Monday, June 30, 2008

Meet Our Guides

Jason S. – Los Osos, CA. Jason is a general contractor with a Degree in Political Science who, unable to reconcile his high moral standards with a career in politics, chose river life instead. He makes no apologies for his decision, and has repeatedly refused counseling.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Flag Flies

This year, we unveiled our flag to signify the opening of the Kern River rafting season. The flag will fly proudly throughout the 2008 season, which this year should be through the weekend of August 23rd. Come join us on the river while the flag and the water are unfurled and running strong this year. The weather is beautiful and the water is simply outstanding!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Meet Our Guides

Rabbit (aka Shoeless Joe) – Lubbock, TX.  When his last job glazing hams didn’t turn out to be everything he thought it would be, Rabbit decided to make the Kern his home away from home.  In addition to his formidable river skills, he is a talented guitar player and enthusiastic outfielder.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Votex Rapid Changes with the Times

For the first time in well over 25 years, Vortex Rapid has altered its personality. And, we do not believe she has adopted a friendlier demeanor. . .

During the week of May 19th, under the onslaught of a flow in excess of 4,000cfs, the "slide rock" that so many guides have relied upon as a safe portal shifted dramatically to river right.

The enclosed photo is a panoramic that shows the entire rapid since the change (click on the image for a more impressive view). Most noticeable is the new position of the slide rock. The shift seams to have made the entrance far less palatable, to say the least. It appears the newly altered rapid has a much tougher second drop as well. Portage river left is an important option to consider as we all figure out the best way to negotiate this "new" rapid on the Forks of the Kern.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Wonders of the Moon

One of the greatest aspects of working for a river company is the amount of time you get to spend outside. Watching the night sky darken, counting shooting stars, gazing at the constellations, and looking at the moon in all its phases makes us curious to learn more about the sky. Camping under a full moon is always fun and when you are away from street lights and the ambient city glow, the moon and constellations are brighter and more distinct.

Ancient Astronomers believed that the dark lunar plains that give the moon it's "man in the moon" face were seas filled with water. That is why these vast solidified pools of ancient basaltic lava are called "maria" (Latin for sea). The majority of these lavas erupted or flowed into depressions that were formed by the collisions of meteors and comets on the moon's surface.

For those of us whose only compass in the outdoors is to find the river and go downstream, we would do just fine on the moon, as the moon has no global magnetic field. You cannot use a compass to find your direction.

This July 20th is the 39th anniversary of Neil Armstrong being the first person to set foot on the moon. On the Apollo 11 Mission, Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin spent 2.5 hours exploring the lunar surface. It was an amazing accomplishment. What is even more incredible to think about is that the computer that I am writing with contains hundreds of times the computing power used to land Armstrong and Aldrin on the moon.

Far too few places offer an environment pristine enough to see the moon and the stars in all their glory. Fortunately for all of us, the Kern River Valley is just one of those special places.