So a few months ago, a friend posted that he had gone whitewater rafting and I remembered how much fun it was when I did it 10+ years ago and decided I wanted to do it again. I’ve actually wanted to do it for a long time, but could never find anyone interested in going with me. So this time, I emailed the dive club and asked if anyone was interested in going, and there were a few so I called and scheduled the trip. We had enough people and time to be able to make the trip an actual club event.
So today was the day. Not knowing much about the American River I chose a beginner’s route of the Southfork of the American River, an all day trip. This is considered class 3 section of the river but today, it was truly a class 2-3. This first part of the trip was slow going with a few little ripples here and there and a couple bigger rapids but the REAL ones weren’t until the second half. We had 12 people and two rafts with a guide in each.
But back in the first half, we had an opportunity to hop in the river and ride the rapid down alone. I immediately said OK and one other guy and I hopped in and rode the waves. It was fun except for everytime a wave came up, water went up my nose. By that time, it was warm enough outside that the water felt so refreshing! It was a bit chilly but really, it was nothing. And I was only in shorts and a bathing suit! The hardest part about jumping out, was getting back in. It seems that I have a couple of “lumps” that get caught on the side of the boat making it difficult for me to get back in. Just call me “Grace”! About half way through, we stopped for lunch. AWE puts out a very nice spread and everyone ate well, rested for a few minutes then back in the boats we went.
The second half of the trip was much more exciting with MORE ripples and the bigger rapids. There were two rapids where they had photographers staged on rocks taking photos of each boat coming down. They got some really great shots. The first rapid was “Satan’s Cesspool” the next was “Hospital Bar”. Somewhere in between those and most of the time during downtime, there was splashing amongst the different boats which was anoying yet refreshing. At some point, I made some stupid comment about “Danimal” our guide not allowing us to hit rocks unless he wanted us to… so he headed straight for a rock. We hit it just right (or wrong) and the left side of the boat raised up and we were going over. I, being on the right side of the boat had dug my feet in and was doing a pretty good job of holding on, but the two men across from me were not doing so well and fell on top of me and took me and the guy next to me out.
Four of us ended up in the water paddles and all, going down a normally pretty easy rapid, but due to the rocks, was bumpy. The first thing they told us about being flipped into the water is feet first and up so to lessen the chances of getting caught on the rocks. Well, I didn’t get caught in rocks, but I certainly hit a few on the way down. I’m going to have a hell of a bruise on my ass tomorrow.
Somehow, the two other ladies on the boat found a way to stay in along with the guide. We all were a bit stunned to have been tossed, but after checking in with each other, we all were ok and swam back to the boat. Again, the hardest part about falling in was getting back in the boat. Just call me “Grace”.
The rest of the way down was fun and exciting. Most everyone is definitely up for another trip next year but want to up the ante a bit and move to a class 3-4 trip on the Middle Fork of the American River. A couple people liked the 2-3 trip so depending on the interest, may do two seperate trips on the same day.
Click on any photo to go to my Flickr page to see all of the photos. I will be putting together a presentation for an upcoming DDS meeting, be sure to come and check it out!
Click here for the slideshow presentation: