by Heather Huckeba 

In the summer of 2005, I didn’t know what state the Ocoee was in; I probably didn’t even know how to pronounce it! But I did make this pronouncement:  “I will NEVER paddle a river like the Ocoee. That is NOT the kind of whitewater I want to paddle.” Don’t you hate it when you say things like that out loud?  September 15, 2007: I ran the Ocoee. I didn’t die. I didn’t get hurt. Heck, I didn’t even flip except when I was playing along the way. I never felt out of control or in over my head. Most of all, I had a BLAST! The entire day, the entire experience, was so much more wonderful than I could have ever have imagined! The Ocoee is FUN! Now, I wonder what river I will NEVER paddle next…? 

Follow up with Heather’s complete Ocoee journey: Never Say Never: My First Ocoee Trip at