Thursday, July 24, 2014

RIVER RAFTING: Part 2 The American River with Children 5+ | @WWExcitement #AmericanRiver

DISCLOSURE:  We received free rafting trips for the purpose of this review.  All ideas and thoughts are my own.
As we got settled into our campsite at the White Water Excitement Base Camp, we started thinking about our rafting trips that we were going on the next day.

We were a little nervous because not only would it be our kids first trip but ours as well.  Would they be safe?  Would they get scared?  What would the rapids be like?  You see, it wasn't just the kids first rafting trip but my hubby's and mine as well!  We really didn't know what to expect.

We met at the camp store and filled out the release and safety forms and met our guide, Anna.  She was knowledgeable, friendly and put our minds at ease.  Our raft was already on top of the van and all that were missing were us.

The first trip that we were taking that day was The Young Rafters Adventure.  It is for families with kids that are too young for the regular rafting trips.  It was less than a 5 minute drive to Coloma State Historic Park, the birthplace of Sutter's Mill and where gold was first discovered.  Our trip was about 5 miles downstream and ended up at their South Fork Basecamp.

We had a brief safety talk and Anna answered all of our questions and we were off!  We were all required to wear life jackets and the children were required to wear helmets in case they fell in.  Adult helmets were available but optional at the class 1 and 2 rapids. This trip was especially designed to introduce young children to the excitement and love of whitewater rafting.  None of the rapids were above a Class 2 and the kids loved it!

If you have never been on a rafting trip, there are lulls in the river where you can row your paddles to maneuver faster or you can relax and let the current pull you along lazily.

During these lulls, we played several games with the kids such as:
  • Points given for different wildlife
  • Points given for different colored rafts/kayaks
  • Balancing on the bow of the raft while others spun the raft fast to knock them off
  • Sliding off the over-turned raft from the beach and into the water
  • Swimming/floating along-side the raft
  • Water fights!
My husband enjoyed jumping for the rope hanging from the Stagecoach Trail Bridge.  He actually made it!

I think my kids favorite past-times on the raft(besides the rapids) was trying to push me in the water and encouraging the many river occupants that lined the river to do flips into the water from the boulders.

On our second rafting trip that afternoon, we enjoyed what is called the Sunset Cruise trip.  This set of rapids included more of the Class 2 and Class 2+ rapids and got all of our hearts pumping fast!  The second trip was on the "Lower Section" of the North Fork of the American river just below the town of Auburn, CA.

The Sunset Cruise was rated at a Class 2+ trip which is about a medium difficulty but still safe and exciting for the kids.  It is highly recommended that you bring dry clothes to put on(will be left in the van) as it is a 2-1/2 hour trip that doesn't end until about 8:30.

We saw deer, baby river otters, turkey vultures and more!  The trip ended up at the site of what was supposed to be the Auburn Dam(which was never built).  It was a great way to show the beauty of the American River to our kids.  It gave them a chance to enjoy nature and experience a fun new sport where they can learn to love the history of the area.

Water Excitement offers many discounts for families with kids 5-16 years of age!  From the Family 50% Discount trip(ages 5+) and the Young Rafters Overnight Adventure to their Sunset Cruise.  Check Availability for what other discounts might be available.

Call at 800-750-2386 for more information about their other trips and to make reservations.

What do the CLASS Ratings mean?  Here is a chart to help you make the best choice for which trip to reserve your trips.

CLASS I: EASY. Waves are generally quite small; passages clear of any major obstacles. FUN FOR EVERYONE.

CLASS II: MEDIUM. Rapids can be moderately complex, however, passages remain clear. FUN FOR EVERYONE.

CLASS III: DIFFICULT. Rapids are longer, and markedly more powerful. Paddlers are required to maneuver through forceful and irregular currents, rocks and holes in the channel. CHALLENGING.

CLASS IV: VERY DIFFICULT. Very long rapids; dangerous rocks and powerful waves and currents, boiling eddies mean that precise and powerful maneuvering is required. THRILLSEEKERS.

CLASS V: EXTREMELY DIFFICULT. Quite violent and long rapids follow each other with little interruption; a severely obstructed riverbed with big drops; seep gradient and a violent current. EXPERIENCED THRILLSEEKERS.

While we are planning on making this an annual tradition, my hubby and I have decided that we might have to make another trip sooner than later so that we may try some Class 3 trips.  We are HOOKED!

DISCLAIMER:  We received complimentary rafting trips for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts and ideas are my own.  Do not use any photo's without permission.

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