Mark Bult Design: San Francisco, CA, Established 1988

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Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Forward three...and stop

Jessica, who I used to work closely with (she was Bay Area Earth Day 2002 coordinator) and keep in touch with regularly, has been guiding on the South Fork for almost three years now, and she and a couple other guides (thanks Mike and Jon!) put together a private trip this past weekend for their friends. Yeah, I got invited too.

Jess is definitely a fantastic guide, and I've been fortunate to go with her a couple times before. Definitely beats being stuck on a boat with two novice (and terribly unskilled) guide-trainees, like I was stuck with for an afternoon back in June.

A good guide means a world of difference for those on the raft, not only in how pleasurable the trip is, but whether you're sore the next day. A lousy guide makes the crew work unnecessarily. A good guide doesn't need to, because she, for example, avoids eddying out at every little placid spot for no apparent reason, then making the crew paddle hard to get back into the current.

This time, for both days I was fortunate to be the only guy on a raft full of beautiful women. Oh darn. Poor me. Plus Jamie, Jamie (yes, two of 'em), Carly, Shannon, Janet, and Velma were all excellent paddlers and a lot of fun to boot.

The people were fun, the weather was great, the river was great, and we had a most incredible barbeque on Satuday night.

One guy, Rob, brought more meat than I've ever seen outside a grocery store. His tandoori chicken was a huge hit, but it went fast and I didn't get a taste. However, I was a big fan of the simply incredible pork. I think it was the first time I'd had pork in about a year, and it was without a doubt the best I've ever tasted in my life.

So, it sounds as if this maiden voyage of Water Wings Voyages (yes, we had a coupla Tweety Bird water wings fastened to the bows just for this weekend) will be an annual event. Should be a blast again next year!

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