White Water Rafting on the Kern River

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White Water Rafting on the Kern River
We move away from the beach this time and travel inland to the very hot Bakersfield, California for white river rafting.
At 90 degrees in May, Bakersfield was a three hour drive for us from Oceanside, California.


White Water rafting is very popular in California as there are many rivers that offer tours at every level that suits your adventurous spirit. We wanted the lowest difficulty level as this was the first time for most of us. However, we did want some thrill too. We were told that this is the place for us.
See this link for other rivers and other levels of difficulty: http://www.aorafting.com.

On our first day in Bakersfield we decided to go to the river and check out the conditions we would soon be facing.  As we are standing on the bank of the river we are saying to ourselves, “this doesn’t look so bad”.

So going into the next day we are feeling pretty confident but apprehensive as we didn’t know really what to expect.

The air conditioned ‘Rivers End Rafting Center’ is a great place with a deli and store to hang out in as you are waiting for your tour.


Once called, we go down to the bus and pick out our life jackets.  During the short drive to the river, we are instructed on what and what not to do in the boat or if we “heaven forbid” fall in.

We were assigned a guide and off we go. I had a Go Pro camera and our guide found a helmet especially made with an attachment.   Perfect!   However, that is where the trouble begins.

This is where the title to this story starts… blame it on us.  Every adventure I have tried by myself and with others, we are very enthusiastic. We hoot, holler, scream, laugh, and show enthusiasm for everything we are experiencing.  You can tell by hearing us on the video below, and you can hear the guide laughing that we are having a good time.  We are clearly out for fun and it seems like the guides, drivers, pilots, etc. want to do a little more for us.

As I look back on other adventures I realize that we bring it on our selves. Once while parasailing, we paid for going up 600 feet and as we are taking off we are laughing and screaming with joy. The guides decide to take us to 800 feet because of the fun we seemed to be having.  800 feet high was very scary, I preferred 600 feet better.

Another time I took flying lessons for the day. The pilot shows me this narrow ravine and how much fun it is to fly in there. So I tell him to go ahead, take the controls. As we are free falling nose first into the ravine with my head slammed against the window and with the full G’s pushing me, I realized, that I brought this on myself.

The same was to be said about this whitewater rafting trip. We were clearly out to have fun and were very vocal and fun loving. Our guide, Cortez told me later he wanted to give me a great shot with my Go Pro on my helmet. What better shot than to have us flip over. I have to admit that would be a great video but then I realized, I don’t want to go into the water!

I also found out later that our staycations crew were terrified as we found, or should I say Cortez found every rock on that river in an attempt to flip us. All of us in the boat were over 50 year old woman and one was 68. What the heck? However, never underestimate the power of middle aged woman. We weren’t having none of that falling in the water crap.

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In the video you can see my hand grabbing on to the seat in an attempt not to fall off.  It was pure determination from all of us not to flip over.

Then I thought about it, as we repeat this rafting adventure story to future generations, it is a way more interesting story to tell. Even though we weren’t happy and were terrified about hitting every rock along the river, it did give us a unique and once in a lifetime experience. It is the tale of six, fifty year old plus woman who conquered the river and prevailed over the determined efforts of our guide Cortez trying to dump us in the river. Yes, this is a way more interesting story.

In this photo, he almost succeeded to dump us all.

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After that trip down the river, four of our group decide to do the same run again. This time their guide Matt expertly steered them through the river avoiding the now familiar rocks. Imagine that. However, on the last run, he asks them if they wanted to do the helicopter? The helicopter is where you spin around wildly while in the rapids. Of course our group yells out a loud and resounding “Yes!!!!”.

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During that ride, staycationer Barb, falls out and hits a big rock and then lands on another while going down.

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She suffered a bruised tail bone and goes to the ER for precautionary X Rays. But don’t blame Matt, blame it on us, once again we showed our zest for life, our enthusiasm for what we were doing and it made the guide want to kick it up a notch for us. Just like 800 feet instead of 600 feet or in a Nascar ride-along, I pumped my fist and the driver noticeably sped up. It is just the way it is.

After all, they could have said, No to the helicopter maneuver.

The only solution is not to show so much enthusiasm so we can have a mellow ride in whatever we are doing. No way!! We are not changing. We can’t. Even though Barb hurt from the fall, she would do it all again.

I am not sure on how many people actually get hurt on the rapids. It isn’t the guides fault, it is Mother Nature. After all it is water moving rapidly over rocks.

That is why you sign a waiver, it is an inherent risk and we knew what we were getting into. In our group we had a 68 year old woman named Joyce. In every single photo taken, she had a big smile on her face and says she loved every minute. That tells you something. (see her last on the left)

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We were happy with the Rivers End Rafting company so give them a look. Here is the link again: http://www.riversendrafting.com

So consider White Water rafting as your next adventure, but be sure and pick a level that suits you.   If your guide kicks it up a notch because of your enthusiasm, don’t blame us!!


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