Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Muddy Waters

8 of us went to Kern river this week.
We camped.
And we went down the rapids, well level 1-3...

White water rafting and kayaking... what a blast :)

We started out nice and easy with the 5 person yellow raft, afloat on the chocolate river (thanks to the summer thunder storms that resulted in a couple of flash floods to color the water we rafted on!)

First you're suited up with the generic, community-shared, once-was-bright orange life-vest that's cinched around your chest so you can almost breathe, just in case. Then you're handed a paddle... 
Hop on to the 32 passenger old school bus and you drive about 3 miles up the road where you drop in. 
You're given vague instructions that you don't quite understand until you're waist-deep in swirly-brown-cocoa-foamed river water.  
"Don't stand up in the boat" 
"If you fall out, don't go down the river head first"
"Hump-and-shuffle" ("but, don't tell our boss you learned this from us")...
"Lock your feet"
"If you're going to tip, lean to the up side"
"To turn right paddle on the left, to turn left paddle on the right"

And we're off... There's no brake, no stop button, no anchor... 
Just you... some inflated plastic... a life vest... paddle... and our raft-guides

Travis tried to pick on Joe... he was thrown in about 8 (thousand) times.
Bob only escaped a good dunking because he was bigger and stronger than the rest of us, so he pushed me in... 

We soared down the rapids... again and again... 
Five different rapids, levels 1-3... not too shabby.
We first got in the water on Monday and it went about 705 cfs (Cubic feet per second... explained like this "imagine there are 705, 60 lbs basketballs, they all move a foot every second) by this morning, after another storm yesterday it was going over 1000 cfs---BOOYAH!

Naturally after we went down twice on the big 5-person rafts we all believed we were pro's and moved up to kayak-status (and that's what Curtis booked for us, consequentially).  

Twisting and turning between the pockets and rocks, spinning around in the churning rapids, splashing and laughing, dunking and diving... I think all in all this was an awesome trip.  The greatest thing is that the water is never the same twice, it can sink or rise, roar or quiet to a trickle.  Each ride is a new adventure waiting.  
(And our only casualties were: Sarah got her finger bumped with a paddle, I sliced my finger while warming our tortillas (be careful tortillas are sharp apparently), Spencer and Sean scraped up their shins while exploring along the riverbank,  and our guide lost his glasses)

I would totally do it again.  Can we please?


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