Friday, December 14, 2012

Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting

December 14, 2012
Sandy Hook Elementary School
Mass Shooting
glock & sig-sauer handguns
.223 bushmaster rifle

20 children dead in Conneticut
6 adults including gunman

flag lowered to half-mast
world wide sorrow
obama speaks tearfully
news media event

These are the sparse details. I don't know why or what happened. All I know is this; history repeats itself. This isn't the first time. And, it won't be the last time. This time, this mass shooting occurred right before Christmas. Right before Christmas break. At the school. All those kids. All those teachers. The gunman was after his educator mother. She was a school teacher. The gunman, only 24 years old, killed his mother during that horrible shooting. He also killed the Principal, psychologist, and other adults. And, the 20 children. 20 kids. 20 kids waiting for Santa, waiting for Christmas morning... sitting in class decorated for holidays. Maybe singing holiday songs. Little kids.

Please think of these families during your holidays. Please keep them in your heart.

My heart is broken... shattered.

Written by: ~ e l
W.E.T. River Trips

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

KLAMATH RIVER - The Long Strange Trip

The Klamath River is the longest no dammed, navigable whitewater river in California stretching over 200 miles from I-5 to the Pacific Ocean.

The Burning Man festival in Black Rock City, Nevada is arguably the longest running, biggest festival of Art, Music, and Culture in the Western Hemisphere.

Cal Salmon raftingLet's put them together shall we?

Since 1979, in our second year of operation, W.E.T. River Trips started to run various sections of the Northern California's  Klamath River with a focus on the Happy Camp to Presidio Bar run that we usual would configure as a 3 or 4-day trip.

About 15 years ago, we started to extend our trips upstream to Saeid Valley to incorporate more class 3 rapids and to experience the more remote portions of the river with trips up to 6 days in we did so, we started to think of some other additions....hence, the concept of "Long Strange Trip" (yes, the LST was born out of long van rides, warm nights on river beaches, and the creativity of river guides).

Yes, the reference to the Grateful Dead song is clear; however, the concept of the trip is more than a jam-band bit of noodling. Long Strange Trip (LST) incorporates self reliance (no rafts... Inflatable and sit-on-top kayaks only with a gear boat for supplies), Art (every day would have options for self expression through body movement, photography, sculpture, and 'crafts'), Music (the trip's guides would all be musicians of a variety of disciplines and clients would be encouraged to bring instruments and to use instruments provided by guides) daily and nightly. The LST would also explore the surrounding riparian eco-system and the surrounding geology and geography with a continual thread of Human History presented by guides and guests.

The Long Strange Trip (LST) Recap
DURATION 6-days; July 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6th
TRANSPORT using kayaks, sit-on-top kayaks, gear raft w/ all your gear
DRY BAG 30lbs/person for personal gear
ART everyday; body movement, photography, sculpture, crafts
MUSIC every night; bring your instruments, guides will also!
GEOLOGY of California & Pacific Northwest
GEOGRAPHY local, regional
HUMAN HISTORY native american lore, gold rush history, and us!
MENU vegetarian and/or vegan, California produce advocating farm to fork
THEMES group selection, committment
NO TRACE camping, impact on land

The LST would be a slower paced and free-form schedule with a simple beginning and an end filled in-between with natural magic and the energy and contributions of the environment and our guests. Meals or food will be simple, nutritious, filling and mostly vegetarian and/or vegan constructed of high quality California-produced ingredients. Besides the musical entertainment, dance, art, movement, games, interaction, and learning... every day will be themed though group selection and commitment.

As with Burning Man, the rules will be few: safety gear will be worn on-river, and no-trace camping and floating will be strictly adhered to. And as with Burning Man, participants will be encouraged to contribute to the trip in ways that shows a giving, sharing spirit to contribute to the LST community.

The trip will be small (limited to 12 participants) and will be staffed by carefully selected guides that will bring all the 'magic' and expertise the LST requires.

The inaugural LST will be presented to operate July 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6th, not only would we celebrate the LST, we would also celebrate Independence Day by floating and traveling through the State Of Jefferson (our Nation's only Ad-Hoc 51st State established in 1941).

more rivers in northern california:

Ahhhh... the influences of hippies, Burning Man, Grateful Dead, Farm to Food and loving life!
This post was written by Big Poppah Jah! and posted by me.
~ el
WET River Trips 

Monday, September 17, 2012

VOLUNTEER, our country needs us!

For most of us, our local political circle is usually the most important. The local city councilman, the school board president, and the city manager make more decisions affecting your personal life than anyone else. Those local politicians can make your life good... or really bad!

Recently, this company, WET River Trips, invited members of our local Chamber to participate in a beautiful rafting trip called Middle Fork American River. This is the river that would have drowned under the Auburn Dam. Sharing this river and the beautiful corridor with Sacramento's finest business owners was a pleasure! They loved the trip and appreciated the whitewater and the glorious canyon.
W.E.T. River Trips, California whitewater, CAL Salmon River, Klamath River, class 5, rapids

What we hope is that they will spread the word about this incredible resource in our backyard. Maybe our local chamber and our community will appreciate that travelers from all over the world are impressed with this river and it's magnificent canyon corridor. Maybe our leaders will help us save this recreational resource as a possible revenue creator for local businesses such as restaurants, lodging and promotions.

One thing I want to stress, too, is the lack of transportation from Sacramento International Airport or San Francisco International Airport to places like Lake Tahoe, ski resorts and/or California whitewater rafting sites. International travelers complain about this every single year as they fly into California and wonder why traveling requires them to rent a car.

We have got to fix this! If not for the international traveler, but for the rest of us Californians! We need a way to travel to our favorite destinations without getting into personal cars. Why can't I hop on a bullet train to Tahoe? Why can't I get up to Squaw to ski without my car? And, the hundreds of thousands that come up to South Fork American every year... why isn't there a bullet train to Placerville, the gateway to South Shore?

The organizations in your local community are important, too. The neighborhood associations, the chamber of commerce and the art/social committees are so important for the quality of our lives. These are the groups that can make sure that we have clean parks, events in our city and an appreciation for the arts community which includes performance art and music.

This fall and winter volunteer in your community! Our entire state needs each and every one of us to pitch-in and help out our own personal places. Volunteer to help clean up your parks! Help the local community with anything and everything you can do. We are the best resource in helping our local governments with the best resource we can give: ourselves!

Going to volunteer now... Rose garden, rebuild our playground, read to kids at elementary school, and art community!

This post belongs to California Whitewater Rafting W.E.T. River Trips blog.
Thanks to Big Poppah Jah and Google images for their pics of volunteer photos. 
More WET River Trips photos are on and Picassa.

Friday, September 07, 2012


I got busted. I logged into my Google+ profile, and lo and behold! There was an account alert. "Please edit your profile to reflect your real name... blah blah blah..." Gee whiz. I was using this company name, WET River Trips, instead, but I did have in my profile, who I was, who I worked for and everything else that was completely real. Grrrr.

But, the sense of relief was a bit overwhelming. Whew. I don't have to hide anymore. Yes, I work for W.E.T. River Trips as their marketing geek, and I am the one who creates all the internet properties along with the other members in my team. But, to not have to hide is kinda unreal. Facebook already told me that, when I finally relented and entered their realm a few years ago.

I started thinking, "...why was I hiding?" Was I hiding from other marketers? Or was I just loving the anonymity of being on the net as my nickname or my company profile?

I read Randi Zuckerberg's missive on anonymity online. Randi says it 'has to go away.' She explains about harassment and cyberbullying. Hmmm... yes, I know our company, and I have been harassed on several occasions throughout our marketing campaigns over these 30+ years. Annoying and dangerous, we have fended off their arrows every single year.

W.E.T. River Trips, California whitewater, CAL Salmon River, Klamath River, class 5, rapids

So, here is what is out there now. I am Elizabeth Lopez both on Facebook and Google+. So, all you reading this, please check out our business pages for WET River Trips or W.E.T. River Trips. Then, click the "Like" or "+1" button, please. Otherwise, just keep clicking on the +1 button for me.

Last whitewater trip for 2012 is September 30, 2012 on both South Fork American or Middle Fork American!

Over and out for now...
E. Lopez
WET River Trips 

Thanks to for their privacy image. All other photos belong to W.E.T. River Trips, Big Poppah Jah, and me!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


BURNING MAN part 3 was written a few years back when Big Poppah and Maggie hit the playa for this California Whitewater Rafting blog.

The American Dream was the theme of Burning Man the "BMC" held on the Playa of the Black Rock Desert in Northeast Nevada. I went with Maggie and we stayed for four days out of the six (we had to go to work!). As the theme of "the American Dream" was imprinted though the layout of clock-wise (there is no "counter" at BMC) by naming those avenues after Iconic American Cars: Corvair, Falcon, Dart, Corvette, and even Hummer. Additionally, this year's costumes mirrored the theme with scatterings of flags and a plethora of red, white, and blue cloth, skin, and lights.

The American Dream is essentially the realization that you "have everything": cars, clothes, houses, food, entertainment, friends, family, etc. The Playa provided that: no one went hungry, art cars were everywhere, music never stopped, there was plenty of housing, people were surrounded by friends and family (real, constructed, and evolved), and entertainment was always with eyesight and arm's reach. The American Dream came to fruition on the inhospitable soil of the Black Rock Desert. Everyone was from somewhere and the indigenous people provided the venue (through the BLM). The gates of the BMC were our Ellis Island and the Playa succumbed to the Manifest Destiny of those who had conspired to stage this American Dream. The citizen's of the world were present with representatives from most continents (Antarctica didn't have a contingent; however, the others did!). So the World was represented by folks from England, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Ireland, Greece, Russia, The Ukraine, Israel, Iran, Iraq, India, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, China, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Fiji, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Canada, and even Oklahoma! Many others were there as well…we just met folks from these Countries.

Our founding "fathers"…yes, the old, dead, white men who allegedly "constructed" our constitution and Declaration of Independence (based upon their readings and interpretations of Locke, Hume, Payne, and others that they plagiarized freely) would have thrived: B. Franklin by creating electrical madness and Art Cars, T. Jefferson would have raged the Deep End and Domes while hooking-up the hotties, and G. Washington would have piloted the largest of land-yachts across the Playa day and night. The rest of their posse would have created a killer theme camp (colonial columns, wheeled ships, exploding muskets made of L-wire, and rivers of rum). All in all, they would have approved.

Not a bad "Dream". No one went hungry, thirsty, un-sheltered, optionally clothed, and un-transported (in the real and imagined senses). The American Dream lives through our excess, excesses, and Burning Man '08 was just that: a celebration of our collective and global excesses rammed at hyper-speed through all of the available senses.
Big Poppah Jah

Big Poppah wrote this Burning Man story while on the playa a couple of years ago. He and Maggie hung out with several of the other whitewater friends there for a few days enjoying the art, music and social escapades while squinting through the gusts of wind, dirt and sun. A good time was had by all!

This year's Burning Man art theme is Fertility 2.0

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Troublemaker Rapid 2012

Google groups has an interesting setting for paddlers, and Big Poppah saw this post that he wanted to share with everyone who paddles the very popular South Fork American River in Lotus Coloma Valley. Caution! Everyone!


***Please Read Kayakers***

This last Saturday, I was running troublemaker rapid in my playboat.  I decided to take the beginner line, which is to clip the very left edge of the hole and then paddle left of gunsight rock.  I have done this line over 20+ times and hit the hole in the same spot.  It seems that there is a new rock directly after this that will either flip you or put you on enough edge to shift your boat into the downslope that leads into the peanut gallery.  I did not flip but had to switch edges quickly, which lead into an instant loss of momentum and my stern slipping down.  I paddled as hard as possible to make it back left of the "guardian rock"  which is the left rock of gunsight.  I made it to the very top of the guardian rock but the current was so strong that I could not pull my weight up and over the tip.  In turn I slid backwards down the rock and into the peanut gallery.  I luckily pushed my weight forward and slid down flat, after a few more hits, I flipped over.  I tucked immediately and started going through the peanut gallery until my helmet hit a rock and my body was pressed up against the rock as well.  I knew to get my knees out immediately and to pull skirt but the water coming off the pillow pressed my boat against me.  When I realized that I was pinned, I remained calm and started to kick and push the boat off of me.  After a few tries, the boat released and I was able to swim out.  Besides a good crack in the helmet, a few solid bruises and a sore neck- it all luckily worked out.  For those that do not know me, this was not a simple push of the boat.  This was an intense push/kick from a well conditioned, strong boater who paddles over 250 days a year.

After I came back from running film on the gorge that night, I looked at pictures of myself and others going through troublemaker with the same line.  Most people flipped, the others had the same "edging" issues but in a larger boat were able to pull it off.  There were many swims that followed.  I watched an ugly swim 2 weeks ago and know of another well conditioned, strong, class 4/5 boater who swam as well.

Please take caution when running this line- clip the hole another boat width right, eddy out and ferry across or be ready for the rock.  I do know this river extremely well as I have worked on this river for 11+ years and have kayaked it at almost every flow.  This rock was not there early July when I did the exact same line, multiple times- I have very specific markers and line ups as I count on my line as a safety boater and instructor.

If you have any further questions or info- please let me know.  In the meantime, please be safe and aware.  Please pass this along to any other boaters, outfitters or instructors.
Thank you, 
Julie Mitravitch

Thanks much to paddler, Julie Mitravitch and Google groups for allowing us to share the group's paddling information to everyone!
Coloma Lotus News at Google Groups

This blog belongs to California Whitewater Rafting W.E.T. River Trips blog.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Writing, again

Phone is ringing. Again. And, the rings are blurring into a musical cacophony of tunes echoing a distant song. Turn your computer down, please. The sounds are confusing and filling my head with a noise that is distracting for my work. I am writing again.

I've always written. I love words. The sounds of the words and the rhythm of their music have always filled me with a joy that is hard to describe unless you have a soulful presence in perhaps, art? All who write know what I mean. I dream and then I write.

Just me
Why have I not written in so many months? What has stopped me? Blogs are quick and dirty writing. Perhaps the pressure of this whitewater business and the job it unfolds was too daunting for the artful words to flow. I don't know why a writer stops writing, or why we write at all. Something compels us to write the words from our head and heart. Something mysterious and profoundly unjust at times. Forcing me to write is like having a chef cook with spoiled ingredients and tainted meat. The end result is always bad, no matter how finely tuned the knife is executed or how creative the chef. Bad is bad, always.

The minutea of every part of my life comes in clear focus. I haven't felt like writing for a long time. And, every time the urge starts, I wonder why, but then I write... and write... about nothing. Just thoughts that drift aimlessly in my mind producing words on the screen forever more in the digital expanse.

I look outside my window this morning to a clear blue sky. The cool breeze drifts in making the curtain shimmer with the same rhythm of the music of words that I type. Life is very good. Perhaps, I will sit here all day just writing.

~ EL aka RJ
This blog belongs to California Whitewater Rafting W.E.T. River Trips blog and all the contents and images and my heart, too.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Magnificent Wolffe

"Geezus Christ!, " he screamed as he poured over the whitewater photos online this morning.

"I'm going to kill him... I swear to god, I'm going to kill him."

I went back into my thoughts while wondering why Big Poppah was yelling. What made him so mad? I kept working as I could feel and hear something in the background of this morning's river drama. Sigh... back to work.

First day of August and the living ain't easy. Discounting and dealing with the public has worn us all out. The reservation staff is waning as many of us get ready to go back to school. Whitewater trips are happening everywhere in the west from California to Arizona and also, West Virginia and all the way over to Pennsylvania. Whitewater outfitters provide dreams. A solitary river dream that flows inside all of our heads. We dream of rafting and kayaking. It's in our blood. Our life source flows on this planet much like it does in our bodies... the river of life.

Ok. It's hokey, I know that... but what made Big Poppah so mad?

I got up from my chair and walked into the other room. Peering over Big Poppah's shoulder, I could see the photos of yesterday's Middle Fork American river trip in front of me. Big Poppah was hunched over the computer and typing furiously. Tap tap tap clicky tap tap tap... like tiny soldiers marching on the hardened ground.

I saw Wolffe jumping from the cliff into the bottom of Tunnel Chute rapid. OMG! What was he doing? At least, no one else was in that gear raft in the ugly maw of Tunnel Chute.

Wolffe is a senior headguide for W.E.T. River Trips. He was manuevering the fully-loaded gear raft on the river that day with a large group on our 2-day wilderness trip. Why did he do that? What was he thinking?

Big Poppah was yelling and talking about company liability and why was Wolffe doing that and what was he thinking and how do we get it through his head that he can not do that? I listened to him ranting about Wolffe for quite a bit as I stood there nodding. My thoughts were drifting as Big Poppah's words were just a lacey decoration of a million times I had heard this similar rant about another guide, another river, another place in time.

This company is old. Really old. And what we do now is just survive the vagaries of life and all the bullshit that comes with it. WET has survived drought, economic downfall, guide revolts, back stabbing within our own industry, and sometimes even our friends!

August is coming up next... and then finally September. I am counting the days when the phone is quiet and the trips are only good memories on someone's facebook page...

The river. What more is there to say?

RESOURCES for Whitewater Photos:
Sierra Nevada Photos: 530.295.1873
Hotshot Imaging:

This blog was written by staff member EL who has been writing here since forever.
California Whitewater Rafting W.E.T. River Trips blog is the oldest freakin' rafting blog in the world!

Monday, May 21, 2012

MEMORIAL Day Weekend! 2012

Memorial Day weekend is finally here. May 26th is looming on the horizon. W.E.T. River Trips has been on the river since 1978 and every single year, we start early. Most years, we are the first whitewater rafting company on the river, and this year, we started in March.

Cal Salmon rafting

We ratcheted back a bit this year due to personal issues at home. Ie, we needed a bit of a break from the intense reservations that fly in every year. How do we all do this? Every company wants to take everyone down the river. And yet, government regulations that oversee our industry does not allow this. So, many of our guests will call, and we have to turn them away! Sob!

Spring rafting WET River Trips northern California

This weekend should be hot, hot, hot! With a great whitewater rafting season ahead, all guests should be happy this year on our rivers. And, now we start Summer Rafting!

W.E.T. River Trips, California whitewater, CAL Salmon River, Klamath River, class 5, rapids


South Fork American - class 3-3+, ideal for novices, intermediates, most popular river in the west

Middle Fork American - class 3-4+, ideal for intermediates or athletic novices, equally popular

North Fork American - class 4-4+, ideal for advanced paddlers, season ended early this year (last week)

California Salmon - class 5, ideal for advanced, athletic, aggressive paddlers, spring

Klamath River - class 2-3, ideal for youth groups or novices, throughout summer months to early fall

Call us and reserve your trip today!
W.E.T. River Trips

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

The Boy Scouts of America on Klamath River

The Boy Scouts of America were founded 112 years ago in 1910 when our United States was a much different place. Wild places were close to almost every urban center, and suburbs were a future concept. Today's Boy Scouts  are still in the need of finding wild places to experience, to enjoy, and to learn from so that they can accomplish many of their merit badges.  The longest undammed section of navigable river in California fits the mission of today's Boy Scouts... especially 50-miler merit badge!

Klamath River flows over 200 miles from I-5 to the Pacific Ocean and W.E.T. River Trips has been taking Scouts, their friends, their families, and others down the Klamath River since 1979. WET River Trips provides whitewater rafting programs of 3 to 6 days in duration with each trip incorporating class 2 and class 3 whitewater, spectacular scenery, interpretative of human history,  and sightings of wildlife found no where else in California.

The Klamath River lines up with the Pacific Flyway; the atmospheric highway to every migratory bird in North America.

The river corridor itself is home to Golden Eagles, Bald Eagles, Egrets, Herons, Geese, Ducks, Hawks, and majestic Osprey.  The terrestrial wildlife is abundant as well with nearly daily sightings of deer, bear, and sometimes elk. The calm sections of the river are also habitats to huge turtles, otter, and other surprising creatures (sometimes even seals).  The fishing is amazing and the water is cool while not cold like our Sierra Nevada rivers.

Because of the various trip durations that we provide (3-6 days), many of our Scouts chose to do a 5 or 6 day trip that provides over 50 miles of river and 4-5 nights of camping.  The trip is also long enough to allow for kayaking, canoeing, and rafting instruction in order to qualify each interested participant for whitewater merit badges that can also be augmented with a 50-miler, and FOOD! or cooking badges if desired.
We also incorporate a 2-mile hike off river to Ukonom Falls on every river trip; in that, the Falls are the closest vision of Shangra-La you will ever encounter in Northern California. Huell Howser would truly exclaim "It's amazing!"

The W.E.T. staff is well versed in merit badge requirements, and we are registered to authorize each Scout for merit badge approval. Not only do we take great care of each Scout, we also give social attention to the adult leaders and provide them with relaxation and peace of mind. As we truly take each day as an opportunity to teach and to experience what the Klamath has to offer, we float and paddle in rafts, inflatable kayaks, and sit-on-top kayaks.
No worries....relax and enjoy what each day on the Klamath River delivers!

Klamath River is truly A-Mazing!

Klamath River Resources
Boy Scouts of America
Whitewater Merit Badge
American Whitewater
WET River Trips Klamath River
Klamath River Online Store

This blog and all photos belong to W.E.T. River Trips. Please ask if you want to share this blog or photos within your feed. Send us an email and just ask us!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

California W.E.T. River Trips starts March!

Holy moly it is March 1st, 2012! Where did February go?

Three weekends lost to holidays and I took every weekend to heart. Oh yes, speaking of hearts... there was Valentine's Day in there, too. The LOVE day as we all like to call that special time.

The weather in California was superior to any February anywhere! Blue skies and not a drop of rain. Yes, it was dry, but today on March 1st, we got storms brewing in the Sierras and in the valley towns, too. 24 inches of snow just dumped yesterday and more to come!

Winter is finally here in California! Yep, yep... it's gonna be a great time on the rivers this year!

See you on the river,
WET River Trips

ps. First trip on South Fork American starts this weekend on March 2, 3 and 4, 2012! Special rate is here! 
Woo hoo!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

American Rivers Delta Loop January 2012

River Ride on January 29, 2012

"Wanna go for a ride on Sunday?" he asked quite innocently. A ride through any part of California is a favorite way to spend a few hours on a Sunday. Who was going and why were my questions, and the answers were kind of vague in their response. An annual ride with people I didn't know so that I could write a blog about the trip. Now that sounds interesting and I said, "Yes, I would love to go."

The blogging team from WET River Trips were picking me up around 9:00 AM so that we could meet the rest of their friends by 10:00 AM in a park somewhere in Sacramento. I wasn't driving and those of you who know me, know that my geographical skills are sorely lacking. "Somewhere near the Delta..." was the response I got when I asked where we were going.

With my nose in my notes and my eyes on my cell, I started writing about these people and friends whom I was accompanying on this little adventure. I say a little adventure as I was not required to bring a ton of gear. Just a hat, a jacket and good, sturdy shoes were all that was required.

We met the group near the park as the roar of the engines drowned out the speaker's voice as he instructed the group on the day's schedule. We were doing the "Delta Loop" which is a popular ride for top-down automobiles, motorcycles and bicyclists. The weather was beautiful... too beautiful for January! Then we were off on our ride, heading through the Delta towns such as Rio Vista, Clarksburg, Hood and Solano county where the wind turbines create a surreal landscape for the viewer.

I had no idea where I was. The loops and islands were so confusing! Each island looked so similar except for the homes and buildings. Each small town was picturesque and dotted with old-time ambiance. There was wine tasting along the way, art galleries, shops, the beautiful river with the boats, yachts and the incredible homes along the river frontage. This was a magical setting of another world, another place to experience.

I met quite a few interesting folks on this ride, too. I met a scientist and programmer of robotics. An interesting chap of European heritage. We talked about his current project. And, I gave him the name of one of the whitewater rafting guides who has an internet company that could help him with a problem.

As he passed me his business card, I was struck with the "Social Networking" that we just had. This is truly social networking! The real deal! No computer. Just talking with someone who had something in common with me.

Now, I am very interested in the outcome of this project that he was working on as I want to know if my input had any value to his project. If it did, then I will feel as if I was part of his team... no matter how small. "Social Media" in the best sense!

This blog belongs to W.E.T. River Trips California Whitewater Rafting blog.
All photos belong to WET River Trips Flickr site.