Monday, August 9, 2010
I live in the Central Valley of California and because of this I am lucky to live a day's trip from almost anywhere in the state. A couple hours to San Francisco, half a day to Los Angeles, a few hours to the central coast...anything is within reach for me. One of my favorite things to do is to get lost in the foothills to my east. About 15 minutes from where I live is the tiny, tiny town of Knight's Ferry. There is one main street, one bar, only a couple of little restaurants and not much else but breathtaking views. The pride and joy of the town is their historic covered bridge. Finished in 1857, the covered bridge boasts the record for the longest covered bridge west of the Mississippi. Growing up close to Knight's Ferry, one of the summer rituals was to pack up a two man raft, an ice chest and some sunblock; call up a group of your best friends, and head east to 'float' down the river. From the drop off in Knight's Ferry to Oakdale it is an all day float. Along the way you will see small rapids, cows that walk up to the water, Lover's Leap, and tall hills that make you feel that you have stumbled upon a secret spot in the universe. For the more brave (or lubricated) at heart, there are cliffs that jut strait up that you can dive from (although I am sure its frowned upon). Consumption of alcohol is legal but discouraged by Sunshine Rafting, the professional rafting company that charters group trips. Because the Mr., myself and all of our friends enjoy the consumption of alcohol we pack up enough 'Stones to survive the trip. When we drink we get a little clever. That is how we came up with the name, Float and Bloat.