Intense whitewater-rafting trips are a lot like gondola rides, except instead of being moved by a smooth serenade, rafters are carried by relentless rapids that can hardly carry a tune. Take on the relentless river with today's Groupon: for $80, you get a guided whitewater-rafting trip down the Middle Fork of the American River, including lunch, from W.E.T. River Trips (up to a $159 value). Trips, which are recommended for athletic paddlers, run every day from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
During a whitewater-rafting trip, watery wayfarers thread their way through 19 miles of inviting eddies and gnarly narrow channels along the Middle Fork of the American River. Ideal for athletic novices or experienced rafters, the Middle Fork voyage sets paddle-powering sinew against natural obstacles, including the boisterous bumps of the Class VI Rucka-Chucky rapid, the sloshing channels of the Tunnel Chute rapid, and the siren songs of wild ice-cream trucks. W.E.T. River Trips has been nautically navigating the mighty whitewaters since 1978, which means that most guides know the rivers they raft upon like the backs of their ever-moistened hands. Staff members at W.E.T. River Trips have at least two years of rafting experience, and some guides are fluent in English-to-trout translation should they need to ask for directions.
Aquasplorers are garbed with all needed life jackets, helmets, and river-taming paddles, and stomachs are similarly saddled with a midtrip lunch in the wilderness corridor. As long as those younger than 18 are armed with a parental-release form, W.E.T. invites all paddlers, even those as young as 12 years old, to join the ongoing splash-off with Mother Nature. Check out the FAQ for a list of recommended clothing, examples of what to expect, and tips on waterproofing canvases for live-action picture painting.
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