Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Perfect Storm

Ok ...check this: 13 feet of snow in 13 days and the storms stop two days before Christmas Day. The next 10 days are forecast to be clear and mild....Perfect timing. Perfect storm(s). Perfect...Just perfect. The 2009 whitewater rafting season looks to be solid!

Last year at this time, the snow pack was 56% of normal. The snowpack that feeds the North Fork American, Middle Fork American, and South Fork American Rivers is now at over 86%...30% more water than last year and last year was pretty awesome!

The news from the Northern rivers is even better with over 100% of snowfall on the Siskiyou and Lower Cascades Mountain Ranges that feed the Klamath, and California Salmon Rivers. Again...perfect!

Keep on eye on the snow packs @ Kirkwood and Sugar Bowl..for a few really good reasons: to plan you next few months of Boarding and skiing and to Book those early group rafting trips on the North and South Fork American Rivers. Also, the Middle Fork kicks in when the run-off starts to subside. The California trips fire up in March and then it is simply....ON!

Perfect Storm?...Bring it!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Life Begins & Winter Begins, too!

"....this just in, Ashley joined the party at 3:14 a.m. Friday morning at 2 lbs 14 ounces and 15 inches long. She is a healthy 30-week preemie. Mom is rocking the hospital in record time and doing well with a Monday discharge looming. After a few flat wraps, tube stands and complete dump trucks, the team at Kaiser busted out the z-drag early Friday morning and, in perfect, harmony, dismantled the seal-a-meal wrap in 14 minutes with a healthy Ashley! We now appear to be in nice, big class 3 wave trains, and as long as we keep it tee'd up, I think we are gonna have a good time from here on out. We are sooooo stoked and have everything we could have dreamed."

Life begins again. Mike and his wife have the best Christmas present any young couple would want. As you see, his enthusiasm for living is apparent in his description as he relays the blessed event in terms of white water rafting nomenclature. He is one of our best guides. He is a professional man who doesn't need the weekend work as a white water rafting guide. His job puts him in an economic bracket enjoyed by few. He is there for us purely out of his pleasure for the extreme sport of rafting and sharing with others who love the lifestyle.

Big Poppa, just in from the mountains of Donner Summit ... yes, the snow is happening ... and winter begins...

It's Freakin' ON!!!!!!!!!!
It's cold, it's raining, and the snow is coming down up high...that's how we like it!!!!

After an early rain and a long stretch of dry, warm weather...the real-deal cold weather has fired up and we're looking at a series of winter storms that promise to pile it up and prep the dry ground for a spring run-off to guarantee a fabulous (yeah ...I said "fabulous") rafting season for whitewater trips and group rafting.

Get out your boards, sticks, blades, layers for winter rippin' and in just three short months, the men and women from W.E.T. River Trips will be enjoying the new season on the awesome whitewater rivers of California!
So as you Get out...Get on it...and then Get in it!!

Wow... it feels like we just closed the door on 2008, and here we go again into 2009. Life begins again for WET River Trips with this latest storm! Congratulations to Mike and his wife for bringing the ultimate lifestyle choice into their world. And, for the rest of us... it's slope time, then river time and we wouldn't have it any other way.
Merry, Happy, Joy and Peace to all!

Monday, December 15, 2008

American River Trips go Green

The 28th Annual International Motorcycle Show sponsored by Cycle World comes to San Mateo in Northern California on December 19th. The latest and greatest machines from the international motorcycle community will be represented. Visitors will have the opportunity to take test rides and kick tires. There will also be stunt shows by Jason Britton and the No-limits crew as well as the opportunity to meet and greet pro racers, and custom builders. (Photo below by: Jeff Henshaw)

With Motorcycles becoming more "Green " than ever with an industry wide MPG average of over 50 mpg, motorcycles are the last bastion of guiltless performance and cutting edge technologies (hydrogen, diesel, and electricity now power experimental and production bikes).


So save some money and use the extra cash for the ultimate 'Green" thrill of group rafting on California whitewater rivers and ride your motorcycle (By the way, W.E.T. River Trips has been using a KLR 650 to shuttle vans and trucks on the Middle Fork American and North Fork American River for three years and hopes to expand the practice in the coming seasons.

Get a gift certificate for your adventure sports nut in the family! So ride your motorcycle to the river this spring and summer to combine an ultimate extreme sport package!

Monday, December 08, 2008


Another year has come and is quickly disappearing into the fading memories of my brain. What a whirlwind this year for our company W.E.T. River Trips. And, here we are now, facing another holiday season. Lots has happened in the last few months including a new president for our country. Woot!

Economy is a great concern for many of you and yet, holidays beckon with a lot of expenses... namely gift giving. This year, like previous years, I won't be giving the usual holiday gifts. My friends have enough stuff in their homes to open up a brick and mortar
retail store! They don't want a goofy ceramic mug or silk tie or some tacky home decor item. Yes, I know... it's the thought that counts. YES... the thought...

So, think. You know your friends. You know what they want. They want something that makes memories. Something that brings joy and a thrill to the everyday lives that we lead. Gift certificates for dinner, gift certs for rafting, holiday gifts of food... these are better choices for my friends. They don't want something that just clutters their lives or forces them out to the mall to return a gift.

Make it easy on yourself. Use the
online store or call us direct. We have great adventure options for you and your friends. 2009 is almost here! Let's get on the river and do some rafting!


White Water Rafting :: river rafting for teens and adults, a perfect gift for an active family
Surfing Lessons :: California surfing! Got a goofy-foot? Surf wet waves in Cali!
Hot Air Balloon Ride over Wine Country :: a great gift for the less active but adventurous spirit
Wine of the Month :: perfect for the wine lover or new wine drinker (that's an adventure!)
Race Car Driving :: G-forces! Perfect for the speed demon in the family who loves cars
Mountain Biking :: Tahoe rides described in a great guide book for the mountain biker
Women's Adventures :: Sea kayaking for active women of all levels
Men's Trips :: Resource Q & A for gay adventure travel by Hanns Ebensten

Happy Holidays fellow adventurers... and we will see you all for a great
California whitewater rafting trip in 2009! Party on... woot!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Family, Love and Tradition


Family rafting

Our connections to one another have never been stronger and never more pertinent.
The nuclear family has changed for sure and for ever and that is a very good thing. Our iconoclastic, cellular, and micro-concept-manifest destiny that embodied the Ozzie & Harriet wax-statue family values that stereotyped our collective visions of the American Family for too many decades has been shattered and with good cause: Change Happens.

Our families have changed for good. Our families have become larger, more diverse, and non-traditional. That non-tradition had become a new tradition of richness and invigorating freshness.

Thanksgiving 2008 is a mixed bag of emotion that ranges from the economy to Barack Obama to the choice to serve a Vegan meal instead of the flesh of foul. Let's celebrate what we have become and what we are yet to be...

This year our family has diversified, flexed, re-focused and moved toward new frontiers while "embracing change". We will meet together this Thursday with a brilliant conflagaration of individuals that bring their unique talents, thoughts, gifts, and needs to the magic table of "Fun Castle" with a bounty of food, drink, music, art, and conversation. Sure we'll talk about whitewater rafting, trips, music, events, the economy, jobs, and fun/fun/fun ....but, we do it together as a diverse and flexible family of friends, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, cousins, and mystery members ...Thanks to all.


(Hail to the flesh...fowl and faux!)
Check white water gift certificates for a great family gift!
And don't forget the rafting teens this year...
Oh yeh, t-shirts in the online rafting store.

Friday, October 31, 2008

HALLOWEEN International

The sunlight is fading, and the darkness grows as we prepare for the Winter Solstice and the longest night and shortest day…but first Halloween!

Halloween has officially (I'm calling it) the biggest celebration in the World. Yes… true. Christmas is big, but it's still a secular holiday. New Years is big as well if you don't count the Lunar New Year celebrated by China and many of its neighbors (except the Hmong and Lo Mien that celebrate the New Year in late Fall). Carnival is huge; however, it too is secular and limited. Halloween is everywhere! East to West and in-between, we as a World now celebrate and participate in the rituals of Halloween (dressing-up, sweets, food, drink, parties)…. what's not to like?

Yes, there are those remnants of Druid rituals, All Hallows Night, All Saint's Day etc. brought to us in America by Irish immigrants after the Potato Famine; however, the Melting Pot that is America distilled the World's rituals into the unique celebration of Halloween that has spread to the middle, near, and far east and expanded the pre-existing celebrations of Europe.

We all love Halloween for what it is: an opportunity to be something/someone different and to celebrate with our children, family and friends.

So get your mask on, touch up your make-up, stock-up on candy, buy some eggs to chuck and don't forget to vote!

Psst….this year's secret, best-ever costume: a River Guide! Think of the possibilities: dreadlocks, spandex, poly-pro, big shorts, helmets, facial hair, thrift-store shirts, knives, PFD's, sandals, bad hair, tattoos, hemp chokers, and chipped teeth (or no-teeth!).

I'll be at Java Lounge to see two hot bands: Sucks (check out SacBee Sucks review) and Fatty Acid!

I'll leave you with this:
"Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth."
Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


We are solidly into the crisp coolness of Fall, and 2008 whitewater rafting in California is officially over... and it has been a glorious season indeed….

We started out in March after getting tuned up on two forks of the Smith River, the North Fork American River, and the Cal Salmon in February and early March. The class 4+ North Fork American provided a more-than-adequate season that stretched into late May. The moderate early Middle Fork American flows allowed us to run all three forks of the American River system simultaneously and that just doesn't happen that often. We had over 10 days of three-fork action! W.E.T. River Trips dominated all commercial rafting entries in the North Fork race. We quickly provided a world record on three forks, one day runs of all: North Fork, Middle Fork, and South Fork the following week. Later on in the summer, W.E.T. River Trips also won the Outfitter's Cup race on the South Fork American during the annual American River Festival.WET River Trips

Aside from that amazing start and those accomplishments, our guides (new and old) stepped up with advanced paddling rivers on North Fork Giants Gap, Dream Gap, Feather, Tuolumne's Cherry Creek, South Fork Silver Fork, Upper Cherry, and Burnt Ranch Gorge. The kayakers in the crew went off with upper Kings, Silver Fork, Kyburz, upper San Joaquin, and some super secret creekin' runs. The crew is headed to the Rogue for a five day wilderness trip as I write this…They just keep goin'. Awesome Crew of white water rafting guides!!!!!!

Those of you starting your planning for your event and rafting trips, here is a handy list of great white water rafting resources. One of our favorites is raftinfo, a directory of rafting companies. American river trips are featured by regions that include California, South West canyonlands, South East, North East, Rocky Mountain, Midwest, Alaska all rafting in USA, and Central and South America and lastly, Canada. There are also listings for favorite international whitewater rivers. "Choose a Rafting Outfitter" link will open up the list.
North Fork American River
Another great resource for the Western United States (USA) is the California Whitewater Rafting site. This site lists rivers in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Idaho. There are also featured international trips such as the popular Futaleufu in Chile in South America. Another great American river trip! Lists of rafting outfitters linked directly to their website will help you navigate quickly to the rafting company.

The non-profit organization American Whitewater also provides several resources for the paddling community. White water resources can be found throughout their site with river information, a library and community forum.
Family Trips
And for those of you planning special events such as weddings, bachelor party, corporate team building, education outdoors, or just the family trip will find several places on the net that will provide you with how to plan your group trip, and who to call for your event or party.

The 2009 white water rafting begins NOW…We are getting ready to provide some new options, new gear, and improvements to our camp at Camp Lotus. Call us for your group rafting trips and freeze 2008 prices (deadline for this incentive November 15th) before any price increases for 2009. Over the next few months we will stay busy with preparations, and we'll be deeply involved with events and planning!

2009 looks amazing….

Now repeat after me (scream it!):

Rain! Snow! Snow! Snow! …and melt it easy!

Snowboarding and adventure motorcycle rides are ready to be done (oh yeh…Wolf will be creekin' in December and January somewhere off of the Foresthill Divide!).

Stay tuned!

Rain! Snow! Snow! Snow! …and melt it easy!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Fall Rafting and End of Summer

We've had an amazing rafting season of California rivers that included the Rafting Triple Crown, all kinds of guide and rafting parties, Music, P.O.W. event, and river travel!

All the rafting activity wraps up now as we head into deep Autumn and Winter. Fall rafting will continue on the American River white water. Here's some pictures of rivers I took during some current rafting trips this past week.

Fall photos

We've had our first rain and a dusting of snow on top off the Sierra's as the rivers calm down and the preparations begin for the 2009 rafting season and a season of snowboarding and travel. 2009 is expected to be even better than ever with some new additions to the W.E.T. River Trips menu of trip itineraries and activities and the prognosticators are predicting an above-normal winter of rain and snow ...nice!

Some of the W.E.T. crew are headed out to new adventures with Mac going to Brazil, Chris Z. to Panama, Booty & Justin to Chile after a stop in Costa Rica, D-Rex (Ryan) will be ice-climbing and back-country skiing in Colorado, K-Dawg is expected to make the patrol roster at Sierra at Tahoe, Nate is remaining King of Patrol at Kirkwood, Jon is headed to the Caribbean after finishing up college in Maine and Utah, Kyle is getting married, Maggie is surfing a desk while stalking Mt. Rose daily, Greg D. is headed to the Canyon, Country Mike is having a baby, Saul is becoming an urban (Newport) farmer by establishing sustainable agriculture on his patio, Wolf and A2 are headed to Mexico after prepping for the GRE, Alex is finishing up at UC Berkeley, Jason is deep into fatherhood, Jonny is plotting a come-back, Meg is missing Cali, Mike S. and Mogli are honing their respective Ninja skills, Big Job Rob will be patrolling Sierra at Tahoe, Andrew will be blazing new trails in the entertainment media, Bird flew to Ashland, and Heffe is in love!

Fall brings changes and challenges...the rivers, the mountains, the oceans, and the guides of W.E.T. River Trips are out there soaking it up and prepping for the next big season of
California Rafting beginning in just 4 short months.

It's beautiful outside... enjoy and think of that sweet cold, clear spring run-off and all that it brings to the rivers!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Burning Man or "I Got the Golden Ticket"

I haven't written anything for California Whitewater Rafting blog in a long time. Why? Well, the business of white water rafting and outdoor adventures is one that keeps me... well, rather busy. We are networking with so many new partners and ventures that just keeping up with it is more than anyone can handle. So, I don't write much anymore, and leave that to the younger blogging team and Big Poppa ... their writing is much more interesting and more timely than my musings or rants.

Several events are happening around American River trips. There was the P.O.W. show. I heard that the company did the first Punks on Water shows waaaaay back in the 80's. Big Poppa is an unusual boss. He is an old guy with a very young heart... and all of us that work for this company know it is a special relationship between employer and employee. He ain't like a regular boss... but I guess you all figured that out already.

Big Poppa and one of the senior crew members, Mizz Maggie hopped on the Burner's Psy bus and headed to the great vast Black Rock Desert for music, performance art and the party event of the year! Burning Man was calling and Big Poppa answered the call enthusiastically. Check his personal blog for a blow by blow pre-party contest and how Mizz Maggie won her "Golden Ticket".

He promised to write part 2 of the Burning Man episode to fill in the rest of the story... I want to see the video and the pictures, peeps... I heard Kev was there hanging out along with several other Burners that we all know and love... hahaha... you know who you are. Oh, yeah... and Mack sent this video to the office from the last group rafting trip on the South Fork American... Big Poppa sure talks up rafting and food!

More party events are happening this weekend with the American River Festival, several day hikes around the rivers and even a kayak sale brought to you by The River Store in the Lotus Coloma Valley. Summer is gone, but WET trips continue for Fall rafting and Winter boating.

One thing Big Poppa said when he got back to the office... he said, "For 50K people that were there, it sure was calm... no riots, no fighting... just love and more love..." And that is what makes the world go round and round and round and round... PEACE OUT!

Thursday, July 31, 2008


W.E.T. River Trips has had an alter-ego for the past 27 of our 30 years in business as a whitewater outfitter....
P.O.W. Punks on Water!

P.O.W. re-emerges this coming weekend on Sunday August 3rd to host a benefit for the American River Conservancy with a concert/party on the banks of the South Fork of the American River at the Nugget Campground.

In the interest of creating opportunities for meaningful cultural exchanges and in the spirit of celebrating diversity.... P.O.W. is importing bands from Davis, Sacramento and the surrounding area with DJ zAc from HexLove maintaining the groove!

Buffoonery, Hijinks, and swell times will be had by all.....

And in the interest of fostering diversity and cultural exchanges... Hippies are now very welcome at all P.O.W. events!!!!

$5 cover 6:00pm - 9:30pm on 8.3.8

When's the next event?

Note from W.E.T. River Trips::: for more info on California whitewater rafting see the C-W-R.com website peeps!

Monday, July 28, 2008


This season W.E.T. River Trips has been joined by a new seasoned rafting guide from Colorado: Ky. Ky is a high school math teacher and head varsity swim coach in Northern California ... oh, sure he sounds good; however, there is a very dark side to Mr. Ky. Before delving into Ky's deviate and shocking behavior, I'm compelled to mention that Heffe is simultaneously an instigator and cohort to Mr. Ky's debauchery (we need to also note now that Heffe is also a swimmer).

As soon as Ky arrived, there was an strong bond between the two swimmers. There was certainly an easy conversational rapport between Heffe and Ky. Again ... they are both swimmers, and Heffe formerly swam at the high school where Ky is now head coach. Ky and Heffe simply became fast friends and although Ky and Heffe certainly got along with our other guides as well ... there was (and is) most clearly a palpable "bond" between them.

Two Sundays ago (yes, on a sabbath), Ky and Heffe conspired to create SPEEDO SUNDAY on the formerly pristine and unmolested Middle Fork American River that at one time was known primarily for great Class 4 rapids and the legendary Tunnel Chute rapid that drops over 15 vertical feet, and sends whitewater rafters through a tunnel in the side of a rocky ridge deep in a pristine canyon filled with cool, clear water .... at least until SPEEDO SUNDAY.

Everything has changed since Ky and Heffe tugged on their tiny garments of Lycra and sashayed their way down a defenseless river filled with other adventurers and innocent woodland creatures. No longer do the deer stare blankly as rafts slide quietly by. Now, they furtively glance and skittishly shift their tiny hooves back and forth not knowing to look or to simply look away for fear of the sight of Ky and Heffe in the bold projections of their alleged manhood coyly disguised in their tiny speedo suits. Even the local population of Rainbow and German Brown trout appear to be very agitated and nervous.

Other river clients and guides have been seen shielding their eyes at the take-out below Rucka-Chucky Falls at Greenwood Bridge and some brazen guys and gals were heard to crudely project cat-calls in mocked enjoyment (or was it disgust?) of "Speedo Sunday".
(Note from W.E.T. River Trips: now, now peeps; the Europeans, Brasilians, etc wear speedos, so what's the big deal... ahh these crazy Americans!)

Sadly, last Sunday ... charismatic Ky enlisted a young and impressionable J Tsunami into his conspiracy to corrupt OUR river environment even further! Yes, J Tsunami donned a tiny black Speedo along with Mr. Ky for another "Speedo Sunday" participant!

I have now received photos of the "official" SPEEDO SUNDAY suits (Purple with chartreuse flowers and a bold raftwet.com emblazoned across the rump of each tiny suit ... who's next?

Sorry to report that the debauchery has now expanded to Saturdays. Mizz Maggie declared last Saturday SHIRTLESS SATURDAY as she guided the entire river and traveled back to our meeting spot behind Raley's in Auburn without a shirt or undergarment ... instead she simply wore her PFD (lifejacket) the entire time. No slips or mishaps were reported; however, the truth is surely out there. All will be revealed (and hopefully not on SPEEDO SUNDAY or SHIRTLESS SATURDAY). I can only cringe as to what Wolf has up his sleeve to "enhance" the whitewater rafting trips on other days and on other rivers such as the South Fork American River. Whitewater river trips are changed forever...

Note from W.E.T. River Trips: we do not condone this hella behavior! For a more ... ahem... dressed affair, our first event for the late summer season is coming this Sunday on August 3, 2008 ::: Returning after 30 years, Punks on Water reigns supreme again! P.O.W. comes back with a vengeance at the Nugget on the South Fork American River... be there or be very square or not be at all... but you will be missing out on the party of year! Check Big Poppa's post on his personal W.E.T. River Trips events calendar! ... and, oh yeah, hippies are welcome!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Klamath River and Salmon

I've been watching and reading the missives from Friends of the River in California about the bus company up in Oregon that refused to run an ad for the Klamath Salmon. Yeh, the fish. The bus company refused to post the ad on the bus. Why? Because of the political nature of the ad; not because it was pornographic or violent or subject to any strange interpretations. The ad simply says, "Salmon shouldn't run up your electric bill... They should run up the Klamath River."

Whoa... that's quite risque, isn't it? The picture shows three salmon fish swimming towards a barrier of electrical outlets. The bottom of the ad has a website address for the Salmon for Savings program. WOW. This ad could definitely offend... maybe a politician.

So Friends of the River sued their ass and the ACLU and the Karuk Tribe are happier than heck that Judge Henry Breithaupt wrote in his opinion that Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon "TriMet" has violated both the Oregon Constitution and the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Judge Breithaupt stated that the "decision was made on the basis of the nature of this message rather than any risks or limitations expressed in its standards."

An appeal is expected. The Portland area residents that are getting their electricity from the Klamath dams deserve to know that dam removal can save them money on their utility bills. FOR's Hydropower Policy Advocate Kelly Catlett said today, "“We are pleased that the judge upheld the rights of Pacific Power’s customers to hear that dam removal can save them a significant amount of money.”

Friends of the River has been working to remove obsolete dams on the Klamath River. In my opinion, the lawsuit they brought is a significant one. At least the Klamath community will now have the right to decide for themselves. And those who mute or censor the information will now think twice.

Thanks to Friends of the River for this information! ...and F.O.R.... give 'em hell!

Friday, May 30, 2008


Connections and relationships are what this world is all about right? So, when my one of my sisters best friends took care of us upon moving to NYC, we were stoked. She had been in NYC for 5 years; had come to go to Columbia University and then had worked for a year after school to figure out what the next step in her life would be. The time finally came for her to leave and in doing so, she gave us a sweet present.

The gift was an extremely thoughtful one and will give us an opportunity to record our thoughts, organize them and have a pocket size reference handbook to New York City. So she gave us this pocket size organizer-extensive New York maps-subway guide-fill in your NYC experience book. Inside, she included her personal guide to New York complete with restaurants, coffee shops, museums and random "must do" things; like spinning the Astor Place cube. Anyway, good connections and good people are the best. Probably part of the reason that I am so happy to be staying in touch with the W.E.T. River Trips crew.

Thai is some of our favorite food to go eat consistently. Last Friday night, Maria and I decided to meet at Columbus Circle and walk to one of the recommended Thai Restaurants. The restaurant is called Pam Real Thai and is on what I understand to be the Hell's Kitchen District of New York City, close to midtown on 49th Street in between 9th and 10th Avenue.

We went to the place and realized it was cash only; no problem for us at the time considering I had cash on me. We had heard that is was a "hole in the wall" type of place and semi-small and comfortable. Maria and I enter and are seated and get used to the place.

I'll skip to the point here, we ordered three dishes, all recommended by local media and mentioned that they are recommendations on the menu. The dishes included one red curry, one green curry and one deep fried duck dish. Here we are at this hole in the wall, low key, small Thai place and we taste the food; best Thai I have ever had hands down!!!

It was awesome. The two curries were $6.95 each and the duck dish was $9.95. This being said, we frequented Thai Basil and Amarin Thai Cuisine in Sacramento and tried as many Thai places as we could in Northern California. All in all, we left smiling, having eaten excellent food and will be going back consistently. Just so everyone knows, the name of this place is Pam Real Thai.

Fast forward to Tuesday evening and the good vibes that Maria and I felt from Thai on Friday are still around and we want to do a repeat. All day Tuesday, the only thing I can think of is that duck dish that I had last Friday and eating it again.

We decide to again meet at Columbus Circle and walk to the restaurant. Upon meeting, the entire feel of the evening is different. Maria's hinting that maybe we should just go home and not walk the distance or that perhaps we should just eat at a place closer to 59th Street (Columbus Circle). It's hard for me though, to get the thought of the duck out of my head and so I push to make the hike.

One issue that comes up is the need for cash in order to eat at Pam Real Thai. I have none and Maria has none and all we have is our card, therefore we need to see our bank on the walk in order to get cash. It's a twelve block walk, 10 streets and two avenues; avenue to avenue being longer than street to street. On that trek, we see many banks, however, none of them are ours.

Finally, we are at the corner of 9th Avenue and 49th Street and we see a Duane Reade, a popular New York Drug Store. Our thought is that we can get cash back. We bought the right gum and Maria picks out her candy and we pull out are card and hear the sad words that say, no we do not give cash back. Thai will have to wait!

What are we going to do now! Well, we're both cold, we're tired of being on our feet, we have to use the restroom and we would like to sit down and enjoy a meal. Fortunately, there are other restaurants around. We pop our head into a Japanese place on 9th Avenue; they only take cash.

Okay no problem we think, there is a nice looking Mexican restaurant across the street. We walk in, and see the decals on the window that say they take cards. Good thing, we make eye contact and I ask just to make sure if indeed they take credit; they do and we are in business.

Now this blog is meant to contrast these two restaurants literally across the street from one another. While the Thai place across the way had been a hole in the wall, this place was very nice. There was an obvious bar scene, trendy electronic beats created a sound that potentially could draw a crowd. It was somewhat bust and we sat down immediately.

Maria and I, having just moved to New York City and just started new positions after traveling in Costa Rica are on a budget and when we looked at the menu, we realized we may be blowing the budget. The prices were a little high for us, something like $15.00 was the least expensive Burrito.

Coming from California and being used to a plentiful taqueria scene with amazing Mexican cuisine at our fingertips, for a good cost, we were a bit saddened. I chose to go for the Chimichanga and Maria went for a salad with chicken. The Chimichanga was $15 and the salad was $13. We made sure to drink water and stick to only one basket of chips, as each additional was $2.50. Certainly, the prices were high, but the restaurants intention was to have the trendy vibe make up for that. My hope was that the portions would be good sized. The service was efficient and the food did not take too long.

Unfortunately, there was more disappointment to be had in realizing that the portions were tiny. Literally, if I had wanted to, my Chimichanga, cut in half and plated in a creative way, could have been eaten in four bites. It was sad and so was I. Maria was equally disappointed in receiving her salad, a small and interesting spin on a salad, Mexican style. We left disappointed and will not go back. The name of the place did not stay in our memories long enough to make it to this blog. Just know that it is on the East side of 9th Avenue near 49th Street.

Two Hell's Kitchen restaurants, 100 feet from one another, and they couldn't be any different. Always remember to carry cash in New York City.

Thank you Theo for the blow by blow... the warning has been noted! Ok, all you travelers this summer... bring some cash when you are in New York City... then come on out and do a whitewater rafting trip with us in California! We feed you on the house!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

W.E.T. Secret's Out! Rafting Triple Crown

Shhhhh... oh yeah, I forgot to leak this news. W.E.T. River Trips and the W.E.T. crew came up with a funny idea a few weeks ago... well, actually, Big Poppa thought it up.

It's not usual to be able to do all three forks of the American River at any time of the year. River flows depend on so many variables that usually only two of the forks are running. Every spring, though, there are a few weeks where it is possible for W.E.T. to have a triple crew working on all
three American River whitewater trips in one day.

Big Poppa thought, "Hey, why not try and do all three whitewater rivers in one day with one crew?"

Aieeee! Carumba! Yeah... a very good idea, indeed.

Kudos to the Sacramento Bee writer, Gina Kim and river photographer, Randy Pench for their awesome participation on this project. Even more thanks goes to W.E.T. River Trips' own staff member Ryan MacPherson, professional documentary filmmaker for creating the video for the Sacramento Bee. Ryan and his Blood Good Productions company lent us a hand in creating the media for this three rivers in one day project. Thanks bro!

But the crew with the most,
W.E.T. River Trips... gawd, you guys rawk so hard I can't even begin to tell you guys what you really accomplished. From the North Fork American start at 7ish in the morning with a take-out at 8am, put-in on the Middle Fork American at 9ish, take-out at 12ish and finally a put-in at the South Fork American around 2ish and take-out at Salmon Falls around 5ish... dudes... you could have done this in waaaaay less time than 12 hours... you guys were moving that fast!

Ok... so definitely, the W.E.T. team is honed and ready to roll for the 2008 whitewater rafting season. Look out peeps... 'cause W.E.T. is on a rampage!

SACRAMENTO BEE: http://www.sacbee.com/107/story/921289.html (story)
GOOD BLOOD PRODUCTIONS: http://goodbloodproductions.com (Ryan MacPherson videos)

http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/Stock%20News/1520075/ (story)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

WET River Trips North Fork American Race

Team W.E.T. River Trips: 1st place commercial raft in the 1st annual Nork Fork American River race held a couple weeks ago.

Yes, the W.E.T. River Trips team got off the couch (not really... we've been out running rivers almost every day for the past five weeks... everyone except Sollie and Harpo.)

Sollie flew up at 8 am on race day from Newport Beach to Sacramento, and we were shuttled to the river by Jason (oh yeah, he was off the couch, too) to make our rendezvous in Auburn where Maggie was waiting (oh ye ... she was off the couch).

The rest of the team had just returned from (6) consecutive days of guide school, commercial trips, and side adventures on the North Fork American, South Fork American, Cal Salmon, the "Ikes" section of the Klamath, and Burnt Ranch Gorge (more on that trip next... it needs serious edification).

Anyway....back to the race: We entered two raft teams. One was comprised of the "old" guides and the second raft was made up of "noobies" (they are all under 30 years old). The old guys dominated all other commerical raft teams and came in behind two "competitive" teams that dedicate themselves to racing. (Note from W.E.T.; the pro teams came with pro racing gear and are sponsored... W.E.T. crew on the other hand, rolled out with pure commercial rafting gear.)

Team W.E.T. River Trips remains dedicated to simply running rivers for fun, for work, for you and just because...

Sollie, Jason, Andrew, Harpo, and Justin (ok he's under 30) showed the pups (Maggie, Wolf, Dax, Country Mike ...he's over 30, Ninja Shanahan) the "way." If you shut your eyes and listen... you can probably still hear the echo of Andrew's boasts and the re-telling of the glory, the thrill, the strategy, the effort, and the pleasure of kickin' down some smack to the rest of the whitewater rafting companies.

Sollie flew to Singapore the next day and was still sore three days later as he searched the city for jaywalkers in hopes of seeing a "caning" or two. Advil did the trick for the rest of the crew.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Events, parties and everything California, the sun is shining here! Our rafting trips are going full bore now with daily trips available from now until the end of September. Group rafting trips are being organized everywhere, and they are coming to go rafting with W.E.T. River Trips. Woot people for bachelor/bachelorette parties, birthdays, anniversaries, reunions... you name it. Cap that party or event with a whitewater rafting trip with us... make it truely memorable.

Our young blogging staff sent up this cool list of places on the net to check out bands, music, up-coming shows around Northern California. Organize your group, load up on music, come check out the shows and head up to the river. California love... it's our lifestye.

Yet another amazing Sacramento House Show the other night featuring a very special guest percussionist hailing from Pennsylvania. Taysuya Nakatani was creating some of the most amazing sounds I have ever heard. All by himself, he creates music with a drum kit that you could carry in a large backpack aside from the 3' gong.

The nights other performances included Kevin Corcoran who is also a solo improv drummer worth checking out. Kevin and Chad Stockdale have a seven-inch that they recorded together on clear yellow vinyl that is definitely worth the loot. And my buddies from Hexlove winding up the night with an amazing loop pedal, keys and drums... fun fun. It was a good night... woot!

I went to an amazing party the other night at the Horse Cow Gallery to check out my girlfriend in a fashion show featuring local designer Amy Hemmens among others. There was also live music from Night Nurse, the beautifully noisy brainchild of Sacramento's own Hailey Chase featuring one of my favorite Sacramento saxaphone dogs Chad Stockdale.

Now, everybody must get blown away by Animal Collective's newest release, the Water Curses EP which is being released by Domino Records on vinyl and cd.

If you are living near Sacramento, you should also be very excited about all the awesome shows coming up in the next couple of months. We are soooo lucky that bands such as Mutators, Shearing Pinx, Modern Creatures, Mae Shi, Pre, Uneasy, and Magick Daggers are going to be passing through our city.

Also be expecting a new EP from Prints out soon... I think it's going to have a DFA remix on it.


white rainbow
yume bitsu
dirty projectors
aids wolf
lucky dragons
night wounds
twin crystals
shearing pinx
modern creatures

Oh yeh, WhiteLite, our fav music blogger has a cool announcement: Mutators and Modern Creatures are playing with WhiteLite's band at Funcastle on the May 4th! Congrats, dude... I'll be there.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

NORTHFORK is a Go! Go! Go!

The North Fork American has arrived for the Spring of 2008... with W.E.T. River Trips on the first commercial rafting trip of the year on a beautiful 75 degree day without another boat in sight. Our clients and guides had the entire river to themselves! The North Fork American season should be solid until mid to late May (weather willing!).

Heffe, Wolf, Justin, Dax, Greg, and Bird also took a day off to drop in on North Fork American Giant's Gap (the non-commercial Class 5 section above the Chamberlain Falls run). After a night of camping near Baxter, the crew took the 1,500 ft. descent in to the canyon on the single-track foot path while they carried the raft and kayaks on their shoulders. The day was perfect and all came back safe and a little sore. They could have done a North Fork run to cap the day; but, they were just too tired....Wah! Wah! F'n Wah!

We hit the North Fork again today for even a better flow and more big fun! Our clients and guides exited the river with big smiles and bigger stories a bout Chamberlain Falls, Staircase, Bogus Falls and everything in between and beyond.

Those Golden Poppies were blazing up the hillsides in bright orange and the Redbud has made an appearance while marking the canyon with patches of magenta while surrounded by at-least four shades of green and the blue-green clarity of the North Fork's water....except those blasts of foaming whitewater!

The North Fork of the American is a Class 4+ jewel that only appears for a short time each year with rafting flows. This year promises to be one of the most predictable and reliable flows that we have ever seen. Heffe, Justin, Wolf, Greg D., Chris Z., Andrew, Maggie, Country Mike, Saul, Booty, Dax, and Mack are ready!

Big Poppa Post from the North Fork American take-out via wireless aircard! Woot!
Thank you Ryan for the video... ps welcome back from Brasil!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

North Fork American : Poppies, Daffodils and Lupin

Today was sunny and 75 degrees and so was yesterday. 
Easter is coming in two weeks and my daffodils are in mid-bloom cycle. Yes, I plant daffodils... lot's of them. Is that a problem? Ok, then... 

Some bloom in early February and the latest bloom thoughout March. So... yea... I plant daffodils. I don't plant anything 
else. Why? Bulbs, like daffodils are low-maintenance. They transform a bleak winter garden and they come back year after year. I don't have time during the late spring and summer to fiddle with freakin' pansies (of all iterations). 

I also like daffodils because they are a vivid reminder that the River season is ON! There are other reminders in the surrounding flora as well: Western Redbud (in full magenta bloom), Flowering Dogwood, emerging
California Golden Poppies, and purple Lupin. 

California in the Spring is unbelievably beautiful and a unique contrast to the awesome golden hills of Summer. 

While rafting down the North Fork American in late March and throughout April, even the most jaded river guide and client is blown away when they look beyond the river. Look to the sides of the canyon (look upstream on river left just above Staircase) and you'll see an intense blanket of neon orange from a huge tightly packed field of Poppies.  Along the trails and roads on the ride out on the 
Upper Clementine or the Ponderosa take-out road, check out the intense purple Lupin that stand 3 feet high. 

Just take a look while you're ripping through the Class 5, Class 4 and Class 3 rapids on the South Fork American, Middle Fork American, North Fork American and California Salmon. In the words of PBS's Huell Howzer....It's Amazing! (He says: UH-MAY-ZING!

One last cool thing about Daffodils....you have to "Dead-Head" them by rigorously ripping off the stalks of each fading bloom... (Sorry Wolf...the Greatful Dead is still still banned from all W.E.T. River Trip vehicles as well as the Warehouse while I'm in da House!)

Posted by Big Poppa:: gee whiz... no Dead at the warehouse or shuttle vehicles??? Our friend Jackie will be disappointed, dude! Maybe we can sneak it onto the company iPods... hehehe...

Thursday, March 06, 2008

California Rafting and Music

Yo! On my way to rafting trips, I have to listen to my tunes. Especially if you are heading for the Class 4 stuff like the North Fork American... so close to home! If you live in California's great valley around state capitol Sacramento, then I'm sure you know how hard it is to purchase good music around here without having to order from online distros and such.

For me it's really annoying, 'cause I love to buy new music fairly regularly. So to get my fix, it usually requires making a trip to the Bay Area to dig around in the bins at Amoeba Records store in San Francisco and Berkeley. I recently found some great albums for super cheap. Titles such as CARIBOU's new album "Andorra" is out now on Merge Records and DAN DEACON's "Spider Man of the Rings" on Carpark Records. Both albums are totally amazing if you are into electronic music or trance.

Another outstanding release from last year is the MAGIK MARKERS album "Boss" on Ecstatic Peace. This is a band that I can't get enough of and is highly recommended especially to fans of SONIC YOUTH. Some other albums to check out are BLACK MOTH SUPER RAINBOW's "Dandeloin Gum", Japanese band OOIOO's "Taiga", and for the noisier side of life, check out anything and everything on Load Records; especially KITES.

  • California Whitewater Rafting Blog
  • Myspace Music Friends
  • Dan Deacon
  • Ecstatic Peace
  • Black Moth Super Rainbow
  • Load Records
  • Caribou

  • Peace
    WhiteLite:::: more rafting music coming from my homies at W.E.T. River Trips!

    ps! WhiteLite just introduced us to Zach Nelson from albums Who's Your Favorite Son God, HexLove and Prints! He is sooo ridiculously cute! Yoko Tuttle from Fatal Insomia says of his music "This sounds like right now!" Woot!

    Tuesday, February 26, 2008

    California Salmon in February?

    UPDATE about a recent W.E.T. River Trips Rafting Adventure
    Country Mike wrote:

    I hope all went well and everyone came home fine. As long as you did not have Mogely (spelling) splitting his thumb into pieces I am sure life was good! Is Sollie still ambiguously hetero? When we hitting the NoFo!!!!???? WHITEWATER!
    Country Mike
    Here's Sollie's first webcam from the helmet... I got dizzy watching it!

    DAY 1:
    Sollie arrives at Sacramento International Airport at 1:00 PM
    Meets Heffe at warehouse to load after picking up the W.E.T. rafting truck
    Bird goes Frisbee golfing with Wolf (freshly back from Ecuador)
    I ride my motorcycle home from Oakland to beat the traffic
    I lane-split the entire ride and arrive at Save-Mart at 5:15 PM to meet Sollie for a food buy
    Final pack and load
    We then meet up with Bird, Wolf, and Heffe at my house
    Waited until 7pm for Justin and his Bro stuck in traffic coming from UC Berkeley
    Little Alex was stuck in the same traffic so Justin stayed back to wait for Little Alex
    (He was carrying Bird and his Bro Brian as well)
    We agreed to meet at Petro on I-5
    Petro became an opportunity for Heffe to drink a 32 oz Miller High Life
    We had ample opportunities to shop the wares at Petro...

    Sollie bought a fluorescent orange fleece "Elmer Fudd" hat. Justin showed up at 9 pm and he off-loaded Bird to my truck after Bird power-smoked at least four cigarettes and bought his body weight in candy. We rolled out of Petro with Sollie, Heffe, Wolf, and Bird in the Dodge and Justin, Brian, and Little Alex following in the shiny, Black Toyota (important detail for later). We drove Hwy 299 to Hwy 101 (with an obligatory stop in Willow Creek and the tempting prospect of buying the only piece of Chester-Fried chicken: a cold wing). We arrived at Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park at 3:30 AM... stoked.

    Day 2: I roused the camp up with some coffee
    (hot water for Heffe & Sollie...Metro-tea boyz)
    We head to the Oregon Hole Run

    After the boys did the run twice with multiple swimmers and a near flip at the Hole, the consensus dictated a quick run on the South Fork and a chance to run class 4+ "Grandma's Pantry." All went well and smooth except for Big Poppa getting in the grill of a local "Game Warden" who thought it prudent to educate our guides on commercial operations and permits. He left by telling me to "talk to the tire" under his breath. He refused to clarify his comments as he loaded into his navy blue Silverado. (nice, Big Poppa... bite the hand that feeds us...)

    That night we had a fat-feast and Little Alex and Wolf played guitars while Justin and Brian drummed along. Heffe was sick; however, he made a run at the Early Times until Bird thought he was at a Rave with Disco Eric and he dropped a glow stick into the bottle. Before shutting down, we all agreed to get up early and make a run to Nordheimer to put down a river run before dark through class 5 Freight Train.

    Sun: Out of camp by 8:45 AM without a problem
    Headed south to Orick
    Took a Wolf-inspired Short cut to the Klamath River via Bald Mountain Road (why oh, why does anyone follow Wolf on these short cuts?)

    This is an incredible road. Views of everything and everywhere unfolded of huge redwoods, amazing meadows, and the bonus of an un-tracked snowfield on the summit that Sollie made a first D on in Heffe's kayak with a last ditch bail-out 10 yards from the tree line at 30mph. Well done. We continued on a single track dirt road lined by snow fences getting both trucks filthy...that's why I go with White (remember the shiny new black truck). We hit a detour about five miles from the end of the line (we knew it was a possibility) and we took a detour through Hoopa and back out to the Klamath.

    The boys put in at Nordheimer at 2:30 and made a run to "Freight Train." At "Whirling Dervish" the newbie-rookies opted out and Sollie, Justin, Little Alex, and Wolf took on new "Freight Train" and nailed it. Camp was awesome with a great fire and a tepid scuffed bottle of Early Times floating a dark-stick.

    Monday: Woke up to find everything covered in ice
    About 20 degrees Farenheit
    Butler run on Cal Salmon with a put-in at 35 degrees

    Everyone nailed it and we were on the road by 11:45 AM. We delivered Sollie to the Sacramento International Airport at 5:15 PM in time for his flight back to Newport Beach.

    About 950 miles, 3 days, five different river runs, sunny skies, and a quarter full plastic, half-gallon bottle of Early times for the warehouse refrigerator. A great Winter rafting trip that will be hard to match or beat. We'll try.

    Trains hittin' Berkeley... next stop Emeryville... see ya. North Fork American in 2 weeks puppies!

    SHINY NEW BLACK TRUCK UPDATE: When we made a quick stop in Orleans for gas on the way to the California Salmon... Sollie, writes into the muddy side of Justin's truck. "I wish my girlfriend was as dirty as this truck!" in 6" letters not knowing (because Sollie rarely is in-touch with the pragmatic, real property aspects of life and the respect for possessions that was ruined by his upbringing in a hippie commune) that his letters would be etched into Justin's formerly shiny new black paint... uhmmm ... Justin was stoked, yet calm.

    I'm fairly sure that Justin washed his truck Monday night.

    Posted by Big Poppa w/ whitewater photos, rafting video and side notes by crew of W.E.T. River Trips

    Tuesday, February 19, 2008

    Tunnel Chute Rapid vs Gear Boats

    Last summer, brought copious rafting adventures my way. A late June South Silver run with some of the W.E.T. River Trips crew was definitely a highpoint; the bedrock slides and pour-overs surpassed all expectations and left me itching to get back there for some more teacups. In another instance, I was lucky enough to have a chance to run the bulk of the lower class 4 section of the Middle Fork American at a healthy fish flow. The 350cfs experience— complete with a California sunset— was a high point in my time on the Middle Fork American River.

    While moments like these are personally significant, I was also able to take part in some pioneering raft lines last summer as well. On the Middle Fork American the infamous Tunnel Chute is an ever-changing rapid.

    Rarely run in the rivers early commercial history, the rapid has become a staple of the Middle Fork over the years. Recently, Middle Fork legends such as Mack have pushed the evolution of Tunnel Chute even further by running the once class VI “left” line in paddle boats. Since the high water in 2006, the left line at the Chute has become more class 4+ ish, eroding into a fun, super-steep, 20-yard slide that kicks off a six-footer at the bottom into the pool. While still consequential, this line has been run successfully by many paddle boats.

    So what’s next?

    I have always been a little anxious about running Tunnel Chute in a gear boat because it is kind of like driving a bus on skies down a snow hill. You have lots of momentum, no turning, and no breaks. To say the least, the Chute has caused problems for guides in the past.

    So this year I thought about stepping it up a notch and going where (to my knowledge) no one had gone before in a gear boat, and headed over to the left line of the Chute. I had done my homework, and knew more or less what to expect, the entry move, and what the locked-in downhill slide felt like. In July I made my 1st D in an oarboat and had great success.

    Probably the hardest part of the rapid is the entry where there are a few guard rocks that could cause problems if the bumped you in a wrong direction. Other than these few rocks, once you make the squeeze into the top of the slide, the boat gets right into the rapid and its over before you know it.

    As an added bonus, the heft of a loaded gear boat usually sends you fairly deep on the landing as well.

    Probably the most hazardous aspect of the rapid in an oar frame is watching your oars in the tight river channel, but this is really no different than the normal “right” line at Tunnel Chute. Needless to say the left chute goes. I had the satisfaction of running the left a few more times last summer with similar success;— a highlight run occurring during another outfitter's scout of the Chute. Since last summer, the only other person I have ever heard of attempting the oar-frame descent, is the world renowned Wolf, who had a successful run in August. I think the more water the better for this line. When the gauge got down to 11.4, it becomes pretty boney.

    Tunnel Chute rapidIn the future, it could be possible that the Chute’s left line becomes more commonly run for both paddle boats and gear boats. I look at it somewhat like the “fish ladder” skirt of Rainy Falls on the Rogue River. While I could be the first to run in a gear boat, I don’'t think I will be the last.

    Post by: "Little Alex" from University of California at Berkeley:: UCB
    Big thanks to Hotshot Imaging in Coloma, California for this series of photographs of W.E.T. River Trips through Tunnel Chute rapid on the Middle Fork American River.
    Also, big thanks to Bill Tuttle and his awesome website at CACreeks.com! He's got a blow by blow description of all the runs in California.

    Tuesday, February 12, 2008

    Wolf in Ecuador! MIA is found!

    Missing in action, we got a message recently from Wolfe. Where did he go? Well, the mystery was recently solved with this email to the office:

    "Hi, guys! I got a new email address, and (I) am currently in
    Tena, Ecuador. I´ve been here for three days and boated (kayaking, rafting) every single day so far. It's been a very good time. Lots of kayakers and rivers all over the place. Every direction you look, there is a Napo River in Ecuadorriver flowing into the Napo that has whitewater.

    A2 and I, have been playing it very safe and getting accustomed to the rivers before we step it up and start running harder stuff, but it has been fruitful and impossible to not go boating every day.
    The locals are all very nice, but the beer is "muy malo."

    We managed to get our play boats on the plane. We have been doing all these creek runs in the
    play boats making things very interesting. Weather is warm, and when it rains, the rivers shoot way up (in flow) and then drop off quickly.

    Today, we were waiting for our shuttle driver after doing a class 4 river and the river came up like three feet while we were hanging out. So, we got a taxi, and we did the run again at flood stages, and then, never had to pay for our initial shuttle!

    For four kayakers to go 30-miles into the mountains and do two runs, and it only cost us 7 dollars total. I could do this for a while.
    Anyway, Volvo is almost all put back together. It's minus a valve cover because when I got the head machined, the machine shop lost a tiny plastic grommet that I had to order. She´ll be up and running though as soon as I get back in mid February in time for some more white water trips. Hope all's well with you guys, Peace. "

    Come back soon Wolfie! Time for the the North Fork American...