Sunday, May 04, 2008

05/03/08 Rafting & 05/04/08 Climbing in Kernville

The superheros get ready for action.

Super-Puffy-Arm Woman wants to go rafting NOW!

My arms only look juiced, but here's Jack & Rebecca getting juiced.
Rafting was great, but the river is freezing (well, not quite, just 36 degrees or so) thanks to the melt from Mt. Whitney. The rafting company required everyone doing Class Five rapids to pass a "swim test" which unfortunately was NOT in a swimming pool. Basically, just jump in, float downstream through some Class Two rapids, then prove that you can make it back to shore, even though the water was like Kryptonite and sucked away all your powers. Miserable. Of course, it was a great way to start the experience because it certainly couldn't get worse than that!
Instructor James explains that even superhero powers are no match against the river.
My very cold life was flashing before my very cold eyes.
Jack & Rebecca making it look easy.
Once inside the raft, we thawed out and our strength returned. The morning was Class 3 & 4 stuff, then they served a really good lunch, perfect for tasting a second time when we went to the Class 5 stuff in the afternoon. When we got to the first Class 5 rapid, everyone got out of the boats and had to walk downstream to check it out first. That's when I tasted Lunch, Version 2.0. The guides showed us which "line" to take, but if you saw it, you would realize water that strong pretty much has a mind of its own. And regardless of which "line" you intend to take, it's up to the river as to whether or not you actually take it. All I remember is a bunch of water, very cold water everywhere, a few paddles being tossed about, a lot of yelling, then an eerie quiet when we made it through. Once we realized that no one came out of our boat and we were all relatively unharmed and accounted for, we started whooping and cheering. Later, we went through another Class 5 section and it was just as thrilling. Like being inside a washing machine strapped to a roller coaster, while wearing neoprene.
The superheros survived!
After rafting, I went for an easy 10 mile run on the road and saw LOTS of motorcycles: all different kinds - fat people on Harley's, kids on little dirt bikes, a few sport bikes and everything in between. Then it was time to cook hot dogs at Camp Thunderbird which was only five miles from the rafting area and right across the street from the Kernville Slab climbing area.
Meanwhile, back in Gotham City ("Kernville"), our super-friend Aaron leaped over buildings (hillsides) in a single bound (with a paraglider).
More Super-Friends met up with us for climbing on Sunday. We battled a steep approach, snakes, and other forces of evil (well, one large spider). But the rock was quite friendly, allowing us to put on a spectacular display of our amazing Spider Man abilities.
Na-nanananana-Gear Girl!

Gear Girl's alter ego: Crack Head.
Crack Head gets higher on crack.

Yesterday the river, today the wall.

Rick stays positive.

Lisa the Wonder Woman learns to rap.

Aaron spreads his wings, again.

Wonder Woman overcomes her fear of heights.

An amazing day of climbing was had by all. And I'm looking forward to a possible return trip once the river warms up, perhaps in July!

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