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Cache Creek Rafting

No. of days: 2 days 
Date: 24-25 July 2013 
Difficulty: Class 3, 2 rapids (Self guided rafting) 
Group: Whitewater Adventures
 

Picasa Web Album link here

This memoire is going to be a very long one. Exciting people, great activities, fun rafting, camping, jumping off a cliff and a lot of other awesome 
adventures is what this trip got defined in time passing. There are so many memories that detailing each and every one is going to be a good test to my memory and writing skills. But here I go and I hope to keep it crisp and still penning everything down.

As always, Mark – my good friend pointed out this trip to me more than a month in advance. The meetup events get filled so quickly that it was luck I got in. Initially I had signed up for a two-day rafting and camping trip but all the people (strangers who’ve become great friends) turned this into a trip much more than a typical rafting weekend. I’d put it down as a reunion of olds friends and loads of fun. Before I start writing my experience, let me introduce the crew – I can’t put it better than Mark did, so I’m plagiarizing.

Oleks (no FB for him--what a weirdo!!! Lol), figured out Hans is just as funny as he is bossy, Jean-Francois doesn't like the word "literally", literally!, Davy Chea who looks great in a sarong!!!, Kai Men with her fantastic smile, Philip --the "rational thinker" who talked his way out of NOT leaving to get more alcohol because he doesn't drink; Doan and Rupa who we could never keep track of; Abby the nicest person in the group, Malika and her credit score expertise!! Lol; Tyson, he Jumped! super proud of him, Johnny- did anyone else notice he said the most random funny shit??, and of course my good friends Jonathan and Arun who encourage me waaaayyyy too much to do crazy shit and who were my partners in crime carpooling and tearing up the rapids, and who also like to play 'sea-saw' in the raft! Wow!” – Mark A Montgomery 
(Missed out on Bharat

Now back to the narrative. I had to get to Mark’s place from where Mark, Jonathan and I were to carpool to Cache Creek.
We were supposed to leave at 1600hrs but we ended up leaving Mark’s place at 1830hrs thanks to all the traffic on bay bridge and I880. We stuffed up Mark’s car with food and camping gear and started our wonderful weekend with the drive to Cache creek. We stopped at Esparto to fill up the cooler with drinks and chocolate. The drive on CA-16 meandering through the countryside with farms on either side of the road was very pleasant and relaxing. It was also coupled with cool music. We reached the parking lot of GOWHITEWATER and were greeted by some hospitable staff. After signing in and getting wristbands, we got into the bus that was supposed to take us to the campsite.
This is where I/we met the others (Davy, Olek, Hans, Roopa – almost everyone). We reached the campsite at sometime after 2130hrs. The movie had already begun. We just went to grab dinner. I settled for some tasty “Veggie” burger and siders. “Cold” water and Lime juice was plenty. After dinner and brief acquaintance with the group, we got back to the campground which we had territory marked to pitch tents. I struggled a bit with my new alpine tent that is pitched from the inside rather from outside like normal tents. We called it a night and went to sleep.

Saturday morning, I was woken by the light piercing sharply into my eyes through the thin lining of the tent. Breakfast was pretty tasty and healthy which involved cereal and fruits along with juice. A very brief orientation and safety guideline speech was next followed by a bus ride to the drop in point where the rafts were lying ready for us. Mark, Jonathan and I took a 5-person raft. Tyson then joined us. Thus started our remarkable raft journey.

There were a couple of rapids where we played a bit. The raft that we had weren’t self bailing so we had to dump water every time we got it in.
This was taking quite some time and we also had to get into the rhythm of working together as a team. Mark, having been a raft guide before was a very sound guide providing us with crisp instructions of when and where to row. We hit a lot of class 2-3 rapids on the way. At a lot of places, we tried to surf the flow but we still had a lot to practice. Fast-forwarding a bit, we stopped for lunch.
 
Lunch was packed for us in a watertight “dry” bag. The location where we stopped for lunch is easily remembered by the water gun that fired water at the boats to attract crowds to the food caterers who were selling stuff to eat. After lunch, we set out again down the river. The picked up some pace at the first bridge where we had to carry the raft to the other side and start over.

Once over this bridge (the first bridge), we surfed some and enjoyed the river. Now, we were ahead of everyone. We wanted to wait for people, so we decided to dump the water and Mark got all excited about floating the rapids. So we hiked back up river for a while and jumped into the river. It was what I now term/call “Butt-cracker” ride. We hit two rapids – class 2 and one class 3 floating with PFD’s. It was really fun and I’d have never done it if Mark hadn’t thought about the cool idea. Next that followed in this thread of adventure was a perfect cliff jump site. We parked our raft at the cliffs, checked the depth and started jumping off the cliff. It must have been about 12-15feet high but was really awesome fun. Tyson jumped as well. We did not find the others, so made our way towards the other rapids. The place was so great that none of us wanted to leave.

The next bridge is the entrance to the “mother” rapid or the “white witch” – one of the two, which is a good class 3 rapid that would churn you good.
This is where the candid photographs were being taken (not so candid since there was a huge banner hung in the side lines that read SMILE). This was pretty exciting and we filled our rafts fully. Dumping water again, we got back to the camp site. That was the end point for rafting that day. What followed was a great time catching up with all, having a lot of beer and other concoctions followed by some great times – Oleks’s stories (the poison ivy one), Hans, Jean’s. Dinner was served at 7:30 before which there were some snacks. The night party dancing added to the fun I was already having on this trip. We retired to bed at 12:15am looking up at the stars and chatting away like chipmunks. A lot of them were cuddled away near the river – I don’t know the story there :-P

Sunday – I got up late like at 7:30am. Finished breakfast and was excited for the 2nd day of rafting.
I had heard that today, we would be running a more technical part of the river (a different route). After some confusion, I realized that it was exactly the same run as Saturday. Now we were contemplating whether to return home or run the river all over again. The entire group was excited about rafting the river again. This time people decided to take the self-bailing two-seater boats. We decided that it would be fun with the entire group to cliff jump. That motivated us to raft after all. We stuck together on the big raft so that we could have a lot more fun and it was the right decision. We had awesome fun.

We had some very good surfs along the rapids. Cliff jumping with everyone was a lot of fun along with photography thanks to Phillip’s waterproof camera. At one point, we felt it would be funny to ride the rapids with the raft upside down (capsized). We did ride two big rapids that way. It was hilarious and total fun. We stopped by a yoghurt shop on the way to savor cold ice-cream/yoghurt.

It turned out to be a weekend to remember.

~~ If you’ve read all of this, I’m sure you have a lot of time. Get out and have some fun!! ~~