“I am looking for someone to share in an adventure”
In J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,” Gandalf sought to enlist Bilbo Baggins in an epic adventure. People normally seek out and embrace fast paced group activities because our social connection is heightened during stimulating physical adventures. Wanting to connect with the special people in our lives is ubiquitous to the human experience. And rivers, especially their rugged white water sections, are the sought-after atmosphere for these adrenaline-fueled occasions.
The West Branch of the Penobscot is marketed as the most challenging rafting in New England. As Raylin Wiggin explained, when asked why he and his then girlfriend, Samantha, chose to go rafting on the Penobscot river: “We were looking for something exciting to build that adrenaline and give us that stronger connected bond.” He had the impression that the West Branch offered the most exciting rafting. In fact, they ended up rafting it on multiple occasions.
On their fourth trip in 2015 down the Mighty Penobscot, Raylin solidified their relationship and proposed to Samantha (she said yes). When asked what is so special about the West Branch of the Penobscot River, Raylin assuredly replied:
“There’s something magical and uniquely romantic about the West Branch. Not to mention the special feeling of community you get spending time with both the guides and the other guests… you really start to feel like a family all working towards a common goal.”
In 2015, Kelley Micheal went to great lengths to plan a birthday celebration for her future wife, Kerri. When asked why she chose the Penobscot, she said “We chose the Penobscot River…because we had rafted the Kennebec, Dead and the Penobscot before and the Penobscot is by far the best of those. They invited 13 women who ranged in age from their mid 50s to mid 20s to share in their adventure. Of course, the wild ride on the river met her every expectation that day. It was, however, the time post-trip around the campfire that really connected them to one another.”
This summer, the West Branch will host more special shared adventures. Carol Salmon from New Brunswick and her sister, Janet, are planning a 50th birthday trip for their “baby” sister, Mia. And Gregg Desiderio, a school principal from New Jersey, is planning a trip on the Penobscot with his son to commemorate the excursion he took with his father into the Allagash waterway years ago.
If someone asks you to share in an adventure with them, chances are you’ll say “yes.” Because even though there are millions of ways we are different from one another, the “need for speed for both you and me” unifies us. Tap into this confluence and make sure they take you to the river—the West Branch of the Penobscot River.
Penobscot Adventures is a whitewater rafting outfitter located in Millinocket, Maine. Owned by the McDonald family and run by a crew of guides and staff, Penobscot Adventures has offered whitewater rafting and river boarding trips for over 15 years. For more information, visit penobscotadventures.com.