Monday, October 8, 2007

USO ATV and Rafting Trip

My awesome sponsor James introduced me to Julie. She's a cool Korean American Army nurse. She's the one I have to thank for coordinating the USO trip. They had a $50 package deal to bus you out to the countryside, ride ATVs or play paintball, then go white water rafting. We have the day off for Columbus Day and somehow there were only 9 people - 5 in Julie's party.

The bus ride took over two hours despite the light traffic in our direction. We drove past countryside rice paddies. I forget the name of the town we went to; it must have been somewhere to the north since I'm told we went by the DMZ.

We arrived at some sort of business that did paintball, ATVs, and rafting. They also had a small traditional style Korean restaurant where we were to eat lunch.

After circling the parking lot to get used to our 150cc quads, we were off! It wasn't too all terrain-y but was lots of fun nonetheless. We rode on the less busy public roads and rice field levies. There was a bridge and the scenery was gorgeous! We stayed in a group, but they weren't picky about the faster guys taking off. Since the course was weak we amused ourselves by driving like idiots - passing on the levees, cutting each other off on the corners, bumping into each other a bit, you get the idea. There was a short stretch of gravel that made it easy to slide the back out. One girl, an elementary school Spanish teacher, accidentally drove off the levee in front of me. I don't think she was purposely driving like an idiot. She was ok.

Lunch was fun but not worth mentioning. It was my first time eating on the floor in the traditional Korean style.

The rafting trip was pretty short. They have 3 different sections of river of which we did one. We were the only ones dumb, ugh...brave, enough to be on the river this time of year. The water was cold but the air had warmed up since the cold morning. The water was also low, which meant both that the rating was low (about a 2), and that the river was dangerous because of all the shallow rocks. Apparently during monsoon season the river reaches a solid 3+. I forget the name of our funny Korean guide. There was one rapid that me and my little Army crew couldn't handle. We hit a rock that threw most of us in (hum...) and managed to turn around backwards. Aside from that we stopped twice to enjoy the scenery and jump off a rock.

There was abundant scenery to enjoy from the bus. I took a few pictures then fell asleep all the way home. More shots here.

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