Yep, I know it may sound little wacky to discount all trips and gift certificates by 25% but that is in fact what we are doing. You don’t even have to know when you will raft, just that you will raft. So for any rafter types out there this is bar none the best deal of the year. You get 25% more for your money and you can pick the date later (who can plan that far ahead anyway!). It’s like getting 133 cents on the dollar. Let me explain; you can spend your budget, um let’s say it’s $100, and you get $133 dollars to spend on the AO trip of your choice. And, there are no black-out days, no hitches. Spend it on a gift certificate, spend it on yourself – it doesn’t matter because you still get 25% off the face value. That’s the Pre-Season Sale and it ends Jan. 31, 2013 at 5 pm.
As it is the month of Thanksgiving I’d say it’s time to count some of our blessings here at AO. Last month AO’s founding father, George Armstrong, was honored at the C.R.A. Gala. George received the Mark Dubois Award for his leading role in furthering river conservation. In the 60′s George pioneered an outdoor education program at Mount Diablo High School where he was a teacher. It was called Summit Seekers. At the Gala I met Terry, a student of his who became a leader in the program. She says that nothing remotely similar existed at the time in the area and that what George had started was groundbreaking. He was leading groups of teens into the backwoods, down remote rivers, and up rock cliffs. His students learned life skills, survival skills, an appreciation for nature and an appreciation for the swift hand of discipline. Oh yes, if you hang with George’s former students long enough you’ll hear some fun stories. Like the time George took the Summit Seekers on a snow camping trip and found some students drinking alcohol in a tent. You’d think he would have confiscated the liquor, returned to his tent, and poured himself a stiff drink, right? Like any other adult leading teens on a snow camping trip would be tempted to do, right? Wrong. George ended the excursion then and there. They got out of bed, they packed up, they hiked back the to cars, and left for home… at 2 in the morning… in a snow storm. (Yes, I know it sounds crazy and, I think you are getting the point.) I could go on and on, as can George’s students and children. He has created a rich and spirited tradition of adventure in the outdoors coupled with a deep understanding of the need to respect and protect the land we love. I am fortunate to work for a company with roots as deep and pure as these. It is a rare and blessed thing.
I mean, if it weren’t for George (and our dedicated, hardcore, bad-to-the-bone guests) we wouldn’t have been on Goodwin Canyon just three weeks ago having a BALL! And, I had better not leave out a big thank you to Mother Nature. We have already had two great storms, the Sierras are snow-capped, AND we have 5-6 days of rain ahead. I repeat…there are so many reasons to be thankful. Happy Thanksgiving!
So my fellow rafting enthusiasts, it’s about that time of the year that we have this talk. The first week of distinctly fall weather just rolled through the Bay Area, and now it’s time to start looking forward to pumpkin spice lattes, jack-o-lanterns, turkey feasts and other wintery past times. We’ve just had some great runs recently down the Goodwin Canyon (which you can still get in on until the 27th), and now it’s about time to start focusing on reeling in the reigns to build ourselves back up for next summer.
But since you’ve stuck with us to the end of the season (you are reading about rafting at the end of October), I want to give you a few pointers to make next season even better than this one.
1. If you know that you’re going to do some good hard rafting next summer, you definitely want to get in on our Pre-Season Sale. The sale runs November 1 through January 31.
2. Sign up for our e-news. I know for some, including myself, getting extraordinary amounts of emails is a hassle, but our e-news letter is one of the best ways to find out about limited time sales (like the aforementioned Pre-Season Sale).
3. Get in on the Cal Salmon
trip. We usually do one weekend up on the Cal Salmon class V run at the end of April. It’s a crazy long drive north, but it’s great rafting and hands down the most beautiful river canyon I’ve ever been too.
So there’s my two cents, and hey, if you have your own pointers for the off season, down’t keep them to yourself. Let everyone know what joyous rafting aspirations you have for summer 2013!
Yes, the secret got about Goodwin Canyon Days and the first weekend is full. So, we are offering the special itinerary of double runs + BBQ on Saturday, Oct. 27th. We call that Goodwin Canyon Days and most people out there call it a steal. But you don’t have to take my word for it – you can read the Goodwin Canyon feedback for yourself.
We hope to see you soon on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. For a preview check out the video below taken by one of our guests. It was a wild ride indeed.
Friends of the River’s California River Awards is an annual gala event and fundraiser that celebrates and honors leaders in river conservation, preservation and protection. This year All-Outdoors founder George Armstrong has been chosen to receive the Mark Dubois Award. George has been a longtime river conservation advocate and since the inception of his rafting company George has positioned All-Outdoors as a leader in river protection. All-Outdoors was the first outfitter to work with government agencies and conservation organizations to provide commercial guides and local school teachers with interpretive workshops on the natural and cultural history of California rivers and their watersheds. These workshops are now nationally recognized as a model of on-river outdoor education training. George’s conservation practices have begun a tradition of river conservation and they have inspired generations of river lovers all over California.
Congratulations George! To join in the fun on October 19th, 2012 you can purchase tickets in advance for $100 or at the door for $150. Please show your support and join us for dinner, wine, and a silent auction.
Every fall, Goodwin Canyon, a Class IV-IV+ river, makes an appearance for a short (and very exciting) two weeks. While it runs, we always want to take full advantage of this once a year phenomenon! This year is no exception. We will be ready to launch as soon as the water reaches optimum levels on Thursday, October 17th. In addition to our normal 1-Day itinerary, we’re celebrating this river with a special event and itinerary option! Here’s more info: Read more…
Class IV rafting is reborn this October. Much like the phoenix, which expires and then is reborn in fire, class IV rafting will wear itself out at the end of September as the Middle Fork American River loses rafting flows but then resurges in the middle of October as the Goodwin Canyon opens for a limited time.
Quick, take out your planner, computer or smart phone and put these dates in it: October 17-October 29, October 19-October 22. These are our dates to run the Goodwin Canyon.
You might notice that the second set of dates happens within the first set. Well on these middle days we are going to be doing some special trips down the canyon; double runs with a barbecue lunch in between. That’s twice rafting and some tasty grilled food for exactly the same price.
Some things about the river: it flows through a beautiful and unique canyon. In place of granite boulders, marble-patterned igneous (volcano formed) rock frames the clear, blue-green water. The canyon walls are steep and high, and at the banks of the river are willows and cottonwoods. The milage is short, but the rapids are well worth it. Mr. Toads and Haunted House are powerful class IV+ rapids that provide a shock of adrenaline. Few people run the Goodwin Canyon, so you’ll be in for a rare rafting experience through a canyon not many people get to see.
Check out some footage of Haunted House:
One door closes, another one opens…….as we say ciao-cito to the Tuolumne and Cherry Creek this week we’re happy to announce that Goodwin Canyon will soon be online once again! A limited number of trips will be available Oct 17th to October 29th so you’ve only got a couple weeks to experience this unique class III-IV+ river. Check out reviews from Goodwin Canyon rafters in 2011 or watch a brief Goodwin Canyon video to see what’s what about this rare opportunity.
Being heavily regulated and legislated (and damned), the Middle Fork of the American River can basically be turned “on and off” by the Powers that Be. And this year, those powers have decided to turn off the spigut at the end of September. That means you have one month left to experience the remote canyon and class IV action of the Middle Fork……….after that, you’ll have to wait until next year. Since this is the end for the Tuolumne River as well, the Middle Fork in September is your last opportunity for class IV rafting this fall.
The bus rattles to a stop back at the All-Outdoors parking lot along the South Fork American River. Taking a deep yawn you stretch your limbs and climb out of the bus into the bright sunlight. You say a last goodbye to your guide. It’s sunny. The day seems like it’s only half over, like you could re-up your energy and have a whole other adventure on the day. And why should the trip be over? In my opinion a rafting trip starts when you wake up in the morning to drive to the river and ends when you fall asleep at home at the end of the day.
Here’s my route for extending a rafting day:
1. Take a shower at the All-Outdoors facilities. I actually don’t do this first step myself, as I like the feeling of being sun-kissed and a bit dirty. But for many, washing off the rafting grit feels absolutely refreshing. Our showers are nice too.
2. Drive left out of All-Outdoors and go until you hit a dead end. Turn left again and you’ll drive over the river. Hotshot Imaging is on your left, but we’ll get to that later. Drive straight on by and you’ll come to your first destination…drumroll…the Shell gas station (Tada!!!) This might seem to you like an unlikely first stop, but in through the door and to the left are a couple of big freezer boxes full of frozen, ice creamy treats.
3. Turn left out of the Shell station and backtrack down to Hotshot Imaging. They took your photos on the big rapids of the day. It’s a great place to check out your pics and finish your frozen treat. Don’t forget to gaze over Hotshot’s “Rafting Wall of Shame.”
4. Now turn left yet again to go back towards the Shell station. Pull into the parking lot just before the station and get yourself some dinner at Marco’s Pizza. The place has a great vibe, and on weekends there is often live music.
Now that you’ve made the most out of your full-day rafting extravaganza, you can brave the drive home and drift blissfully to sleep in the comfort of your own bed.