I am sure you are familiar with the saying “up $#&% creek without a paddle”? Fortunately, we were not on our final hurrah of the summer before school started. We had a great time river rafting down the North Fork of the American River with American River Recreation. They did a great job and our guide was a lot of fun. It was a short, quick trip; perfect to close out the summer vacation. We drove up the day before, woke up the next day and took a 4 hour ride down the river then headed home. I did happen to see a rafter in another group hop in the raft in pants and a cotton shirt and I thought to myself “that doesn’t seem like the best choice for river attire”. Cotton is the not best fabric for a wet adventure; it just doesn’t dry quickly enough and can make for a cold and uncomfortable trip down the river. And if you don’t get wet on a rafting trip, it’s not much of a white water adventure.
I am not an expert white water rafter by any means. I’m barely a beginner for that matter. I have only been on a handful of rafting trips and none were very extreme. That being said, I do know to use a little common sense when packing and preparing, however. I also read the information sheet provided by the rafting company. I highly recommend you do as well if you are new to rafting, even if you are not a beginner it is a good thing to do. Especially if it is the first time down a particular river. Each river and surrounding environment can be different and may have some unique qualities or conditions that you should be aware of and prepared for.
So, we were not “up $#&% creek without a paddle”, fortunately, but I can see how someone can easily be in that situation. As a non-expert I advise doing some research and a little common sense goes a long way. Here is the short list for the common sense items to bring in case you forget to read the sheet.
- Quick drying water clothing
- Water shoes – not flip flops
- A hat foe added sun protection – one that will fit under a helmet
- Dry bag
VP & Dad
If you read my back to school post you know that our family didn’t do too much this summer in terms of vacations or excursions. We did, however, get to do a few day trips. It’s amazing what you can find to do in a day all within a few hours’ drive; depending on where you live of course. With the age of the internet all the resources are at the tip of your fingers or in the palm of your hand with all the mobile devices. It’s amazing what you can find if you just spend an hour doing a little research. If you live in the West, Sunset Magazine is a great resource for day trips. Every issue has some great features. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area so there is tons to do within three hours in any direction. Living here my whole life I sometimes take things for granted and forget all the exciting places to visit around me.
A few weeks ago on a Saturday morning Kerry and I were sitting having our morning coffee and thinking of what we should do. We didn’t have anything going on and didn’t want to just hang around the house all day. We knew the kids would get restless and one, if not both of us, would just end up working. Kerry thought of the Pinnacles; a great park with great hiking and caves. What kid doesn’t like caves. As a matter of fact, President Obama recently made it a national monument. So we got ready and grabbed a friend each for the kids and off we went.
What a great day. It was on a weekend so there was a bit of traffic and a lot of people at the park but everyone had a great time.
It made me think of few things to pass along for anyone thinking of going for a day trip. These tips are for hiking but can apply to most day trips.
5 tips for a day of hiking
- Make sure to pack good energy providing snacks and plenty of water
- Bring sunscreen
- Wear comfortable shoes that provide good traction for hiking
- Let someone know where you are going just in case
- If you are going somewhere with caves, bring a flashlight – they cost a pretty penny at the ranger station
Ok all you experienced day trippers and hikers, I would love to hear about your day trips and tips for them as well as for hiking.
VP & Dad
I just can’t believe how fast the summer break goes by these days. It seems to get shorter and shorter every year. At this rate the summer break will only be a month long in a year or two. Usually by the end of July I am begging for the first day of school to get back in to a normal routine and get these crazy kids to settle down. It’s not even the end of July yet and we have already received our school supply list for the upcoming school year. Are you kidding me? I haven’t even settled in to summer yet. But this year we went to get the supplies right away. When I say we I mean Kerry. I hate school supply shopping. It seems to take forever and the list is so specific I can never find everything. We usually wait for the weekend before the start of school and everything is gone by then.
Back to the point of this. When I was in school I didn’t go back until after Labor Day. Now the kids are getting out 2/3 of the way through June and go back the week before Labor Day. Come on, they hardly have a chance to relax and enjoy the summer. Like I said, usually I can’t wait for school to start just to end the summer shuffle and actually get some real work done. Running Go-Go Babyz takes a lot of work which never really ends when you own the business. Doing it as a husband and wife with kids makes it even more difficult, especially in the summer. That being said, summer is when we get to spend some quality time with the kids and go on some vacations and excursions we can’t during the school year. This break has gone by so fast I forgot to plan much of anything. I haven’t even had a chance to take the kids to the beach this year. I love the beach and am rarely able to get there and it looks like it might be a beach-less summer for me.
The good news is I write this on the eve of our annual vacation with the whole family where we head to the hills for a while for some good old summer fun. The bad news is, it looks like this year the trip marks the end of summer. I guess if the summer breaks are going to get shorter I better start planning ahead better in the future.
Gotta go, gotta pack!
Happy Back to School!
VP & Dad