Rafting Trip

We went white water rafting a couple of weeks ago on the American River near Coloma in Northern California. The long weekend trip was like a mini-vacation, except for the sore bottoms and aching backs Saturday night after we rowed 21 miles through the river rapids that day. I enjoy this yearly escape up North with family and friends. My parents even flew out from New Hampshire to join in on the festivities. This is their second year and for Ryan and myself, this is our fourth. Every year there is a core group of people who attend regularly, sometimes there are a few newbie’s, but it is mostly the same old crowd. The hotel we stay at is about an hour and a half drive from the rafting spot, but it is a one-of-a-kind location (St. George Hotel).

The hotel is three floors and there are a 2-3 bathrooms on each floor that everyone shares. The rooms are small and the floors are old and creaky, but the hotel is one of the things that totally heightens the enjoyment of the weekend. They also have a full-service bar and restaurant inside the hotel and the food never disappoints.

This year we flew into Sacramento instead of taking the eight hour drive. The one hour flight was definitely the way to go. Flying instead of taking all day to drive gave us an extra day to relax on Friday before the rafting began bright and early Saturday morning at six. Friday the guys went golfing and the girls went to a day spa for massages, pedicures and facials. We probably should have tried to work out the massages the day after we rafted, but it was still a very soothing day.

The greatest part about being that far up North and away from any kind of major cities is that there is no cell service. Everyone had cell phones and blackberries—but to no avail, they could not receive phone calls or emails, so it was a true escape from work.

It was wonderful to be with my parents in California in this unique setting. I am glad they are part of this new tradition. Next year we might spice up the trip a little bit and ride the rapids rated 4’s & 5’s, which means helmets and no water guns. Although the rapids on this year’s trip were not that scary, only rated 2’s & 3’s, I still got bounced out of the raft on the very first rapid. My streak of never falling out of the boat was broken that day. I was in the water for less than one second before the guide pulled me back in the raft with one hand. My adrenaline was rushing and my heart was pounding—it was my favorite part of the trip!

My least favorite part was getting squirted in the face with water guns by the guys in the other raft. The 21 miles of the river that we raft down are a mixture of calm, steady water you can swim in and then the rapids that you paddle through. The more you pay attention to the guide and the stronger you paddle, the better the ride. Anytime that the water got calm and we just drifted down the river, the guys from our group who were in our 2nd raft would start squirting us unmercifully with water guns that they had collected over the last year. They planned on bringing these water guns for a long time—I think the women have to sabotage that plan next year.

This entry was posted on Friday, August 8th, 2008 at 7:05 pm and is filed under Miscellaneous. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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