Thursday, May 20, 2010

Email Sucks

I hate email. (Come on everyone... ya know you hate it too.) Email sucks and everyday it gets worse and worse. And, I am not just talking about spam. Spam is easy. I filter it out with my ISP tools. And, poof it's gone. Most of my friends just text me via cell phone (... don't get me started on text messages... argh!) and I retrieve that easily and answer quickly.

No, this is about email and doing business with email. And, yes I know about WAVE. I am not sure that would have streamlined this situation because words can be misunderstood no matter where it is. But, the majority of us are still using email to conduct business. I hate dialogue using email. I hate it. Half the stuff doesn't make sense because it's in a conversation that refers back to past emails that I can't remember. So you end up saying, "Wha?!?" And, the recipient says, "Huh?" and so on and on.

For the last 3 days, I have been having a dialogue with three members of my company. A situation came up where 3 managers were in miscommunication. Three different individuals with three different perspectives and three different solutions. None of it made sense to any of us. No matter how we communicated in the email, we kept misunderstanding each other.

We emailed our conversations in paragraph form. The worst. Who can read a block of words when there are 300 other emails in the inbox. Then we emailed in list form. A bit better. At least it was easier on the eyes.

Then we started calling each other to explain the emails. Then we asked each other to confirm in email our verbal conversation so we could make sure that we were all on the same page. There were still misunderstandings. I thought it would never end. Three days of back and forth. Finally, we all gave up. Now, I know why we do the team-building rafting thing. It helps us to have a release from this craziness.

I am ashamed to say that I started ignoring the emails. Somehow, the email got deleted. Somehow, it never arrived into my in-box. Somehow, it was lost in the loop never to be found again. Ohhhh, yes, I finally resorted to deleting everything. It was email madness, and I could not stop myself. (Whew... it was only a dream...)

But, I did ignore some of the dialogue between us three. It just got ridiculous. So we all went back to our own perspectives, and the job got done correctly without all the minutiae and dissection. We are in our positions because someone trusts us to do our jobs right. So, that is what we did and forgettaabutta rest.

Note: These guys need to go on a river trip. Go outside! Get on the river and do a whitewater trip! Connect with yourself and Mother Nature. California rafting trips is in your back yard...

WET River Trips 1.888.723.8938 for help on office psychosis... hee hee.

Thanks to google images, and wet river trips for photos.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Two Woman, Too Much Luggage!

My favorite summer ever was in Europe. Since I was a child, a dream for me was to travel abroad. I decided with a good friend of mine that we would travel to Paris, London, Cannes, and Monaco. Eight months of planning to get all the details together, but here we were on British Airways on our way to our first trip to Europe. I was glad that I was taking this trip with Jen since we love to laugh at just about everything and make the most of every situation. Jen is easy going, and she was just as excited as I was embarking on this adventure!

The entire trip from start to finish was filled with laughter and joy. I think we even had a hearty laugh with our passports, if you can imagine. I looked at
her picture, and she looked extremely jaundiced, with deep hollowed eyes and a look of complete fear on her face. My own picture was just as scary. I looked as if I had been frightened and had been crying for days. All puffy and swollen! What really was hilarious is I looked exactly like my childhood pictures of when I was four years old!
Sometimes, I wonder if the people taking our pictures for our passports, take our pictures purposely to show us unattractive. You know what I mean... just like
the DMV and Costco!

When we finally landed, we were in London, tired and hungry because during the flight we never slept. We were too excited about this trip. Our feet had become swollen. Jen's feet were so swollen that her feet looked like tiny balloons in shoes! We hobbled off the plane and gradually the swelling subsided.

We got our luggage and decided to exchange o
ur money to pounds so we could get to the hotel. Nothing exciting about customs, or the airport itself. Lots of people bustling about and many duty-free shops as far as your eyes could see. I wanted to take a cab to the place we were staying which is in a place called Knightsbridge.

Jen wanted to try what they call the Underground or Tube. Our American terminology would be Subway, Muni or BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit). Anyway, we found the Underground easily, and with help from the locals, we were able to secure our tickets and locate which side to take to Knightsbridge.

The biggest problem was our luggage. No valet around, and we both had too many pieces to carry. (Remind me not to take the kitchen sink with me next time...) As we were on the train, both sides had windows, so you were able to see out when the train was not in the tunnel. Nothing impressive to see but lots of artful graffiti, concrete world and houses extremely close together. This reminded me of my own city of San Francisco, Cali

Jen's luggage kept dropping with a huge clang (did she bring her kitchen sink?) as we were traveling and my irritation was building probably due to lack of sleep. I watched as I saw her struggle, and I could have easily helped to pick up her luggage, but I turned away worrying about my own tight grip of all my luggage. What a bad friend I am!

When we finally arrived in Knightsbridge, I was relieved and knew in just a short time I would be able to get cleaned up, and take a long awaited nap before exploring this fabulous city. When we got off the Tube, we started towards the exit and, lo and behold, we noticed a long staircase... not a short set of stairs, but probably the most intense set of stairs that I have ever seen. I felt like a mole looking up to the light. Go to the light, go to the light...

We tried to ask several people if there was a elevator, but everyone was in such a hurry that they moved briskly towards the (a few expletives with God thrown in) holy light. I looked at Jen, and she looked at me, and we said, "Lets just go for it!"

Sweaty and tired and still wearing the clothes from the day before, I drummed up all the strength I had and put my handbag around my neck, and dragged my luggage towards the taunting light. I reached the top of stairs and could see Jen struggling to get to the first set of stairs. The whole time, I’m cheering her on knowing I could not leave my luggage to help her because I was thinking someone would steal my luggage. (Hmmm... maybe I just didn't want to climb any more stairs...)

We looked absolutely ridiculous; not ingenue or au naturele or chic... not at all! When Jen finally reached the top, we proceeded to our hotel. More to come about our travels in Europe…….

For those of you who need to stay closer to home, do what these women are doing this Memorial Day Weekend! A two day American River Combo vacation package is available in Central Northern California for a whitewater rafting trip. Not too far from home and not too expensive. Best rates available on our online store: or call us direct 1.888.723.8938. See you on the river!

Thanks for the photos!,, Google images and WET River Trips!

Check out the recipes at Camp Chef for this writer's Riviera Swiss Chard! Yum!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

and da Winner izz.... WET River Trips !

Over the past three seasons, WET River Trips has enjoyed a variety of accomplishments as a whitewater race team. The latest string of victories started with the race held in 2008 on our fav run, North Fork American River. In that race , our team dominated from the start and we finished in first place while representing commercial outfitters.

wet river trips at northern california cal salmon race

One month later, our team took on a first-ever world record attempt by running American River and its three forks under 12 hours. And we did it just a few minutes over 11 hours, we ran North Fork American Chamberlain Falls run, Middle Fork American Tunnel Chute run, and South Fork American Gorge run. No one had ever done it before, and no one has done it since the beginning of the infamous American River Triple Crown! We have tried to organize another competitive race for the Triple Crown; however, not a single outfitter will commit a team to race....hmmm?

birds eye view of race participants

This year the team entered the Yuba race and we not only dominated the field by over three minutes in the raft category; but, Wolf, our head guide, also won the kayak division.
Last weekend we had another opportunity to compete on the Cal Salmon. Paul Gamache organized the event as he has for the past four years. The race was moved from the Nordheimer section to the Butler Creek section due to the Salmon road closure at Freight Train after a massive slide on March 4th. We were in and we made the 8 hour drive Friday night after loading up at our Lotus warehouse in Central California.

carry rafts to the shore for the race

On the way up we purchased our race shirts at an all-night gas station in Weed, California (the race had a theme of 'Hippies' vs. 'Nascar' and we chose 'Hippies"). We picked out black shirts with Rainbow Peace Signs on the front and the slogan: " Peace, Love, & Weed, CA". The shirts were perfect.

waterfalls on rivers in northern california

We rolled in to the Oak Bottom Campground just a mile or two up the Salmon Hwy from Somes Bar at 1:45am. Paul Gamache was still up and a party was in 'moderate' session. We exchanged good-natured insults and greetings before setting up camp. 5 hours later, I had hot coffee and huge breakfast burritos ready for the crew as everyone got up and got ready for a quick morning practice session. We rolled up the road and stopped to see the damage from the slide and to check out "Freight Train" before launching five kayaks and a raft at Butler Creek.

wet river trips race crew winners

The session went well except Heffe guided the practice crew into "Double Hole" (class 4) off angle and without momentum...they flipped. No worries, everyone held onto the boat and they continued on to takeout in a great mood and we had a giant lunch.

wet river trips team for 2010 race

The race put-on at 1pm and we had a 5-man crew in the raft and Wolf and Little Alex (girl Alex) kayaked. At the start of the kayak race, Wolf got the holeshot, and battled Dan Minten for the lead until the last 2oo yards when Dan pulled ahead giving Wolf second place and Dan his 4th consecutive victory. The raft team also got the holeshot and never lost the lead winning the race with over an 8 minute margin.

winner's wet river trips

Apparently the fun happened upstream when the ORT raft flipped in Double Hole and two of their team members walked out of the canyon. Interesting to note, the ORT crew is sponsored and trains year round for whitewater racing. Our team used standard commercial gear and didn't train as a team... we just paddle!

Paul Gamache had a bad finish as well when his raft recycled 3 times in the last lateral above Wooley Creek (in plain sight of the spectators, and he swam to the takeout wearing about 80lbs. of wet hippie clothes. It was little Alex that kayaked to Paul and dragged his sodden self to the shore. (side note: in February we ran into Paul while running the Smith Rivers and he let the air out of one of our rafts while we had breakfast... we never paid him back. So, maybe someone else did?! karma patrol!!!)

kayak at the 2010 northern california race

At the end of the race, WET River Trips saw an opportunity to continue on to the main Klamath and to run the section below Somes Bar referred to as the "Ikes" (a series of three huge holes, waves, and wave trains...especially at the 15,000 cfs that the river was flowing). No one else stepped up except our team and Dan Minten (an old friend of all of us).
The Ikes were huge and the team wasn't tired in the least...they were fired up from the win, the whitewater, and 10 foot waves!

wolf, wet river trips headguide & best loved!

That night the party was huge with Team WET River Trips leading the charge first in our camp with a round of "So, there I was..." followed by Booty Drinks (drinking a beverage of choice from your own dirty, stinky, bacteria-ridden wetsuit booty as homage to the river deities for swimming and having another 'incident'). From there, we moved our expanding crew (with Jon on the banjo and Dan on guitar) with us to the main camp for the awards, raffle, and hi-jinks!
The next morning we up by 7:30 and we had another massive burrito pile for breakfast and we packed up to head to the Scott River dragging Dan Minten with us.

there really is a cool, california

On our victory lap through the campground, we woke Paul up and we waved goodbye using "all" of our fingers. Just as we were heading out of the campground a streaking figure appeared clutching a branch of poison oak, it was Paul. Paul then ran to the truck and he rubbed the poison oak over our gear,and then stuffed the branch into Wolf's helmet. Again, Paul has yet to receive a payback ... sadly, it will happen!

freight train on california salmon river

The crew then ran the Scott River as a first-ever run for each of them... they loved it and that capped the weekend of winning: two days and three rivers ... so, how could there ever be a loser? The weather was perfect, the flows were great, and a California Whitewater Rafting Spring is incredibly beautiful everywhere you turn!

Get out and enjoy it!

Update: this weekend North Fork American Chamberlain Falls run will be at optimum levels!
and there really is a Weed, California... and a Cool, California, too!

Spaces still available this Sunday only; Sat is sold out!
Rafting Online Store or call 1.888.723.8938 for phone reservations!