The Day Before
You’re going rafting tomorrow! Find the clothes you’re going to wear - best not to leave it for the last minute. Light-weight, fast drying clothes, shoes that will stay on your feet if you fall in, a change of clothes and towel (these are left in the car). And sunscreen, a bottle of water for each member of your party, a waterproof camera if you have one and straps for your glasses (we have these at our office if you want to stop on the way). Find the reservation confirmation we sent you, with the time and place of departure and the directions, and/or find the printout you made from our website (maps). Note: GPS devices are NOT reliable in this area. Use the maps provided. Also, you can print the release from our website beforehand, and then hand it to us when we see you. Depending on the trip you’ve chosen, you can expect some physical activity tomorrow. Get a good night sleep!
The Meeting Spot
Eat a good breakfast, and get the family out the door on time. Please be on time, because we have a schedule and will only wait a few minutes for stragglers. The County Line meeting spot is where most trips end. The County Line is a federal recreation site (located at the Taos/Rio Arriba county line), where you'll find boat ramps, changing rooms, toilets, picnic tables, shade trees and plenty of stones for your kids to throw in the river! There is an upper and lower parking lot, and we'd appreciate it if you park in the upper lot (the lower lot can get too crowded for rafting vans and trailers to maneuver). We’ll leave your car there (stick your smartphone and valuables out of sight in your car), and take you to where the trip begins. At the end of the trip you’re back at your car. Give your car keys to our driver as you board the van for the trip to the put-in. Then relax and we’ll present our safety briefing as we drive.
At the Put-In
There are toilets at the put-in, as well as at the meeting spots. We’ll hand you a life jacket (we call them PFDs), and help you adjust it to your size. You want a snug fit. You’ll also get a helmet, which is adjustable. If we haven’t given our safety briefing on the drive to the put-in, we’ll do it there on the beach. You will also have the opportunity of having your group photo taken (no obligation). Next is boat/guide assignments. Your assigned guide will show you where to sit in the boat and how to hold the paddle. The more adventuresome should ask to sit in the front.
On the River
You’ll shove off into the current and your guide will introduce to you the paddling and other commands he or she will be giving. The object is to get all participants to paddle as a team and have a safe trip. But don’t worry ... it’s not a paddling marathon! Rapids alternate with calm stretches and there’s always time to relax and talk about the river, the wildlife, the geology and history of the canyon ... and perhaps take a swim. If needed, we’ll pass out rain gear - for splash protection or inclement weather. Do we cancel if there’s the chance of rain? No, we don’t. How about lightning? It doesn’t hit down at the river, but on the rim of the gorge. What if you have to pee? Jump in the river. No one will be the wiser. The photographers you met at the put-in will photograph your raft in the last rapid, and then it’s a mellow float to the end. By the way, all guides have current first aid certifications and every trip carries a first aid kit.
At the Take-Out
You’re back on terra firma. We’ll take your life jacket, helmet, paddle and rain gear, and give you back your car keys. Retrieve your car and pull out the spare clothes and towel that you brought. Toilets and changing rooms are right there for your convenience, followed by a snack. Please remember to tip your guide, before you hurry off with a hot shower in mind. Later, back at home, go to our website (NewWaveRafting.com) and look for the “Order Photos” page. If you had as great a time as we hope you had, think of giving us a rave review on Trip Advisor, Yelp or GHoogle My Business, and plan to come see us again!