I got a 12 foot RMR a few months ago and have taken it to a local lake with my wife and two teenage sons just to try it out. Im looking for a super mellow river within about 8 hours of southern CA. Maybe central CA, AZ, Southern Utah or Nevada. Like a 1-4 hour trip, class 1-2 rapids. I want my wifes first river trip to be comfortable and just get the hang of working together, putting in/taking out and shuttling. Any advice or resource suggestions would be appreciated.
That was the initial plan, then decided to get my own raft. There are a few “family friendly” guided trips Ive looked at, one on the lower Kern, the other on SF American. Figured I could run those myself, just want to do a basic river “float” first with wifey.
Honestly? If you're in SoCal, you're not exactly in prime floating country. If I were you, I'd more likely be into diving, sailing, rock or offshore fishing, or surfing, or....
I live in the mountains. I can't dive without a 7mm wetsuit and can only sail 3 months of the year. No surfing, no rock fishing, no deep sea fishing. But I can raft 10 minutes from my house, so I do.
Do you sail? surf? dive? Would you recommend I go out and buy a sailboat and go for it? Would you recommend I buy a board and go be the kook at the local wave? Buy a BCD and tank and regulator and go send 'er?
OK, there were people before us who started rafting without lessons or competent guidance...but that said, if your wife is timid, DO NOT take her out your first trip. That's screaming for a bad first and only time for her.
Take your sons out, get your sh!t dialed and then invite Mom out. Or find a couple local friends who have floated before and get your sh!t dialed and figure out how all that rafting stuff works.
Do you plan to inflate/deflate or do you have a trailer?
Frame/oars or paddles?
Ever been rafting before in your life?
Read Jeff Bennett's 'Complete Whitewater Rafter'
Skip Class II. Find some moving water and figure out how your boat moves on moving water, and how you move your boat on moving water.
Maybe consider the Colorado below Davis or below Parker?