Rafting the whitewaters

When I got my first ever job at Google, I went on a rafting and camping trip. After 4 years at Google, when I decided to switch and got an offer from LinkedIn, my girlfriend thought it’d be cool to do celebrate the same way so she planned a surprise rafting and camping trip and invited some of my friends to join. Since I had no idea we were going rafting, there wasn’t any planning I did. I found out we were rafting only when we reached the campsite at the rafting company.

We went rafting in the American river Middlefork of the American river. It was a full day of getting dropped and tossed around in the class 4 rapids of the whitewaters in the American River. This river was the richest gold mining areas during the California gold rush of the 1850s. While the gold rush period has ended, it has left us with a beautiful river with tunnels to raft on.

The right weekend

The water was chilly even during the peak summers, so the hotter the weather, the better it is. We went rafting on the first weekend after the middlefork opened for rafting this year, so it was not crowded at all. Some of my friends went a couple of weekends after us and they mentioned that the river got crowded. So the beginning of season is probably the best time to go.

Choosing the rapids

Rapids go from Level 1 to Level 6 (Except in Grand Canyon) with Level 1 being the easiest.

We were a group of 4 (2 of us had prior rafting experience and 2 didn’t), we did the course with Level 3 and 4 rapids. We were more than comfortable with Level 4 (and could not have done 5), so I’d go for Level 4 even without previous experience. This is my personal opinion, please consult the rafting company or an expert as every river is different, and so is every person).

We went with the American Whitewater Expeditions as they provided us the option to stay in their campsites the night before rafting. This made a lot of difference as we could save our energy for rafting instead of driving early morning.

From here, it’s only about pedalling, getting tossed around in water, and lots of laughter.