We set up camp along the banks and set out for an afternoon hike to Whiskey Flats. It was a new experience to hike through the recently burned out forest. The forest had been charred to nothing in a wildfire the year before and the ground was covered with new tree growth and burned out stumps. We went for a swim in one of the feeder channels to the river, slip-sliding over the boulders and splashing in the pools. After a great hike which included scrambling over log bridges we settled in for a bbq dinner and a campfire with SMORES.
My poor body image and low self-esteem has kept me from doing many things in my past and I am glad that backing out wasn’t really an option. In my head, I knew my peers would not allow me to opt out of the challenge so that helped enforce my willingness.
We woke to the excitement of spending the whole day white-water rafting. After safety talks and life vests and helmets in hand, we hit the water. Within minutes we lost our first person overboard and thankfully that was our last of the trip. We rafted 15 miles on the Lower Kern River blasting through class III and IV rapids with names like, White Maiden’s Walkway, Sundown Falls, and Dead Man’s Curve. The rapids were broken up with jungle like stretches of lush foliage, Indian pictographs, and cliff jumping. After a full day of rafting we pulled our rafts ashore and set up our camp, prepared a great meal, and had a wonderful campfire finished off with Dutch oven brownies.
We had slept under the stars due to the heat and woke up ready for another day of rafting. We got back into our rafts and went straight back into the raging rapids tackling new challenges like, Hare Kare, Horseshoe Falls, and Pinball. We made it through all the rapids with no one going overboard and had the opportunity to surf some holes. At camp we had a therapeutic campfire followed up with a delicious dinner. We explored the river banks at night with our headlamps looking for frogs and observed the stars in all their glory.
We had great leaders who encouraged us to be productive and positive throughout the trip.
We drove along the banks of the river and headed to Skull Canyon. As we drove through the high desert mountains, we saw skeletons of animals, rattlesnakes, and cacti. We arrived at the base of the canyon in the Estelle Mountain Nature Preserve to ride 4x4s and go zip lining. We spent the next several hours zip lining through the canyons on steel cables ranging in length from 600 to 1,700 feet with the opportunity to zip upside down which was truly unique. Our day ended with a delicious steak dinner on the drive home and got back to Newport Beach in time to unpack, shower, and share our experiences with friends and family. Another great trip!