Family Rafting Trips

Posted August 13, 2008 by Malina

I recently did a two-day trip on the Tuolumne River, and as Lynsey and I greeted guests in the morning I realized all four groups on our trips were families–we had brother-in-laws, moms, dads, and kids ranging from 12 to 21. I chatted with one dad before dinner the first night about his kids and why they had chosen this particular trip to do together. He told me he travels a lot for work and this trip was a chance to spend really good concentrated time together. Another dad taught his daughter how to skip rocks in the morning, and everyone hiked up the Clavey River to swim, rock scramble, and hang out in the sunshine. It sounds a little cliche maybe, but rafting is a great family vacation: it’s fun whether you’re 14 or 40, because you all get to work together as a team and share a cool experience, but you have private moments too. . . swimming, reading a book, taking a nap.

It was particularly rewarding for me to share the Tuolumne trip and see these awesome families enjoying each other in person because I had just recently taken notice of a guest feedback letter I read in which a dad commented that their river trip had actually distracted his son from his “latest electronic gadget” for a whole day. Knowing some kids who are madly in love with their gameboys, I know this was high praise indeed!

Here are some bits and pieces of my favorite letters from recent family trips:

After a trip on the Tuolumne, Bob told us that to celebrate high school graduation he and his son “wanted to do a father and son event that was special this summer” and that “AO made our experience a most memorable and enjoyable one . . . one that we will both remember and be talking about for a long time to come.” He also told us that they had so much fun they plan to add “four other father and son duos” on their next river trip with us.

I loved that Sue’s son, who, she told us, has “gone kaying canoeing, whale watcing, water skiing, jet-skiing” and traveled all over the US, Canada and four foreign countries, “said it was one of the funnest adventures he’s ever done.” This is a kid who knows whats he’s talking about!! Holy Cow!

Another couple brought their two daughters on an American River rafting trip and were really stoked to have found rafting as a family vacation because “there are so few things our kids will do with us as a family now at their age, but this event really allowed us to have fun together.”

There are too many cool letters to excerpt here, but this one was too great to pass up–this couple brought the whole family but what wound up really striking them was what it brought to their relationship. Tony wrote ” We had an absolute blast and realized we found another thing in common that we LOVE to do together. We have been together 25 years and are high school sweethearts and rafting has brought us to another great moment in our marriage. I want to thank you for this even though you didn’t know it was going to happen.” How amazing is that? I’m always talking about how great rafting is–but this experience even blew my mind!

(Above: All photos from the two-day Tuolumne trip this weekend!)


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