaking outfitter sits on a reservoir along the Deerfield River, where eagle, osprey, and beaver sightings are common. During the summertime, stand-up paddle board rentals behind their base camp are also available. Crab Apple Whitewater charts routes through the Berkshire Mountains on rivers such as the Deerfield, making use of natural flows and daily dam releases in order to control the challenge for kayakers and rafters of all skill levels. Trips are consistent due to dam control, but vary based on interpretations of fortunes found in the guide’s tea leaves the night before. All adventurers strap on provided helmets and life jackets and attend a safety lecture prior to casting off.