Today we went rafting on the Merced river near Yosemite National Park with Zephyr Whitewater. It was amazing!!! There was a lot of snow melt recently so the water was quite high and the rapids were more fierce! There were 7 rafts with 6 people in each and this time we were paddling unlike the Grand Canyon where the boats were motorised. At first I was so scared I had my legs wedged in and it hurt where I was holding on so tight! The first rapid was one of the worst on the trip but a good indicator of what was coming!
The first section was really cool, lots of class 3 and 4 rapids (out of 6) that launched us into the air, 2 of the men in our raft fell out within about 20 minutes! We stopped for some lunch at a small island of rocks that the guides call ‘Lunch Island’, they prepared all the food fresh and it was delicious. After lunch there was a calmer period for about 20 minutes, then the fun really began!
Our guide and the other men in our boat decided we were going to attempt to surf a part of the river called ‘The Gage’. Basically it is a huge swirl of water that can pick you up and surf you. However it did not go to plan, instead it engulfed us, the boat tipped to the left and we all fell out into the icy 10 degree water! It was freezing but hilarious everyone scrambling back into the raft 🙂 We then hit a few more class 3’s and finished on a double class 4 which were the best rapids of the whole day. As we reached the end there was a rapid they call ‘Swimmers Rapid’ where you can jump in and catch a ride on the current, me and Paul both jumped in and had a little swim!
We were picked up about 4pm and headed back to base to get dry. On the way home we stopped at The Butterfly Cafe in Mariposa and had a well earned Steak!