Unlike the great indoors, the great outdoors offers the excitement of nature's unpredictability, such as being water-ballooned by a woodpecker. Delve into supercilious scenery with today's Groupon to North American River Runners in Minden, West Virginia, valid between September 9 and October 16 (excluding September 17). Choose from the following options:
• For $156, you get a Monday Lower Gauley whitewater-rafting trip for two people (a $130 value each), plus two nights of camping (a $52 value; a $312 total value).
• For $176, you get a Friday Lower Gauley whitewater-rafting trip for two people (a $150 value each), plus two nights of camping (a $52 value; a $352 total value).
• For $186, you get a Sunday Lower Gauley whitewater-rafting trip for two people (a $160 value each), plus two nights of camping (a $52 value; a $372 total value).
• For $206, you get a Saturday Lower Gauley whitewater-rafting trip for two people (a $180 value each), plus two nights of camping (a $52 value; a $412 total value).
An additional $6 guided activity fee ($3/person) is not included in this Groupon. Campers should bring their own tent, sleeping bag, and other camping equipment to the campsites, but rental equipment is available for an additional fee.
The fall Lower Gauley River trip pumps first-time river-runners with aquatic-based adrenaline. This riverine jewel packs more than 30 Class III–V rapids into 11.5 miles, spaced out by long pools on which paddlers can relax for a moment while enjoying the views or avoiding eye contact with overly talkative otters. Subject to the iron fist and spillway of the Summersville Dam, rafting season on the Lower Gauley lasts a scant 22 days in September and October, but even so, the breath-embezzling scenery, world-class wave trains, and provided lunch make the trip a favorite among veterans, rookie rafters, and body-boarding salmon alike.
Guests can set up their own tents and equipment on the mountaintop campgrounds for two nights amid peaceful, panoramic views of the surrounding forest, free from the modern world and its brilliantly colored jumbotrons. Although not included in this Groupon, campers may opt to upgrade from standard accommodations to deluxe lodging for an additional fee or add on rental tents and gear, such as a flannel-lined sleeping bag and pillow ($5) or a camp kit with an assembled four-man tent and four half-inch, close-cell foam sleeping pads ($10). The grounds afford campers access to a fire pit and picnic table, as well as shower houses within walking distance for washing up or crooning.