Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Planning Spring Rafting Trips

Christmas is done... and along with the turmoil of trying to create that special holiday atmosphere of loving, giving, peaceful co-existence with all members of the family. Arguing over the minutea of past slights and silly ancient family history, we still all sit down at dinner and praise the All Mighty. We stuff our faces with familiar family recipes and we honor and respect each other's idiosyncracies. Talk around the table this year was about the weirdo weather we are experiencing in Northern California. Lots of rain! And the rivers came screaming back up to high water springtime conditions. Weird. The North Fork American was flowing above 3,000 cfs while the South Fork American River stayed at an unreal North Fork American raftDecember level above 5,000 cfs. Up North, the Cal Salmon rose to 6,000+ cfs! W.E.T. River Trips logo

Snow started falling again on Monday and some of us headed up to Kirkwood for a day of skiing and snowboarding today. With all the rain and ground saturation, we should be in very good shape for all dam controlled rivers such as South Fork American, Middle Fork American and Tuolumne River this spring and summer. Reservoirs will be healthy; especially in Northern California! Just remember that the majority of storms seem to come in January and February. We definitely need more snowpack for a longer spring runoff!

Our families and friends are planning several rafting trips this season. In the spring, we are looking to do a private river trip on the Illinois River in Oregon, then commercial river trips on the North Fork American in California, the California Salmon River near the California/Oregon border and then we will do a family and friends re-union on a two day South Fork and Middle Fork American in late July. This should satisfy all the die-hard paddlers in our family, but also it will allow us to include the younger kids and some grandparents over on the American River. This should be a great river rafting season for everyone!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Adventure Gift Certificates for Teens

Yikes, it's almost Christmas! Shopping for loved ones is getting more and more difficult every year. I'm racking my brains to get that perfect something for my teenager. What do you get a teen who has everything?

You know what I mean... they have a computer, they have an X-Box, they have the iPod, they have the snowboard, skateboard, skis, blah blah blah... they have tons of clothes; they have every flippin' thing that every kid wants already... so what does a parent get for their special teen?

I'm getting adventure gifts for mine. Lift tickets at their favorite ski resort, gift certificates for rafting trips, campsite reservations near favorite outdoor programs, rock climbing walls, gift certs for outdoor sports equipment and memberships to the local gym! I want my teen off the couch and in the outdoors enjoying life to it's fullest. Sooooo, hey parents; give the gift of adventure. The teens will really enjoy it!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

High Water on South Fork American River

Brrrrrr! It's hella cold. Good for a great base on the ski slopes. Storms are happening and the North Fork American came screaming up in flows. I'm not sure who or what went down the other day when the rains sent the gauge up to 15,000 cfs. Imagine that narrow corridor in that rocky canyon.

Where does the water go when it's that high? Upwards! I heard there were some kayakers attempting it... not sure which portion or if it's just a rumor... that's the thing about river rumors... there's always an element of truth. Did so-and-so really do that descent? Did that company really raft at those flows?

... went over to the South Fork American this past weekend to check out the flows and the beautiful winter scenery. Oh, yeeehhhh... the kayakers were out in the chilly air enjoying the river to themselves. This is such a great time for 'yakers... no commercial activity; just paddle in hand enjoying the river. Calls are coming into the office for early spring trips on the North Fork American and Cal Salmon trips. Weather is starting to promise a great river rafting season for 2006... oh, and by the way, Ryan Mac made it down to Brazil safe and sound. Logistics will be set and the first trips will start on Christmas day. Good luck to the "Chasing 50" Team!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Brazil Rivers - First Descents

Storms are coming in... finally! Rain and some snow in the higher elevations... and good ol' Boreal has opened. Ryan Mac, one of our safety kayakers and also, one of our guides, has put together an exploratory rafting and kayaking trip to Brazil. Calling the Expedition "Chasing 50," Ryan, and the team will be traveling through 7 states, visiting over 20 National Parks in 15 different mountain ranges in an effort to surpass 50 River First Descents on Class 4 - 5 rivers in only 3 months! For info on sponsorships, please click here for further information on "Chasing 50."

Our own W.E.T. River Trips is sponsoring Ryan and the "Chasing 50" team because we support the exploration of new rivers and new rafting programs. To be able to, someday, experience the rivers that this team will be seeing for the first time is one of the best reasons to lend support. We can't wait for the stories to come out of this exploratory river trip!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thanksgiving Thanks!

This writer would like to give thanks for the many people, places and things that have brought joy and fulfillment to my life.

First my family; their support and love have been complete without exception. The beautiful rivers, streams and natural places that I have visited; God's gift to me, and believe me, I relish those moments of utter quiet and reflection. And the things... the organizations, the hardware to create this website, the rafts and gear that allow me to enjoy my family and rivers... Good health, happiness and strength. Music that keeps my head on the river even when I am not there. All this, I am thankful.

For those of you who have suffered loss and sadness this year, try to find a way to be thankful for all that you do have. This Thanksgiving finds our country in strife both on our shores and on foreign shores. We have seen major natural disasters that have faced both our countrymen and others. Daily we face disappointments and pure joy. Life is all about contrasts.

Eat a bunch of turkey, roll around on the floor while hugging your children, your spouse. Keep your friends close to your heart. If you have enemies, hug them anyway or at least keep an open mind. Have a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 14, 2005

River Conservation

Holidays are sneaking up on us... and my thoughts are still on the river season. Conservation groups have been very busy these past few months. SMUD's (Sacramento Municipal Utility District) proprosal of relicensing the Upper South Fork American River "was not as positive as it could have been,” said Steve Evans, FOR Conservation Director. It did not include the recommendations of agencies that are responsible for the public trust, including the California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and California Park Service.” FOR (Friends of the River) is not asking for dam removals; just a restoration. Read more about this project at our River Conservation News pages.

And over on the Tuolumne River, conservation efforts have helped convince San Francisco in dropping the additional pipeline that would have adversely affected the beautiful flows of the Tuolumne River. For those of you who love that river, you should read and help support the efforts by the Tuolumne Trust.

Finally, the modifications by the US National Forest has made some profound changes over on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. FEIS (Final Environmental Impact Study) was released last week. "We think it's a workable plan," said Mark Grisham, Executive Director of the Grand Canyon River Outfitters Association, "We would have done some things differently, but recognize that the Park had a tough balancing act." Some of the changes include: Commercial use spreading from April through September with some launches in June and July moved to these early & later seasonal departures; Group size cuts from a maximum of 36 passengers to 28 passengers; and the ratio of commercial motorized use to oar use changed from the current 3 to 1 (motorized to oar) to 2 to 1.

While most of our paddling friends are busy with holiday planning and preparing for their annual rafting trips, our industry is busy protecting these dwindling resources as our California population swells. We work hard to protect our industry's interest just like every other business in the country; except ours is a fun-loving outdoor recreation that truely enhances the quality of our lives.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Teen Rafting Trips

Weather is cold today and a storm is due to hit. Mother Nature is waking up after a long summer/fall. Everyday, this past month, beautiful blue skies and warm sunny days greeted Californians, and the weather started to get to me. It's time for holiday planning and marking the days on the calendar. The guides are hunkering down for the winter and planning their holiday escapes. For those of you who went with W.E.T. River Trips this past rafting season, you may want to share your experience with a friend or loved one. Just call us for holiday gift certificates. We finally have a PDF file to download for the gift certificates or you can just order one to be mailed.

Speaking of holiday gifts & shopping, I came across a news item regarding Abercrombie & Fitch. Seems that a group of young teens have organized a boycott (or as one noted; a girl-cott) of their stores. This isn't the first time that A&F has insulted their buying public. What is suprising, though, is that these young teen women have organized and carefully put their message in front of the media.

What we see is a group of intelligent young teens exercising their Constitutional rights to boycott a stupid marketing attempt by a large corporate retailer. We would love to have these teens rafting with us! Our teen rafting trips honor the intelligence and abilities of our youthful citizens. They are the ones who will be running the show soon. And if this group of young teens is any indication of our future... well, we have nothing to worry about.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Feather River with W.E.T. River Trip Guides

It's raining. Finally... and waking up this morning, the slippers and robe came out for the first time in a long time. The rain is gentle and everything outside looks green and alive. Fall is here and the trees are just starting to turn color. Rain drips slowly off the leaves and the air smells so fresh. Soon, the Sierras will be covered with snow and a promise of Spring rafting... and maybe, another high water season?

Throughout most of October, flows seemed to disappear on most raftable rivers except for the South Fork American where the flows held to 1,500 cfs most days. Kayakers, guides, and private boaters had the river to theirselves.

W.E.T. guides did the Feather River recently during the monthly release a couple of weeks ago. The rafting trip covers two sections; the Cresta Run, a Class 4, and the other section, the Tobin Run, a Class 5. Saul, senior headguide, led the trip and Justin, Maggie, Zach, Jonny, Eric, Steve & Mike rounded out the two rafts as Ryan and Alex were kayaking. While Ryan didn't do the Cresta Run, he hit the Tobin Run with a vengeance. The W.E.T. guides met Renee from Cuba who has done the Tobin Run 21 times! Sweeeet. For this last final trip of the season, a celebratory mood set the end of an amazing 2005 rafting season!

Guides and kayakers are scattering and gravitating to other rivers throughout the world. Ryan is heading for Brazil to do 50+ runs on Class 5 rivers. Some will be first descents and he will be back with some incredible stories. Sigh... such is the life of some of our professional guides or kayakers. For those of us who are sitting in front of the computer or pushing papers across our desk... there is pure envy in looking at that lifestyle. I, personally, can't wait for Spring Rafting Trips to begin!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Turn of the Rafting Season

Melancholy mood is setting in... phone calls are dwindling, weather is changing and the guides are scattering back into the real world. A lot of us will be going back to school as students or teachers; back to ski patrol at major resorts; travel to other rivers for another season of rafting; or get jobs until the season starts again for California rafting. Camp Lotus is quieter and the Coloma Club is deserted. The river is back to it's original state of quiet reflection populated by otters, beavers, birds, kayakers and an occasional rafter.

Weather this weekend is going to be very warm in the upper 80's to low 90's. Will the flow be there? How is the power company managing the upper storage at the dam? Last weekend there was no water on the South Fork American due to some type of maintenance issue. And then yesterday, we had 3,000 cfs! Geesh! I wonder if they will be dumping water out during October to make sure we don't have too much in the reservoirs when Fall/Winter rainstorms start occurring. Otherwise, where will all that water go?

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Fall Rafting Trips

Yo, daddy-o... people are still coming out to raft this month. Beautiful weather and pretty good flows for September! Looks like the Middle Fork American will be ending the last weekend of September, but the South Fork American should be dependable through October on weekends... at least bank on the Saturdays! If you have a small group for October, give us a call. Most of the trips in October will be one day rafting trips only, but if you have a significant group... well, we can turn it into a overnight package.

We're not quite wetsuit weather yet, but it is cool in the mornings and night. So grab the polypro fleece and/or splash jackets for the Fall rafting trips.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Family Trips

After last week's horrific news from the Gulf states, we really needed to refocus our priorities. Such sad news and so many people were affected. We pray that the horror will be over soon... rafting becomes such a frivalous endeavor compared to the disaster! But when I am on the water, a calming happens. I can prioritize my life and know that the most important things have nothing to do with the house, the car or the money. It is always about the family and the people you love. Coming together as a family on rafting trips, during the holidays or even Sunday dinners; families and friends are the nurturing elements for our soul...

Weather is now cooling and expect to see temperatures ranging from the mid 70's to the mid 80's. South Fork American should have dependable weekend flows through September. Time to put on the splash jackets with polar fleece or polypro fabrics. Enjoy this time while the crowds are gone. Flows and weather are just wonderful. Bring your friends, family and colleagues... enjoy life!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Late Summer Rafting in California

Weather has been just gorgeous! Upper 90's with cooling trends in the evening bring a welcoming respite from the murderous heat last month. Season is winding down on both the South Fork American and the Middle Fork American River. Yesterday, the Middle Fork was uncrowded and truely a wilderness gem. Our guest paddlers commented about the stark contrast of serene, quiet beauty of the canyon and the wild rapid ride through Tunnel Chute.

This is what rafting is all about... the beauty of Nature and it's potentially dangerous routes. Isn't this why people crave Class 5 rapids, black diamond runs on the ski slope, vertical mountain bike runs and climbing and conquering mountains? We are a distant cousin to the first pioneers that inhabited this planet. They were the ones who had to negotiate streams and rivers without knowing what lay ahead. Can you imagine seeing a Class 5 rapid for the first time in a small, handmade watercraft without knowing it was there? How did they survive and how did they figure out how to run those rapids? By trial and error... except their errors led to serious consequences.

Updates currently are predicting that we should have good flows on the South Fork American River for the early Fall months. Bill Center, former El Dorado County supervisor predicts, "... looking at the amount of water they will need to release to reach target November 1 reservoir elevations, I anticipate flows in September and October of similar magnitudes as in August. The trick will be to get reliable weekend flows. I can't imagine not having at least Saturdays through September, and well into October, barring any outages, planned or unplanned."

You can read his comments at www.theamericanriver.com, an information and forum website for the American River.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Kooks are Out!

The end of the season is coming soon... and the kooks are out! What do you do when the people are one hour late? We had two people who called in on Saturday around fifteen minutes before a 9AM meeting time. They said they would be 20 minutes late. Our early morning staff asked them where they were. The person refused to give us a location except that they were "just outside of Sacramento." We explained that we would try to contact the crew (cell phone coverage there is spotty at the campground) and let them know to try to wait for the people.

Around 15 minutes later, we got another call from the late party again. This time, we practically begged them for their location, asking what exit did they just past. The person sheepishly answered, "... we just passed 59th Street exit in Sacramento." Alarmed, we explained that they were approximately one hour away from the meeting site. At that point, our morning staff instructed them that they most likely had missed their trip since everyone was already loaded into the bus. The person started yelling at our staff person. We tried to explain that 36 other people were down there on time and would not wait for two people for an hour. Our bus driver also had other pick-ups that morning and was on a scheduled run. The person hung up angry and then called back asking if they could just go straight to the put-in. We explained that they wouldn't make that either, since the bus had left already and they were on schedule to put-in around 9:30AM. At this point, we asked them to email us on Monday to ask for a reschedule.

The person started screaming profanities and making statements about how they had paid all this money and that we better accommodate them or else. The expletives were alarming and the person said that they would get our staff person fired because we couldn't do anything for them that day. So, what should we have done? We tried to delay the trip as much as we could, but we can not risk the wrath of 36 other people who were on time to wait for two people who were clearly one hour late? It seems that every year at the end of the season, the kooks come out.

Late Sunday night, we received a message for a late addition to the Monday Middle Fork American trip. We rearranged the trip, bumped a trainee out, and reconfigured the shuttle. On Monday morning, at 7AM we received a call from them letting us know their older son had woken up ill. They were such nice folks to let us know as soon as they could and they were not screaming at us about refunds and lawsuits. We will be rescheduling them either this year or next because of their gracious behavior. And the other folks, well, we hope they haunt someone else's rafting company.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Hot August Rafting Trips

So, August is here and it's time to start thinking about Fall rafting trips. I love late August and September rafting. With this year's incredible snowpack, the flows for late season should be superb. Low flows are only a memory as we go rafting on 1,500 cfs to 1,800 cfs on the South Fork American.

Over on the Middle Fork American, flows have been very stable and consistent; barely changing throughout July. We should see similar flows throughout the late summer and fall months. After the third week of August, we should see a considerable slow-down in the rafting population... families getting ready for school, people finishing their vacation time and others going about the business of getting ready for fall and winter. Like the spring, we encourage those of you who are more into a wilderness-type trip, to go rafting from now till end of September. Less people, less traffic on the water... July was an absolute zoo! Tons of people everyday and even more trying to reserve. Pick a date in the late summer and fall and see the river as it should be seen... quiet, serene with lots of rapids! Fall weather is also gorgeous and warm. We hope to see you one more time this year!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Rafting Teens

Oh, I spoke too soon! The weather has been at extreme temperatures of 107 to 108 and up to 110 degrees this past week. People came out in droves! With the weather at its peak summer temperatures, we recommend that you come prepared for your skin protection. Sunblock, sunblock and more sunblock is the key! With your kids, consider even long sleeve protection... and even long pants. It's getting hard to keep the people in the boats, now. Everyone wants to swim and float in the river; escaping the heat. This is the best time to bring the beginners, novices and families to go rafting on the American River.

We just got a call from two people who were adamant about NOT going down the river with kids. That is a sad request. We welcome families and we hope our guests welcome them, too. These are the kids that will be our future clientele and our future guides. Be kind to children and teens. They have a hard job ahead of school, parental pressures & career choices. Try to remember being that age... try to capture the same young enthusiasm for rafting that these kids will bring. It is sad that anyone could frown upon children, teens and their families... be nice... enjoy their youthful escapades!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Dog Days of Summer

The dog days of summer are here. 100 degrees... but this has been the mildest summer that I have ever seen. Beautiful weather, clear skies and great rafting trips! It's vacation time for families and friends. Everyone is trying to get the last vacation plans on their California rafting trips.

Dam controlled rivers such as the South Fork American, Tuolumne and Middle Fork American will be raftable throughout the rest of this summer. Those of you, in the know, will want to bring your family, friends and colleagues on these summer river rafting trips for a memorable time on the river. This is the best time for the younger kids and the more timid rafters or beginners.

Those of you who may have done Class 3 rafting before, should check out the Middle Fork American. Guides are saying that the top of Tunnel Chute is getting a little "sticky" and they notice that the run is harder this year. We just did a beautiful two day wilderness rafting trip on the Middle Fork American. The people were from Southern and Northern California. Everyone came off the trip replenished and refreshed... even the guides were in nirvana land. Sigh... what a beautiful river corridor... and W.E.T. was the only outfitter on the river for two whole days! A real wilderness rafting adventure!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Fourth of July Weekend!

Whoa! What a lot of people on the Fourth of July Weekend! California rafting; here we come! There were kids, teens, parents, corporate groups and just normal folks like you and I and everyone else. The weather was hotter than a pistol! Sooo many people were calling in for last minute reservations. Most of those were disappointed because we were totally sold out on both the Middle Fork American and the South Fork American. We try to let our paddling friends know that they should try to organize their rafting trips early ... we know that sometimes it's hard to get your friends and family together and organize them for one particular date. We suggest that you organize by choosing a couple of dates that are convenient for you... then make everyone organize their time around those dates. It will make your life much easier!

Summer seems to be flying by and many of our weekend dates are already filled. Try to go on anydate except for Saturdays. That is the busiest time of the week. Mondo amounts of people are there! I love Fridays and Mondays... not as many people... and easier to get the work day off. Also, W.E.T. River Trips has tons of discounts on those off days. Otherwise, call early and see what Saturdays are left!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Family and Kids on the American River

Here comes the weekend! Lots of families and kids coming this weekend on the South Fork American. Sun is shining and we can finally put away the wetsuits. Some of the kids will still be in them since their little bodies need that extra insulation. South Fork American has been running at 1,500 cfs up to 3,500 cfs. Great rapids and even better flows! Over on the Middle Fork American, flows have finally come down to safe levels and most of the rapids over there seem unchanged from last year. Justin, our headguide felt that Tunnel Chute seemed a bit easier... could be that he has seen and run that rapid so many times, that it may seem easy to him.

With families coming out in droves this year, we would like to remind parents to prepare their children for their outdoor experience. Listen to the guides carefully, read our information about rafting trips and how to prepare for them, slather everyone with sunblock, be well-rested for your rafting trip and don't party hard the night before! Summer is finally here and the living is definitely easy for those who are prepared for their California whitewater rafting on the American River!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Brent Bradley, Kayaker

It's getting crowded on the rivers as more and more people come out from under this long wintery weather. The South Fork American was pretty crowded this past weekend. The days were beautiful with mild temperatures and big, fluffy clouds floating in the air. Lots of happy, smiling rafters on the Chili Bar and Gorge sections of the river.

On the Tuolumne, there was an extreme kayaker who was kayaking Clavey River and ended on a sad note with his death. See boof.com for details about this internationally known kayaker, Brent Bradley. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family & friends.

The river is a living thing. It has a soul and those of you who have been mesmerized by it's dance know that you have to respect it and revere it. We nag our clients and we let them know that rafting is fun but that anything can happen. Our hearts are with the spirit of the river and with those who may have been ultimately captured by them.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

North Fork American - Spring River Trips

Another rain storm has descended upon us! More water for the rivers. Just wanted to dispell some strange myths floating around the Bay Area right now.... seems that a bunch of the rafting companies are claiming that the North Fork American River has just started its season. Ha! Well, tell that to the 300 people that went with us this season starting in March 2005. All those people rafted on river flows from 1,500 cfs to 3,000 cfs.

We started early because the river did. And our clientele know when the flows begin. We had some beautiful sunny days during April that are rivaling the sunny days now (well, not today... rainy today), but those were the hardy folks who had rafted with us in the past. Bookmark this website so that you, too, will be a better informed paddler. Start rafting in the early season with your core friends and then come back during the summer months with your friends, family & colleagues. If you have a question about rafting, don't hesitate to email us or call. We will give you the best, educated answer regarding flows. This weekend should be a blast on the South Fork and North Fork American River!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

River Flows - 5,000 cfs

Sooo... today was the first day that the South Fork American flowed below 5,000 cfs all day long. We are at the technical stages on that river at around 4,500 cfs. From 3,500 cfs to 4,500 cfs, the South Fork American becomes a technical whitewater rafting trip requiring good paddling skills. You've got a good volume of water cascading over a boulder strewn corridor and that equals technical whitewater skills. Yes, I know, the media made a big deal out of the "big" flows last month, and the biggest danger at that time was hypothermia (brrrrr!), I much prefer the technical aspects of whitewater rafting.

Those of you who are gearing up for next season's runs on the North Fork American, Yuba, Tuolumne, high water Merced or the Class V runs on the Cal Salmon, should try and go again on the South Fork during these levels. You've got to be an good paddler or you'll crash and burn through Meatgrinder, get squirrly at Racehorse Bend and flip at Troublemaker. I think that doing these runs will definitely prepare you for next spring's rafting trips.

Soon, we will be back on the Middle Fork American. We started over there in April and then high water came and we couldn't boat over there anymore. Flows need to be below 2,000 cfs or otherwise, paddlers are portaging everything... not much fun, unless you are looking at an expedition! We will be rafting the Middle Fork right around the time that the North Fork American will be ending its season.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

American River Flows

Wacky weather this week! Flows were bouncing back and forth on all three forks of the American River. North Fork American dropped from 3,000 cfs down to 1,200 cfs in just a few days. The cooling trend made the runoff slow down, which is really nice because that means we will have an even more extended season. Today, after a brief storm yesterday, the flows came back up to 3,000 cfs! By this weekend, it should be around 1,500 to 2,000 cfs. We love the NoFo!

NoFo paddlers last weekend were past customers who had done a gazillion rafting trips with us over the last ten years. A group of gentlemen who had done low water South Fork American during the heat of the summer, high water South Fork American River during spring runs and Middle Fork American during summer and fall. This year, they had booked a Middle Fork American and because the MoFo was running too high, they opted to do the Class 4+ run on the NoFo. They loved it! And one of their comments was "We had a great time and everyone was pleased that we had been "moved up" to the North Fork. Both Justin and Saul were terrific--they made everyone feel comfortable. We'll do the North Fork again next year for sure. It wasn't as scary as we had been led to believe over the years." Clark from Northern California; June 2005

Now, of course, the river wasn't scary because this group was well-prepared for the technical demands of this river rafting trip. It wasn't scary because the guides were excellent and knew how to make this rafting trip safe. We know sometimes that we can go overboard with caution when we book our reservations with our paddlers, but W.E.T. River Trips really wants our paddleheads to have the best time on the river and not riddled with bad memories of flips, wraps and/or nasty swims.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Peak Flows - American River

Well, flows look like they have reached the peak on the American River rafting. Though the South Fork American is still running around 4,500 to 6,500 cfs, the North Fork American is starting to drop back to normal spring runoff levels. Last weekend was probably the last of the "big flows" on the NoFo. And we are still rafting the NoFo this weekend! What a great, long season on that beautiful river. While the media is still talking about extreme levels, in reality, the extreme flows are pretty much done.

SoFo will probably have solid Spring flows through June... and then back to normal... and then everyone will start whining about the lower flows. Sigh... you can't please everyone! Crew can't wait to get back over on the Middle Fork American. Flows over there have been wildly sporadic. Though it doesn't seem like much water pumping of Oxbow at only 2,500+ cfs, you just can't run certain rapids over there safely at those levels. As soon as it drops below 2,000 cfs, we'll be over there! Can't wait to see what Last Chance, Tunnel Chute & Texas Chainsaw will do to paddlers the rest of this season. Did the top of Tunnel Chute change? Did the boulders move around?

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Active Senior Rafters

95 degrees this week and, as Paris would say "that's hot!" Lots of rivers to raft this week. The beautiful North Fork American has been at optimum levels as well as the Merced. Tuolumne has been raging at 16,000 cfs! Middle Fork American has been fluctuating at too high of levels and lots of those trips were cancelled and sent over to the South Fork American. Good 'ol Southfork! Ranging from 5,000 cfs to 8,000 cfs, that river is providing an incredible thrill for adventurous novices and athletic beginners. We had a gentlemen this week who booked a South Fork American trip and asked for an oarboat for himself. He described himself as "elderly rafter" and let us know that he had done this trip many, many times as a younger man. When we met with him, he was an enthusiastic rafter looking forward to the big water!

Here is his wonderful email to us: "Feel obliged to say that you have a great operation judging from my trip yesterday. Justin (headguide) should go far in life as a teacher/coach ...great empathy and charisma! Also Gabriel has innate concern for the well-being and safety of others... would go with him anywhere because of it. All in all a great experience... and nice 71st birthday present to myself... Thanks again, Bill from Northern California; May 2005

Mr. Bill, you totally made our day! It just shows you that it's not your age, not your size... it's all about attitude and lifestyle. Those of you who look for adventure in your lives, find it not only in the outdoors but in everything that you do. Thanks to all of our wonderful client paddlers. We are having the time of our lives during this high water season!