Action heroes have the uncanny ability to escape danger using whatever vehicle is at hand, navigating rocky shoals in speeding boats, threading through alleys atop unstable rickshaws, or skipping out on bar tabs aboard the backs of passing busboys. Burnish your adventure credentials with today’s Groupon: for $50, you get a Watauga River Express rafting trip from Wahoo’s Adventures headquartered in Boone and embarking from the Elizabethton outpost (an $80 value). This Groupon entitles holders up to two hours and fifteen minutes of river riding, with expeditions checking in every hour starting at 12:00 p.m.
The navigators at Wahoo’s Adventures eagerly guide excursionists down the Watauga River for odysseys through deep, calm waters, as well as thrilling stretches of up to Class III rapids. After arriving at Wahoo’s Watauga River outpost in Elizabethton, patrons study up with a brief tutorial that covers important rafting topics such as safety and how to keep too much land from getting lubbed into vessels. While on board rafts, groups navigate along deep cliff-side waters before plunging into a series of Class I and II rapids that introduce paddlers to the choppy art of white-water dashing. Afterward, a Class III pass speeds sailors through perilous river dips and cascades of aquatic spray. The scenic home stretch sees rafts passing picturesque pastures and the natural harmonies of birds-only barbershop quartets. At the end of the trip, Wahoo’s provides a shuttle back to the Watauga River outpost.
The only outfitter providing a full-service outpost on the banks of the Watauga river, Wahoo’s crew stands ready to troubleshoot equipment, and also hosts rafters with bathrooms, showers, picnic tables, and safe parking. Rafters can call or stop in at the outpost the day before their trip with any questions they may have about the river or the migratory pattern of the narwhal. Wahoo’s asks that future paddlers call ahead for availability and reservations.
Wahoo’s Adventures is one of the original whitewater outfitters, having facilitated outdoor excursions on rafts, tubes, canoes, and kayaks for over the past three decades. Whitewater-rafting tours take place upon the Watauga River, the Nolichucky River, and Wilson Creek Gorge, three waterways with differing levels of frothiness, much like three cappuccinos ordered by a family of bears. Alternatively, adults without rafting experience and children as young as 6 months can lazily drift down the New River while sprawled across tubes. As they pass rugged hillsides and scenic farmland, tubers can smell wildflowers, listen to chirping birds, and keep eyes peeled for Sasquatch footprints. Keeping clients safe is Wahoo’s main priority, which is why their experienced guides equip adventurers with high-quality life jackets, helmets, and paddles before taking the water.