Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Our sister companies, Rogue River Journeys and Idaho River Journeys, round out the list offering trips on the Rogue River in Oregon and the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho.
We feel lucky to be able to offer trips on three of the six Wild and Scenic Rivers listed in this piece. If you would like further information on any of these fantastic trips, feel free to give our office a call at 1-800-323-4234. We would be happy to help you organize your visit to any one of these fabulous rivers.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Dave was 21 years old and working as a union carpenter in Los Angeles when his family moved to the Kern Valley. He’d come up and visit them on weekends and enjoy the outdoor activities and natural beauty of the area. When the weekends kept getting longer, he realized it was time to get a job in the area and move to the Kern River. Firefighting appealed to him because you have the opportunity on your calls to make a bad situation better for people.
Over the years Dave has boated the different sections of the Kern River many times. His favorite trip is the 2 -Day Lower Kern because it has a little bit of everything. As Dave says "You have your “woohoo time” interspersed with quiet sections. And then of course there is the KRO Lower Camp which is set up with a buffed out river kitchen." And it is tough to keep Dave out of the kitchen.
After seeing him at work in the kitchen and tasting his dishes at a couple of bbq’s he was recruited to make the ribs for our Annual Pub & Grub trip. These mouthwatering morsels have just the right combo of heat and sweet and unbelievably he has offered to share the recipe with us. Of course if you’d like to stay out of the kitchen just sign up for next year’s Pub & Grub on July 8-9, 2010 where Dave’s Ribs are paired with cold steins of frosty brew!
In a recent intra-company Rib Cookoff, Dave’s ribs were the clear winner over Jim Ritter of Rogue River Journeys. While accepting his 1st Place Ribbon, Dave graciously commented “I just want to say that Jim’s recipe was excellent. It’s too bad that his long drive to the cook-off put time constraints on his preparation and he had to use canned sauce.” Dawn, Dave’s assistant rib maker, sighed and added “Jim had to use Larrapins”.
Dave’s summary of life:
Favorite rapid on the Kern River: “Pinball, I enjoy its technical aspects”.
Favorite part of the rafting company: “Socializing and meeting new people”
Dave’s favorite person in the world: “ I am married to her, Dawn Jordan”.
Quote from Dave: “When Dawn is happy, I am happy.”
Everyone at KRO congratulates Dave on his retirement!
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Wash ribs and pat dry. Season well with black pepper and garlic powder. Roast uncovered for 1 hour.
Remove from oven. Mix 2 parts soy to 1 part worcestershire sauce and pour liberally all over ribs, making sure that liquid comes up at least _” on sides of roasting pan. Seal pan with aluminum foil and return to oven for 1 hour and 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and cut into chunks of 2 or 3 ribs. Brush on your favorite sauce and finish on the barbecue.
Monday, July 20, 2009
The Lower Kern River is well known for exhilarating rapids ranging from Class II to Class IV, warm water, and a spectacular canyon that twists and turns on its way downstream. Most two-day rafting trips launch near the town of Lake Isabella and rafters are treated to a few warm-up rapids before dropping into the more serious Class III and IV drops.
At our camp, which is approximately half-way through the stretch, visitors are treated to spectacular meals prepared by our guides... or should we say chefs? We are the only outfitter that has sleeping decks and thick sleeping pads (commonly referred to as "Paco Pads" - the industry leader in outdoor sleeping pads) for our guest's comfort.
Whitewater, sun, and the fact that you don't have to worry about logistics, meals... or anything. What could make this trip better?
We'll be running the Lower Kern through mid-August and would love to prove to you how wonderful an experience it is. Call us at 1-800-323-4234 to begin planning the most excellent of summer get-aways!
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Here's the video of Gary, Matt P, and Travis dropping into Sundown:
A few photos:
Friday, July 10, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
They shot the fireworks over the lake, which made for some great lighting effects!
Of course, we tend to think that the natural star and moon show above our Lower Kern River camp is a great show as well - so if you missed out on the fireworks you've still got something to look forward to. The night sky is incredible when you escape from the lights of the city and you will see more stars than you ever dreamed existed.
Monday, July 6, 2009
To thank everyone who participates in this event, a tri-tip and chicken dinner will be provided at 6:00 PM at Miracle Hot Springs Camp Ground. There will also be the band "Out of the Blue" to provide live entertainment.
If you would like to participate, please contact Brian Cosgrove at the Kern Valley River Council via phone: (760) 549-3760. Please bring your own leather gloves, drinking water, and sun screen. Trash bags, rafts, and river shuttle are provided.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Two years ago we "brewed-up" a grand idea: we took the world-class 2-day rafting trip we offer on the Lower Kern River and paired it up with beer tasting at our private camp along the banks of the river. Of course, the star and feature of this event is the Kern River Brewing Company and their selection of outstanding brews.
This week the tradition lives on! We still have space on the first day (our Camp Run trip) that concludes at camp. You can spend the day rafting and the evening and night at our Lower Kern camp tasting beers and enjoying good food.
For additional information on the Pub and Grub, give us a ring at 1-800-323-4234.
Love the idea but can't go on the trip?
You can still experience the magic vicariously (kind of) through our blog. We'll be taking lots of photos and video that will be posted here at the conclusion of the trip. Sure, you won't be able to taste the brews or the food, but we hope to "quench" your interest!
Monday, June 29, 2009
With most schools out for the summer, NOW is the time to book your Kern River rafting trip. Our most popular dates are already filling up, which means that even if you simply have an inkling that you may want to go rafting later... give us a call!
Here's a short video taken from the first day of our most popular rafting trip: the two-day Lower Kern. It shows footage of two of the rapids, as well as a "behind the scenes" view of our crew loading up boats and getting ready for the day.
When it comes to California rafting, the Kern River is where the action is. Call us today at 1-800-323-4234 to book your trip and splash into summer!
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Trash bags and a hearty lunch will be supplied. For more information, contact Cheryl Bauer with the Forest Service at 760-376-3781 ext. 630 or Debbie Campbell with the CLM at 760-376 1815 for more information.
Let us all pitch in to keep the Kern River the pristine Southern California Rafting destination for everyone to enjoy.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Last weekend Stephanie and I drove down to Bakersfield to go whitewater rafting on the Kern River. We’d discovered the Kern coming home from Death Valley last year and made a point of going back to go rafting—which neither of us had done before. The three day Memorial Day weekend provided the perfect opportunity. We signed up for a two day trip, camping overnight on the river.
Bakersfield is very flat, not exactly what you’d consider a hotspot for whitewater. But just east is the southern tip of the Sierra Nevadas, through which the Kern River flows. After spending the night at a Motel 6, we drove along the river up to Lake Isabella, a dammed lake which forms the source of the Lower Kern.
There we met our guides from Kern River Outfitters: Ryan and Abby. They introduced themselves, both had multiple years of experience rafting the Kern, and they went over the basic orientation: wear your life-vest tight and don’t bring anything valuable on the boats. I decided I was going to take my camera in the waterproof, see-through camera bag I’d bought for the trip anyhow. Hell, if I lost my camera, that’d just give me one more reason to part with $2430.
Ours was their first two-day rafting trip on Lower Kern of the season, and we were a relatively small group. It was just Stephanie and I plus a family of 6. With Ryan and Abby, that meant 5 people per boat. They took us down to the launch site, we helped them get the boats into the water, and then we went through our second orientation, the serious one: how to survive an “out of boat experience.”Finally we were in the boats, Stephanie and I went with the two parents and Abby, and the four kids with Ryan. At the beginning the water was calm, so we practiced our strokes, which meant taking commands from Abby who told us what to paddle when. “Forward-one”, “forward-two”, and “forward-three” will be burnt into my memory forever.
It’s hard to actually describe the rafting part other than to say I liked it when I got splashed! It was not a continuous series of rapids, but rather several distinct and short sections of Class II, III, and IV rapids punctuated by longer sections of smoother water. I also found out that it was well-nigh impossible to take any pictures while you’re actually going through the rapids, because you’re busy paddling like crazy. So most of my pictures on the boat are in calmer waters.
I knew this trip was going to be really special when we stopped for lunch. While we gulped down cold juice, Ryan and Abby prepared a gourmet deli lunch on one of our rafts, flipped upside-down. They put out several kinds of whole grain bread, sliced avocados and tomatoes, sliced cheddar and pepper-jack cheese, romaine lettuce, deli ham and turkey, with like eight different condiments, including pickles, roasted red peppers, two types of mustard, mayo, and horseradish. There was plenty for all of us to make heaping sandwiches and come back for more.
After an afternoon of paddling (now just a happy blur in my memory), we stopped for the night at their private campground. Ryan and Abby immediately set to preparing dinner in their fully outfitted cooking area. They put out some “hors d’oeuvres” (chips, salsa, bread, and homemade spinach dip), while we explored their game library.
Dinner was ridiculous. I mean that in the best way. Somehow they managed to make a fresh salad, garlic bread, roasted vegetables, pasta salad with sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts, smoked chicken, and tri-tip. I started joking that this was really an outdoor cooking trip with a little bit of whitewater rafting on the side.
There were sleeping decks situated through the campground, along with inflatable sleeping pads. The weather was warm enough that we didn’t need our tent (which we had brought just in case). We slept in our sleeping bags, under the stars, with the sound of the Kern River below us.
The next morning we had another gourmet camping meal, toasted bagels, cheesy eggs, bacon, fruit salad, coffee and tea. We packed everything up, and headed down to the river for our second day of whitewater, this one had a little more Class III and IV than the previous day. Once again it was a blast. They’d even stationed a photographer at one section of rapids so we got some great shots of us going through the whitewater.
Click here to view the original post on their blog!
Thursday, May 28, 2009
One way of viewing a safety talk is this: it's much like learning to change a flat tire on your car. Every time you go out driving you don't expect to get a flat, however, when you do get a flat tire it sure is nice knowing what to do about it. That's what the safety talk is about. It's about being informed and having an idea of what to do if a problem does arise. We don't flip boats or have swimmers every time we go out on the water and, in fact, it really is quite rare to have an "out of boat experience". None-the-less, it is a good idea to be prepared for such events.
Safety Talk Outline
The outline of our safety talk remains the same for every trip we run and we cover the following topics:
1) Personal Responsibility
Always listen to your guide, watch where you are going, and don't put others in danger with your actions.
Always wear them and tighten them up!
What to do if you find yourself out of the boat, proper position, don't stand up.
4) Throw bags
What to do if we throw you a bag, how to hold it.
5) Wraps and highsiding
What is a wrap? Is that a type of sandwich? Nope. What is highsiding and how to do it.
What to do if a boat flips and how to prevent that from happening.
Trees that are in the river are called "strainers". Why we avoid them and what to do if you encounter a strainer.
8) Safety on Land
Things to look out for on land. Always wear shoes, look out for Poison Oak, unfamiliar territory so be careful!
9) Leave No Trace
Always leave the river and canyon better than how you found it.
10) River Etiquette
There are lots of different users on the river: fisherman, campers, rafters, etc. Be respectful of all visitors and... Have a great time!
Safety is always our number-one priority but a close second is FUN!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
In describing our Forks of the Kern River rafting trip, Outside Magazine said, "The serious heart in throat moments come mid-run at the back-to-back Class V Vortex/Gauntlet doubleheader: a ten-foot slide followed by unscoutable drops that roll on for a seeming eternity."
Here's a short video of our training trip, which includes footage of Vortex, Confusion, and Carson Falls.
Check out our Forks of the Kern Rafting page for additional information.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
People joining us on our overnight Lower Kern rafting trips often ask us what they should bring with them. We recommend:
Monday, April 20, 2009
The Lower Kern River is fed by Lake Isabella, a reservoir surrounded by the towns of Kernville, Wofford Heights, and, of course, the town of Lake Isabella itself. As of April 18, the reservoir is storing roughly 156,482 acre-feet of water. The Lower Kern River rafting “season” is determined by the amount of water held in Lake Isabella and at what rate it is released (which is referred to in Cubic Feet per Second).
If 156,482 sounds like a big number, that’s because it is. A recent water forecast projected that the reservoir will see an additional 270,000 acre-feet, which brings big smiles to our faces here at KRO headquarters. With that much water, we are hopeful that our Lower Kern River rafting season will last until the third week of August, which would be an excellent season of rafting for us.
California rivers that rely solely on snow melt are going to have shorter seasons than normal because they won’t have the stored-up water to release consistently throughout the summer. These two factors; the Lower Kern River with plenty of water stored and other California rivers with short run-offs combine to make the Lower Kern the obvious destination for river rafting trips in 2009.
The Chinese “Year of the Ox” began February 4th but here in the Kern Valley we’re switching over to “Year of the Lower Kern” in May.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
The Kern River rafting season is gearing up, we all have dreams of California whitewater dancing in our heads, and the Upper Kern and Lower Kern are promising another great season.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Forbes Magazine recently ran an article on the ten best places to go whitewater rafting in the country and the Kern River made the top of the list.
If you’d like to see the notation click here.
Kern River rafting has never been more popular and the 2009 season is expected to be another great year. Southern California rafting enthusiasts have always held the Kern in high regard as one of the best places to enjoy a California rafting trip.
If your looking to run the Lower, Upper, or Forks of the Kern we are ready to help put your trip together. Just give us a call at 1-800-323-4234 and we will have you in a raft enjoying the Kern whitewater in no time.
Friday, April 3, 2009
More winter scenes on the beautiful Upper Kern