Friday, March 30, 2007

South Fork American flows

Our California whitewater rafting liason with the utility companies that manage the dam has just sent out an update on river flows for this 2007 rafting season. Here is what is predicted for flows on the SOUTH FORK AMERICAN. I write that in caps to make sure you don't confuse it with the other forks of the river.

  • May and June: questionable flows on Wednesdays (there goes Wacky Wed)
  • July and August: questionable flows on Mondays (may as well go to work)
  • September: weekend use and probably Friday (that means it'll be busy)

  • Our lovely boss has decided to apply special pricing to both Tues and Thurs.

  • 2-day standard South Fork trip can be done for the $175 per person Wacky Wednesday rate.
  • The One Day Chili Bar run will remain at $99 per person from Mon through Fri.
  • And you still get the every 6th person free!

  • So what's bad news for Wacky Wednesdays, is good news for our rafting clients as they will be able to save a bundle on rafting packages with us. This will be an awesome year for families, group rafting trips and corporate team-building. See ya on the river!

    Wednesday, March 28, 2007

    Megan Seely Fights Like a Girl

    The enpowerment of rafting has brought many women to our company, W.E.T. River Trips for team building. Many of our group rafting trips are strictly for women such as women's groups, bachelorette parties and women's sports teams. Last year, active seniors joined us... women over 50 who enjoy being out on the river rafting on whitewater trips! The outdoor adventure industry that was once dominated strictly by men has now seen a huge inclusion of young women in all sectors... and more are joining!

    Our recent blog was written by one of our oldest tenured guides, Jonny. He is married to a remarkable young feminist who has just recently released her first book: "Fight Like a Girl." We caught up with her during her speaking tour. This is our interview with Megan Seely:

    I was the youngest President of California NOW (National Organization of Women). I am currently teaching Sociology and Women’s Studies full-time for Sierra College. I also serve on the board of directors for Women’s Health Specialists, a Feminist Women’s Health Center. Women’s Health Specialists are women-centered health care centers in northern California.

  • As a young woman, how did you become so passionately involved with women's rights and issues?

  • My folks say I was born passionate. I’ve always had very strong convictions and a strong sense of justice. But growing up in a family of predominately women I really didn’t know the realities of women’s rights and/or issues. I grew up with a family that celebrated having daughters, who encouraged my exploration and declarations of self, and more than anything taught me that my voice was valid and important. I think the defining moment for me in terms of women’s rights was while sitting in a large lecture hall at UC Santa Cruz with my mother who was a re-entry student of Women’s Studies and who was taking a class from Bettina Aptheker. Listening to Bettina opened my world and I began to understand that not all little girls grow up they way I did. I knew two things at that point— 1. I would teach and 2. I would work my whole life to make the world a better, safer, more encouraging, supporting and respectful place for women and girls.

  • How were you involved with the UFW (United Farm Workers)?

  • I grew up in a small coastal farming town near Watsonville and went to Watsonville High School. The realities of the farm workers’ struggle was impossible to ignore. A group of friends of mine were very aware of UFW and Cesar Chavez’s work. We decided to join in on the grape boycott by sharing a hunger strike. There are some interesting stories in my book about my mishaps ‘learning’ activism during this time. But this experience, at such a young age (I was 14), made a huge impact on how I saw the world and my role within it. I think I have always been an activist but this experience is when I really began to see the power of collective social movements.

  • Has equality between the sexes become a mute point? ie, women are attending college in greater numbers than men.

  • Nope. There are still many challenges for women and girls today—in this country and certainly around the globe. From issues of political representation (we still only comprise about 16% of Congress, have only 8 woman governors, and still no woman president) to issues of equal pay (on average women make about 74 cents to every dollar a male makes, and that is seriously reduced when you include race/ethnicity into the statistics) to safety (I could give many statistics here but the fact that even one woman in the world is raped or beaten, much less the hundreds of thousands around the world who are, makes my argument) fighting for equality continues to be important. The gains that have been made should be celebrated and should encourage us to continue until all women have the same opportunities.

  • Are the young women of today even interested in women's rights?

  • There are many young women (and men) who care about, and are involved with, women’s rights. There are many who proudly call themselves feminists. The media doesn’t often focus on these folks, but we’re here. Of course, on the other hand there are young people who don’t believe that feminism represents them, or that women’s rights is a current issue and who can blame them when we look at the effective slam campaign against feminism in the media, and when our schools barely (if at all) mention feminism or women’s contributions to history or politics. However, when you poll Americans about the tenets of feminism (i.e. ‘do you believe in equal rights?’) the vast majority of people say yes. I think we generally like strong women characters in our movies and television shows, I think most of us were thrilled with the women who gained political office this last election season and are ecstatic with Nancy Pelosi becoming Speaker of the House, we like that women go to college, we want women to be paid fairly, and we want women safe—that is all feminism.

  • There is a current trend that shows women are making more money than men. Part of that reason is that women are graduating from college in larger numbers than men. Also, for the first time in our history, over 50% of women in marriages now exceed a higher level of income than their husbands. Do these statistics point to a general equality for women?

  • I think that it is important to celebrate and recognize gains that are made but we also need to be careful not to assume equality based on a few gains. Women, in this country and beyond, continue to fight for true equality. In the U.S. we remain under-represented in business, politics, media, education, military, and religion—all the key institutions that shape our society. We still have no constitutional equality in this country and have failed to sign onto the 1979 CEDAW Convention (the Convention of the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women)—a document that over 180 countries have already signed, including more than 90% of the United Nations membership, most of our European allies and many of our trade partners. We have to ask the question, ‘why hasn’t the U.S. signed on?’

  • Reproductive rights have been at the forefront for the last few years as we have had a dominate Christian-based agenda as it relates to abortion rights and planning parenthood. Do young women still care about the erosion of these rights?

  • Absolutely, reproductive rights continue to be a cornerstone issue in women’s rights. Among women, young and older, who are activists, reproductive rights continues to be at the forefront. For others, it tends to depend upon the situation. In many ways young women almost take reproductive rights for granted, believing that birth control and abortion is there if they (or a friend) need it but otherwise not a big deal. This is what happens when you don’t teach history. Far too few young women understand the fight that ensued to earn access to birth control, abortion, or other reproductive rights (or to vote, go to college, wear pants, etc). Without an understanding of the politics of reproductive rights it is difficult to truly understand what is at stake… until you, or a friend or sister, are the one who can’t get the services you need. Unfortunately, with 87% of counties in the U.S. without an abortion provider, this is a reality for more and more women in this country.

  • If a woman had been in charge these last four years, would we be in Iraq?

  • While we just can’t know this, it is hard to imagine that we would be in Iraq if a woman had been president. I guess it depends upon which woman. This is not to say that women don’t support war or are in any way incapable of being the Commander-in-Chief but given how unnecessary and ill-planned this current war is, it is hard to believe that a woman, particularly a feminist, would have gotten us into such a position.

  • What do you hope for the women in the USA or the world? Can we apply our cultural concerns to the women in other countries or is the cultural differences too difficult to overcome?

  • So much could be gained, here and internationally, if we were able to simply value and respect women. With value and respect it would be impossible to steal her choices, do harm to her, limit her, deny her education or health care, or treat her as less. My wish is for the safety, health and equal opportunities of all women, everywhere. And if you have these things, I would ask that you remember that a woman devalued anywhere, devalues women everywhere.

  • What is the most important issue standing before the modern woman?

  • Too many to choose just one. Body image and eating disorders are so pervasive among young women, as is campus and dating violence. Certainly reproductive rights are critical and many argue essential to respect and self-determination. Child care is a tremendously important issue as discussed below. Pay equity, workplace safety, overall safety, equal opportunities—all important issues. Another essential issue is what is happening with our democracy—some would wonder if this is a feminist issue, but I argue that participation and representation in democracy is absolutely a woman’s issue.

  • In your marriage, is there a sense of general equality between you and your husband?

  • Very much so. When I first got married, people would challenge me often about equality in marriage. Many insisted that we would have to share 50-50 in all that we do to call ourselves an equal marriage (i.e. one common example that was used was the notion that if I folded a sock, he should fold a sock). I’d like to argue that this is so silly but the truth is that these types of arguments are distracting and can even be divisive. We like to believe there are so many differences between men and women and that nature drives us nearly completely. When in my experience there are not as many differences as people seem to focus on, and that while nature is influential, women and men can both learn to do the ‘domestic tasks.’ In fact, Jon has always been better at laundry than me, but I’m a smart girl and have figured it out. In my opinion, an equal marriage is one that respects and supports one another and that champions strengths as opposed to gender stereotypic norms.

  • How does a husband and wife create a balance between jobs, marriage and family?

  • I’m not sure if there is a true balance, particularly once children enter the scene. So many of my friends with children feel that when they are with their children they are not doing a good enough job for work and when at work, not a good enough job as a mom. Our country’s politicians love to yell about family values but very little support is put into practice. Other countries do a far superior job aiding families in integrating work and family—from paid leaves, subsidized child care, and an overall cultural value of family and women. The vast majority of American parents are employed in the paid labor force. We have jobs because we need them and because we want them. This should not diminish our ability to be good and present parents. Our country supported women in the paid workforce when it suited them—providing state-sponsored child-care during WWII. We could decide to allocate funds for such things again. The goal should be helping American families successfully integrate work, family and a civic life.

  • If you have a child, how will you raise her/him to understand women's issues and concerns?

  • I hope to raise a child to be a contributor. This is one of the most valuable lessons I learned from my parents. I think that it is essential to raise children with an understanding that what they do impacts others, negative or positive. If we raise children to be respectful and empathic toward others, women’s rights is a given. As are civil rights, gay/lesbian rights, disability rights and essentially every human’s rights.

  • Do you plan to run for any higher political office? Isn't that where a young feminist can make the most difference?

  • Perhaps someday…in the meantime I am really passionate about training young people on how to make a difference, create change, and take leadership. I think we need to re-define leadership for a new generation in way that incorporates women’s experiences rather than demand that they mold into a male model of politics, business, education, media, etc. Politics and government certainly is a powerful way to make a difference and running for office is a fabulous way to join in but activism comes in many forms and we make a difference on many levels—from running for office, but also by voting, talking to friends and family about an social issue that concerns us, creating co-opt child care with your neighbors, combating media images by speaking out about loving our bodies... just as they are and encouraging other women and girls to do the same, by taking a women’s studies class at the local community college, joining a campaign, going to a community meeting... activism is everyday and everywhere, for everyone.

    Visit Fight Like a Girl for more information on the author, Megan Seely. She will be speaking at several Northern California locations. There is a listing of speaking events and resources for the young feminist.

    Monday, March 26, 2007

    Jonny, Jonny BoBonni Banana-Fana FoFonni...

    Jonny is our longest tenured guide for W.E.T. River Trips. He is a remarkable man of distinct personality, far different from the standard guide on the river.

    Jonny started out at the warehouse at age 14. He and his best friend would hang out there trying to get on a whitewater trip. The older brother was also quite well-known around the paddling community as a very accomplished kayaker, so Jonny always had his big brother ahead guiding the way towards the rafting community.

    He started training and guiding when he ended high school. There was a joke around that time about his time management skills as we always referred to "Jonny-Time." A loving reference to his delayed execution to just about anything including preparing lunch or packing gear. We all loved him regardless, and he has stayed with W.E.T. for many years. Here are his words...

    My first experiences with whitewater rafting started in the spring of 1982. A wet spring and I would hear all about the adventures of my oldest brother David when he came home from raft guide training. A high water year, and he had lots of stories to tell. I was drawn-in by the adventure of it all. A year passed, and I was overjoyed and surprised to find that David had offered to take me, my family and a friend down the South Fork of the American for my 14th birthday. I remember seeing Chili Bar for the first time, as well as helping David blow up the raft with a foot pump. Even though it was July 18th, the water was still high. I remember David knocking my dad out of the boat by maneuvering it into rocks. My dad was a bit shaken but he was fine. The thought of having a captive audience and total control of one's environment seemed pretty appealing. I must admit I thought big brother was pretty cool. Later that summer, I met the W.E.T. boss, Steve.

    A few years later, big brother said I should try to be a raft guide and train with the crew... Along with my best friend, Bruce, (who is currently a Grand Canyon Guide and Firefighter) I headed up to Coloma right after graduating from high school in 1986 to try to find work with a company who would train us as a guide. We ended up at a rafting company, which shall remain nameless, who hired us to deliver lunches to designated sites on the river. Nonetheless, that company never trained us to be guides. It was later that summer and the following spring and became trained as guides with W.E.T. River Trips, the original "Punks on Water."

    I remember reading a whitewater handbook which had helpful information as well as stuff that looking back I just wasn't going to use, such as the 15 or so signals to be given on the water. C'mon, face it, when it gets squirrely, the guy across the river is either going to give you an all ok sign or shoulder shrug sign of we're screwed. I received my practical on river experience from Steve. It was under Steve's watchful eye and expert tutelage that I slowly becamed trained in the art of hydrological adventuring. I remember running into a lot of rocks that first year simply because I couldn't be decisive about decisions on the water.

    Guiding teaches you to be decisive and commanding as well as forcing oneself to look at the big picture in terms of planning and executing a professional rafting experience. I know many a guide who have had to adjust their thinking to keep up with W.E.T. protocol. By the time I became a guide, my big brother had started his outdoor clothing line of and opening his Snowboard shops in Sacramento, Placerville and the summit. I do, however, enjoy the rare day when both of us work together on a rafting trip.

    Currently, I am teaching math in northern California. W.E.T. has had a lot of teachers work as guides over the years. I think because Steve is an educator and relates well to others who teach. Being a teacher helps when working as a raft guide because you have to think quickly on your feet. Being creative and being positive often helps when dealing with various situations in the classroom or on the river.

    In the fall of 1995, I married my wife Megan who recently was hired on as a full-time Sociology professor at Sierra College. Yea! I am very type B, and she is a motivated type A. Her book "Fight Like a Girl" came out mid-January 2007. Megan is the best thing that has ever happened to me. She knows I enjoy working as a raft guide and supports my efforts to do so. Besides, she likes going out to dinner every now and then with my tip money! We are expecting our first child early July 2007. Another Cancer in the family. I am very excited and can't wait.

    In my tenure over the years I have been more of a role player than a key player. I would like to acknowledge many of the key guides that I worked with over the years. People such as Ian, Andrew, and Saul. It was only this past rafting season that I took on such a role. It was satisfying as well as daunting at times.

    I have been a guide for W.E.T. many years because even though the guides may change, W.E.T. always feels like a family. Steve treat us all very well and make us feel appreciated. And, yet, he will tell us when we are screwing up. I know that Steve wants the best for each and every one of us. When the guides get together and shoot the breeze, the tenor is often irreverent and playful. I recall Saul often saying things like, "Always remember you're unique." It was guides like Ryan, Nathan, Saul, Andrew, Vlad, Zack, Maggie, Alex and Jason among many others to keep it lively and interesting.

    I will share one funny story from a raft trip. It was after a long day in which a group of guides just finished a full river trip on the South Fork of the American. We loaded up the people on the bus and sent the head guide Ian with them. It was after loading up all of the gear in the equipment truck that we realized that Ian had the key in his pocket. I remember sitting on the hood of our vehicle at the Salmon Falls parking lot and asking the other guides if anyone wanted to listen to the radio while we waited. I don't know about you, but that one killed em dead at the time.

    As per me being the naked guy, I'm not sure how that started. I don't doubt that it was coaxed out somehow by Barb's trip. I distinctly remember a former guide named Lara who did an ass-out backflip off of the boat on one of Barb's trips and daring me to do the same, so. . . I did. I saw how much doing so charged the atmosphere and people were just giddy. I think I like seeing people's reaction when I do something unexpected or risque. I guess deep down I am just a people pleaser. I would like to say that it is really special having Barb's trip come every year and request me. I am truly feeling the love. Those gals are great. It is really fun just cutting loose and letting it all hang out (so to speak). It is an added bonus to watch Saul squirm because he gets uncomfortable with such things.

    So many rivers to see... Life is an adventure, we need to all get out there. Don't take life seriously, it is not permanent.

    Thursday, March 22, 2007

    St Patrick's Day Memories

    Am I Irish? Perhaps. My mother's maiden name is Mitchel. But even then, we're terrible mutts. I'm as white as a quivering narcissus and yet I somehow have Cuban blood.

    Whether or not I actually have any Irish in me, I enjoyed Saint Patty's Day. I decided to spend the holiday here in ol' Sac'o'tomato with my wuv Dustin. We had somewhat of an adventure, I must say!

    But to begin with, I'd like to describe the Friday before Saint Patty's Day at Cal Berkeley. There was much premature green to be seen! There was even a young gentleman with the Irish flag painted upon his face walking into a cafe at approximately 11am. Friday was a beautiful and bizarrely warm day. I sat at the fountain near the South Gate and read my copy of Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried" This did seem somewhat fitting; reading war stories written by an Irish American the sunny Friday before Saint Patty's Day.

    But as is typical with this collection, I became a little sad. I was touched by O'Brien's account of how and when he was drafted. He had felt immune. He'd been a college man oblivious of the long-reaching fingers of the American Military. He'd been a liberal. Like me? He wasn't a radical. He wrote a few anti-war articles here and there. But could be considered a pacifist? No. And off to war he went.

    I'm bothered by the expandability of military personal. But so far, I'm immune. I will never know what it's like to sit frightened in the humid jungle of Vietnam, nor will I endure the stinging heat and smothering sand of Iraq. So far, I'm immune. As a woman. As a college student. As a non-volunteer.

    What does that have to do with Saint Patrick's Day? Sacrifice. And that's all I'll say about that.

    So let's move on to an account of my actual SP insanity. I started my day at McKinley Park with my two-year-old nephew, Jimmy. He made me feel big for 5'4". I love that kid. After an hour or so of following around his joyous exploration of the wooden playground and chasing ducks and geese (which were comically almost twice his size), Dustin (my wuv) and I took my older sister (Jimmy's mother) out for a birthday brunch. How sweet must it be to have your birthday on Saint Patrick's Day? We ate at the Rio City Cafe. I stared down a snobby couple that attempted to sneer at us for bringing a toddler to their restaurant. People like that are such horrors.

    After brunch is where the mischief began. Dustin and I attended a timeshare presentation put on by Trendwest. We had absolutely no intention in buying, we merely wanted the free gift and trip, and the opportunity to torment the salespeople. Now, I was not intending to Hunter Thomas these people as much as I eventually did. But man, they sure asked for it.

    The young woman who was our main sales-rep' revealed herself immediately to be a remarkable example of the Stepford wife. She immediately began to engage Dustin--the man--and inquire as to his business. I gazed down at her paper and noticed that there was a space for my "job" as well. So I waited to be asked. But I wasn't. She almost completely ignored me the entire time (aside from asking to see my engagement ring), focusing all her energy on selling Dustin.

    Thus, the fundamental feminist in me became enraged. When Dustin took leave to the restroom, the saleswoman began to ask me about where I wanted us to go for our honeymoon and what I was planning our wedding to be. I responded with the following: "We're not very traditional, he and I. We haven't given much thought to a honeymoon. Our wedding, however, will be entertaining. We're going to do it at the beach."

    "Oh! The beach is so romantic!"

    "Yes. Dustin wants to wear a Speedo and a bow tie. I'll be dressed as a belly dancer and we'll perform the ceremony in the water. In between the vows everyone will take a shot of hard alcohol and we want to have bagpipers in duck suits. We like duck suits."

    She didn't speak to me beyond this. Our gift consisted of a DVD player and a three-day trip to Tahoe. Completely worth it.

    The rest of the evening consisted of visits to friends and some mild adventures. We spent about 15 minutes at the Jammies before we realized that there wasn't much to see or listen to. We then enjoyed the rest of the night in our loft with music, food and friends. It was somewhat of a Ferris Bueller day. Had we wrecked a priceless collectible car, however, it would've been complete.

    I enjoy Saint Patrick's Day very much, even though it's been branded as drunken amateur night. Unlike first-hand war experience, nobody is really immune to that.

    Here's to your roof,
    may it be well thatched
    And here's to all
    under it -
    May they be
    well matched.

    Tuesday, March 20, 2007

    North Fork Season Opener

    80 degrees, 1,500 cfs, 2 paddle rafts, 1 oar boat, and 2 safety kayaks... add to the North Fork American and we couldn't have had a better commercial season opener for the 2007 Rafting season. A group of past clients, mixed in with some newbies, were guided by Mac, Wolf, and Jason with Andrew and his buddy Greg watching the flock from their kayaks, had an amazing day.

    After picking up the clients at Camp Lotus where they spent the evening in the Camp Lotus lodges, we rolled to the Iowa Hill put-in and found ourselves the only company on the river...the day just got better and better.

    The hills were green and filled with blooming Lupine and Poppies. The side creeks were still pumping in fresh flow to contribute to the 1,500 CFS we were getting at the put in. Chamberlain Falls, Slaughter's Sluice, Bogus Thunder, and Staircase were run cleanly without incident. It was a little dicey when Wolf tried to beat Jason into Slaughter's and almost peeled him into the entrance rocks; however, Jason showed he wasn't rusty and pulled his oarboat back to let Wolf drop-in and both boats ran the rapid cleanly... like it should be run.

    Great day, good flow, great guides, and clean... like the North Fork needs to be run. Oh and that sunny 80 degree day in mid-March...that was bonus!

    Monday, March 12, 2007

    Survival of the Midterm

    Midterms, Spring break... student life demands a break from the grind! Let's ask Steph how it's going over at Berkeley...

    So, I had my first experience with Cal Midterms. Exciting? Not so much. Painful? A little bit. The most intriguing part about midterms was watching my fellow students burn out, but show up. Yes, attendance dwindled somewhat the last two weeks. But for some reason, I would come to class and see these young people who did show up looking twenty years aged. Their eyeballs sagged. They looked like victims of Lyme Disease. I felt terrible and guilty that I'd gotten so lucky.

    I only had one Midterm on Friday. Granted it was absolutely brutal, but I got off light compared to some of the kids studying engineering and the like.

    But don't think my week was all a bed of roses. My internet connection went dead at home. T-Mobil screwed up my billing services and shut my phone down.

    At the end of the day on Friday, however, I felt a great sense of accomplishment. I walked out of my English discussion; the first one to successfully finish taming the beast. Am I brilliant? Not so much. Am I compulsive? A little bit.

    I walked over to a little tea spot on Bancroft avenue called Moccacino and had myself an Oreo milkshake. I'm not cool and hipster enough to be really into tea.

    I highly recommend the place. I also recommend that when you sit down to take a midterm, sit down and tame it. Don't be intimidated by it. You are its master. And when you hit the question that you have no idea how to answer, just move on. That one question is not your identity.

    Neither is the Oreo milkshake or the tea if you like them. But they are delicious and refreshing.

    "Steph at Berkeley" - Steph is a college student at Berkeley and blogs about student life.

    Monday, March 05, 2007

    Drainage; California Snowpack

    My first day of snowboarding was March 2nd... the latest start for me ever but, I'm happy to say it was freakin' awesome; no lines and first tracks through thigh-high deep powder. On the drive-up Hwy 80, I saw the first patches of snow just before Colfax, and it just got deeper and deeper until Donner Summit where 12' banks teetered over the highway. The blue-bird conditions were perfect.

    Sunday, I went up again to Sugar Bowl. The place was packed, light clouds shifted overhead, and I was with three of our teen staff members. The snow was still deep and light. From the top of Mt. Lincoln, I could look down into the upper drainage of the North Fork of the American River and all I could see was deep white snow... the North Fork whitewater is going to flow strong and long!

    After a few more runs off of Lincoln, I made the traverse to Mt. Judah and re-connected with the teens, waded through the crowds and rolled down Hwy 80... another great day and a great North Fork season is just a coupla weeks away.

    I've still got the time to make it to Kirkwood and see what's coming down the hill for the South Fork American (Kirkwood had 14 feet of snow in three weeks!)... happy to say.

    Sidebar: both the drainage for the North Fork and the South Fork American look very healthy after these past few storms. Looks like a great 2007 rafting season after all despite the dry January!

    Friday, March 02, 2007

    Spring Break - California Rafting Trips

    California Rafting picture
    Spring break is here already... another year of debauchery. A parent called this week in an uproar over their child's decision to hit the Cancun circuit in Mexico. We had a long talk about spring break craziness as we both knew what our children would be doing on those trips.

    It got me thinking about past years when we had college students from across the country on our spring break rafting trips. Mostly college students who loved the outdoors and were bonding together as a small group of tight friends... some were traveling across the country as they headed towards California mecca of rafting and paddling trips. These young adults seemed a bit more mature about where their lives were heading. Sure, they spilled out of their cars with the same wild abandonment as any other young person, but they were here to tackle some California rafting instead of hanging out on the beach getting wasted.

    The guys were here with the machismo bravado of the whitewater paddler, while the girls just wanted to hang with their best friends. No "Girls gone Wild" types... just a bunch of really great young people having a good 'ol time on the river.

    I wonder how we parents survive watching our kids jump out into the real and wild world of partying and getting crazy. I mean, we all did this in varying degrees; some of our old friends still act as if life was a spring break!

    Traveling and exploring is definitely a rite of passage into adulthood... we parents just hope that where ever they are, they are safe, sound and having a good time.