25 Random Things About AO Rafting

Posted March 20, 2009 by Malina

1) We are “hip” and “cool” and “rad” and “wicked”. Which should be obvious to you by now since we are writing a “25 random things” note. And since we have Facebook,  Twitter, Yelp,  and Flickr …we can’t even keep track really.

2) The first AO brochures were written by hand by Armstrong family members. They also addressed them–it was practically elder abuse when the Italian great aunts were involved.

3) Danny Walker, one of our expert Cherry Creek, Kaweah, and Tuolumne guides designs all of our cool rafting tee-shirts. You might also find him driving a big school bus on a South Fork shuttle.

4) There are at least 5 AO babies on the way as we speak, ready to be born with paddles and sunscreen in hand.

5) We were SUPER excited to see Jordan’s Jambulance when he rolls into town. Except we just found out he already sold the Jambulance. Apparently it was having mechanical difficulties.

6) Our neighbor The River Store has all kinds of stuff that should interest a whitewater rafting outfitter but honestly, what we love most are Dan’s mom’s pickled green beans.

7) The Kaweah crew always listens to Blaze of Glory on the drive to put-in. We can’t confirm if they also wear zebra striped leggings under their dry suits and harbor secret fantasies of Big Hair.

8. We LOVE weather other people complain about: rain, snow, sleet, hail…pretty much any type of precipitation makes us happy.

9) AO has two offices, one in Walnut Creek that does all the reservations stuff, and one in Lotus that takes care of all the river operations. Gregg Armstrong runs the reservations office and Scott Armstrong runs the operations office.

10) Our fearless leaders Scott A and Gregg A have nearly identical voices (they’re brothers). It’s kind of freaky but you get used to it.

11) Fifteen members of the Armstrong family have worked for All-Outdoors since 1962. Hmm…nepotism anyone??

12) We just got a new microwave for the Lotus Office because Scott A knocked the old one off the shelf in a bout of zealous cleaning.

13) Our videographer, Ben Zupo, is now a filmmaker on the hit TV show, The Deadliest Catch. He works on the Cornelia Marie. Before he became a star, he made a bunch of great River Videos for AO.

14) Who decided this needed to be “25 Things” anyway? We have river trips to plan and important things to do…

15) Feathers, Big Water, Mama Bear, T-Bone, Mayor, and Nooners are just a few AO guides’ nicknames. You’ll have to join us on a river trip this summer to figure out who they belong to.

16) Many AO vehicles have nicknames too: White Lightning, Green Machine, Old Ryder, New Ryder (creative, we know), Blue Balls, Yellow Truck (retired), Matt K, K2, The Corolla (really, Scott’s car), Brown Betty (now deceased).

17) We are in a video about Climate Change at the California Academy of Sciences. Our owner Gregg Armstrong and river guides, Brooke Johnson and Brendon Armstrong, are the stars. George Armstrong, our founding father, is also featured in the movie. The Cal Academy opened recently in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

18) Many of our guides work random jobs for All-Outdoors during the off-season including boat repair, property landscaping, marketing, web design, and reservations. Sometimes these jobs even turn into full-time careers!

19) We are not above superstitions…we can’t tell you what they are though, or we might find ourselves swimming downstream.

20) Our guides get a bonus if they educate themselves about California Rivers and read Mark Reisner’s book, Cadillac Desert, and write a report.

21) All-Outdoors has saved just about every raft we’ve ever owned. Most of them are in storage now, but there are some treasures like old military rafts and bucket-bail boats in there.

22) There have been at least 15 marriages between AO guides who met working for All-Outdoors on the river. Must be something about blowing up boats and artfully arranging lunch meat that makes sparks fly.

23) At the young age of (undisclosed #), Scott Armstrong is still fearlessly guiding on California’s Class V Cherry Creek – one of the hardest commercially-run rivers in California.

24) We are totally not above jumping on the social media bandwagon and co-opting the “youth culture” for our own ends……..mwa ha ha!

25) “Keric For Mayor”


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