|White Water Rafting
Here for Zephyr Whitewater's Yosemite Whitewater Special!! You
WILL love it!
This is the lazy, drift-rafting you
can do on the valley floor. Not much excitement here, but it's
a nice diversion. It's way too expensive, though, in my
opinion. To rent a raft they require two adults, and if you bring a child,
the total is $38.00 for a 1-1/2 hour ride down the river. Yes,
you can stop along the way and have a picnic lunch and hang out, but
Adults $13.50 each
Children (over 50lbs.) $11.00 each
THIS is real rafting!
Whitewater rafting is too much fun to describe,
especially when you have experienced guides and schleps to do all the heavy lifting,
cooking and cleaning. When compared to the pale experience of floating
down the lazy Merced River in the valley, white water rafting is one of the most
incredible thrills you can imagine. WOW!! It's something
you will NEVER forget!! And, yes, there is a degree of risk, but no more so than driving
the roads in and out of Yosemite Valley. In my younger days I had a roommate who
lived for whitewater. I went with him many times, and frequently we had some REAL
white, fast water. I was scared only once and they let me portage. (walk around)
I fell out once and got caught in a tumbler, but I did what they teach you to do
and came out of it fine. FUNNN!
If you have the time, try Kayaking! It
is SO much fun!! Obviously, you should take lessons, but MAN is it fun! Be
careful, because once you get the hang of it, they'll have to pull you off the river
kicking and screaming. I was dating a woman once who had never been rafting, and I
took her on one of my trips with Jeff. To make a long story short, I guess she's
still on the river, 'cause she got the bug and hooked up with the hard-core rafting crowd
and, well, I'm married to someone else now.
This is a class 4 stretch of the Merced
River which flows out of Yosemite Valley.
There are about 6 rivers between Fresno and
Sacramento that are a blast to run. The younger kids should avoid the Merced out of
Yosemite. It has some stretches that are narrow, hair-raising 3's and 4's. The
Kings is very wide and although can get fast and tricky, is most always navigable around
the hairy spots.
The Kings River in mid-summer when the
water level has lowered and it's not as fast. But still very fun for
smaller kids and those with a weak heart!
Fun on the Merced River!
Below is a series of shots
taken during a lunch stop. The food is astoundingly delicious! With
the excitement, exhilaration, wet clothes and big appetites, it's just a
wonderful party of great people and breathtaking scenery.
Whitewater put together a lunch that was incredible. All-you-can-eat
fresh fruit and sandwich buffet that was totally out of this world. They
have their own vegetable garden!!! Also, the dinners have been written up in
the food sections of the Modesto Bee and Fresno Bee newspapers! A
professional chef and past-owner of a catering company prepare all the wonderful
Is that not the most mouth-watering
spread you've ever seen? Keep in mind, that what you see in this
picture is fresh, garden ripened tomatoes, melons, grapes, onions and
fruit ALL locally grown (San Joaquin Valley) and picked probably no
earlier than 36 hours previous to this picture being taken. Those
vine-ripened tomatoes were grown in Zephyr's own vegetable garden and will bring tears to your eyes they're so good.
Nectarines, peaches and melons are grown on farms less than 10 miles away
(as the crows flies).
Smoked ham and turkey breast, salami,
roast beef, different kinds of cheese, different breads, condiments as
well as peanut-butter-and-jelly for quick energy... Drinks on ice in
the ice chest...
It's a feeding frenzy...
During lunch break you can take a short walk up the shore of
the river, or doze... enjoy the scenery... get to know other
Towards the end of the day...
A wonderful time was had by all!
All these companies have been in business a
long time and know what they are doing:
Whitewater Expeditions 209-532-6249 or in California 800 431-3636 These guys are
excellent. Click on the link for all you need to know about white water in
California. They run the Merced out of Yosemite and the Kings River east
of Fresno, among others.
River Expeditions 209-233-4881 As the name implies, they are experts on the Kings River, just south and east of Fresno. I have run this
river, and it is excellent. Good for kids. It'll give you a very good ride; it
is very wide, and not particularly risky. Has a few slow stretches, but runs fast,
or at least quick most of the time. It's a long drive from Fresno; you
have to go all the way to the far end of Pine Flat Lake to the debarkation
point, which is a long, long winding road along the shore of Pine Flat.
Wilderness Expeditions. 800-462-7424. Merced, American, Kings and Tuolumne
(Many thanks to Zephyr
Whitewater for the photos and the trip!)