Mountain Buzz banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So here is the deal. 2 Years ago our family and a friends bought a couple of Star 13 ft. Self bailers from a outfitter in Truckee at a nice price. We have taken them out on a couple of easy class 1+ runs and had a good time, but are looking to get to more fun stuff.

They are set up as paddle boats and it is unlikely we will be able to outfit them with frames and oars, and no one has that experience anyway. For the situation, both of the dads have OK river skills, the wives can add a little power and the kids, all 7-8-9 years old can help a little. Are there any tips you would give to get us moving up into more fun water?

Right now we have a late July trip to raft easier sections of the Rouge, Trinity and Klamath, but we are worried about the water level on all three of those runs. Add to the problem the fact I broke my leg last month and may not be ready to raft by July, and that trip is looking kind of bad. Our local float, the Truckee River is actually predicted to be not just low, but dry this years, it looks like it is really going to be rough. So in those circumstances, is there anything you could think of that might help use to be better if we are able to try again in 2016?

Thanks for any thoughts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,207 Posts
Too bad about the broken leg! And too bad about the drought!

Get the family out on a hot day on a lake.
Practice some strokes and teamwork.
Practice some flips and helping each other back into the boat.

Make it FUN. Lots of water fights. Lots of swimming with PFDs.

Hope you have better luck in 2016!
 

·
Renaissance Redneck
Joined
·
1,265 Posts
Build a wood frame and buy a couple of Carslile oars so you can get into multiday float trips.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,252 Posts
All my trips with kids and I do a fair share of them. I find the kids love to fish, water fights, hike, camp fires, Geocaching, cooking, electronic games and etc. I did not mention paddling because I have never had a kid scream with excitement can we paddle now. For few $ build a frame and learn how to row (its pretty easy until you get on the bigger water). I have seen kids argue about who gets to row next (Just my 2cents). As far as water to get on would you be willing to travel and run the same section a couple or three of times in Co or Utah?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,261 Posts
Day sections on the section of the Salmon near Riggins? There a few stretches with easy access that offer mostly Class II experience and then if you are feeling comfortable some Class III. I wouldn't go during peak but it has the benefit of runnable water most of the season.

Roughly 9 hours from Reno.

Phillip
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
320 Posts
BigHorn has it right. No kid ever begged to paddle, but plenty fight to row. It isn't just about the rapids. Kids dig all the other stuff, like water fights, and time in camp. If you want to ramp up the whitewater then do it as a guys trip. Flipping your boat with a bunch of 7, 8, and 9yo. is sure to turn some of them off to boating.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Too bad about the broken leg! And too bad about the drought!

Get the family out on a hot day on a lake.
Practice some strokes and teamwork.
Practice some flips and helping each other back into the boat.

Make it FUN. Lots of water fights. Lots of swimming with PFDs.

Hope you have better luck in 2016!
That was kind of my goal for the Truckee out of Tahoe City, but that stretch is going to be bone dry. Might be a fun day on the Lake once it warms up. We could try battles with the other family. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
BigHorn has it right. No kid ever begged to paddle, but plenty fight to row. It isn't just about the rapids. Kids dig all the other stuff, like water fights, and time in camp. If you want to ramp up the whitewater then do it as a guys trip. Flipping your boat with a bunch of 7, 8, and 9yo. is sure to turn some of them off to boating.

My son, the oldest of the kids does OK with paddling, My daughter is more of a problem to keep in the boat when there is the option to swim (she once swam for about 3/4 mile beside the raft on the Merced in Yosemite Valley). I am a little worried about the expectations of the other family. They are looking for Class III runs, but none of the kids have been thrown out of the raft. So far I am the only one who has managed that, which lead to a little panic from the rest of the boat. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
If you have never rowed a boat, you will be amazed of how much more you can do with oars than with a bunch of inexperienced paddlers. If your just doing day trips, I would really try to go with a small aft frame so everyone up front cant still paddle and be part of the action (or not). You have so much more power with the oars that it really doesn't matter much if a 8 year old is actually working for you or against you on the paddle. On nice flat sections, I also highly recommend you flip the raft on purpose. Have a plan and make it fun! The kids will be scared the first time but usually want to flip it after that.

I see crappy looking old frames on Craigslist for $100 all the time. Throw some rattle can paint on it and pick up some wood Carlisles for about $100 and your off and running.

Personally, we usually have the frame w/ boxes and gear in raft and the kids 6-9 just bounce between riding the raft or getting into inflatable kayaks with other people.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
You have a lot going on. Set your priorities and work from there. Our family and another are setting up to run the San Juan in June. Just started reading the River Otter Handbook for Trip Planning. Amazon - $5 Lots of good info about proper planning, leadership roles, meal planning, logistics. Definite recommend. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Family rafting rocks!! I heartily agree with much that's been said, and I have a few additions:

1) The Trinity has enough water to raft all summer (due to an old lawsuit). Anything above 600 cfs, and you can still get splashed, plus there is enough water to miss the more technical challenges. 2,500 and 4,000 cfs are my favorite levels for bouncy, splashy, Class III fun. See the release schedule at: http://www.trrp.net/restore/flows/current/

2) A way to have your kids fall in love with Class III: Find long wave-trains of Class II (deeper, no rocks) and swim them on purpose with your kids on hot days. Make it crazy fun, and if your kids like competing, set prizes for catching eddies, etc. This has two long-term benefits. You will learn A LOT about maneuvering your boat from swimming rapids. Your kids will learn that is is normal and can be totally fun to swim in whitewater. That way, when they do fall out (or you do again), nobody feels freaked out. Said wave trains can be found this year on the SF American, Trinity, Rogue, and likely the Kern (all within 7 hours of you).

At the risk of reiterating, kids love rowing, not paddling. If you like camping, then I highly recommend building/obtaining a frame and some Carlisle oars.
3) A great first multi day trip that's really close to you is the East Fork of the Carson. It likely won't have water this year, but its totally worth doing above 1,000 cfs. Its 10 miles of fast water with some Class II to a GREAT hot spring (camp two nights there), then another 10 miles to the take out. We do it on long weekends from Redding.

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
 

·
Jared
Joined
·
733 Posts
My kids love to paddle! My 6 and 4 year olds love to paddle with us, and they do some easy class II and easy class III all summer long. I also agree with everything said so far. Here are a few more things;

There is safety in numbers. Find some more people to boat with, especially people with more experience than you that can teach you. Kayakers are great to paddle with when running paddle rafts. People fall out of paddle rafts way more than rowed rafts. Clubs are great for this!

Train for safety. Learn how to throw a throw bag, first throw and throwing coils. Have your kids do it too. Everyone needs helmets, you might be doing that already, but it needs to be said. Take a swift water rescue class. I've taken 2, and I will take another one next year.

Train yourself a little more. My wife has been boating with me for 18 years, but she looks to me for safety and guidance. You, most of all, should be comfortable with the rivers you are going down. I have inflatable kayaked a lot, rowed a fair amount, and now running paddle rafts has been my final frontier. It is proving to be the most difficult kind of boating I do. Go on your own on some more difficult whitewater without the kiddies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
215 Posts
The middle Rogue would be a great trip for your families. There are several campgrounds on the river that range from full services to unimproved. Indian Mary Park has full hook ups. Check out Josephine County Parks. There are several floats you can do. The best will be from Hog Creek to Galice (2.5 to 3 hrs) or you can continue past Galice to Almeda Park (a good place to camp) or further to Grave Creek. That last bit from Almeda to Grave Creek can get tiring if the wind comes up in the late afternoon. Hog Creek to Galice is the best part. It would be exciting but not treacherous at all. It will be runnable all summer. Galice is a great place for lunch or dinner. We love to eat after coming off the river. Usually some form of live entertainment on weekends. If you need anything I would recommend Orange Torpedo Trips in Merlin. You might find yourself a great deal on a frame as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all of the info

It sounds like the flows won't be as much of a problem for the summer trip. It is really all about my leg, which my doctor is not too fired up by the idea.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top