I can't believe no one's enlightened our visitor about the esteemed tradition of the Bootie Beer after a swim.
Or, if you're on a guided trip, should the guide be the one that has to drink it?
newbieraftingquestion - The water level on the Arkansas is going to be pretty low
and you'll spend a lot of time bumping off rocks. When my raft was brand spanking new I let a buddy talk me into running the Gorge at about the level it's at right now. The good thing is that I never winced again after that trip when I slammed into a big rock or scraped over boulders.
Another alternative would be to drive out to Glenwood Canyon, run the Shoshone to Grizzley Creek section of the Colorado, which is rocking Class III for about 30 45 minutes at 1,700 cfs
, then stay on the river and enjoy the 2- or 3-hour scenic Class I and II float from Grizzley Creek down to Glenwood Springs where you can finish the day with a soak in the hot springs.
If you just want a mellow float, you could also rent a raft in Glenwood and then run the Grizzley Creek to Glenwood section on your own - it's a classic novice run and probably cheaper than what you'd spend for the group on a guided trip. You can either hitch or get a cab for the shuttles along that stretch and float stretches of novice whitewater all the way to Rifle.
I think some of the outfitters do laps on Shoshone too.