Here’s what Chris T. from San Francisco, CA had to say about his trip down the Merced with 7 friends on July 10th, 2011.
The trip was fantastic. Everyone has been telling me how much they enjoyed it, especially the first timers.
The river was amazing, certainly warmer than we originally thought. Being split up in to 4 per boat was really nice, we saw some other boats out there with 6-8 people and saw they looked pretty crowded.
Howard was the guide of my boat and he was amazing. He really made an effort to get to know each of our names and always use them. At one point he was explain something and said “you two guys”, and then quickly corrected himself and used our names. I talked to each of the other 3 guys in our boat, and they all remember that. Also, he was extremely positive, every time we came up to a new rapid he told us we approaching some “fun” or “exciting” water. He let us all try different positions in the boat, and helped us work on our technique. He also taught us what we would have to do be able to move up to take on more difficult rivers. He had us doing 360s and jumping out and swimming whenever we wanted (I swam almost half a dozen times). He got use close to the other boat so we could splash them too. Even the other guides knew our names, and knew us as the interns group of canadians, it was all very personal.
We all used sunscreen at the start of the day, but today everyone has varying degrees of burnt shoulders at work. In hindsight, it would’ve been a good idea for us to pack the sunscreen in the dry bags. The other thing is we didn’t bring cameras at all, and we should’ve done that and taken pictures of the other boat. The pre-trip orientation was a bit lengthy, it would’ve been nice to have had some of it on the bus ride, because once we got the rafts in the water we were all itching to get out rafting!
Merced 1-Day, June 20th, 2011
Mark W. from West Hills, CA rafted the Merced on June 20th with 2 other passengers. Here is his response:
Dorothy – we had a fantastic day, one week ago now. As advertised, the conditions on the Merced were extreme, but that was exactly what we were looking for. The guides did an excellent job of keeping us safe, in-spite of the level of danger and in-spite of being swimmers once. I had been on five other rafting adventures previously; but this was, without doubt, the best ever.
Merced 1-Day, May 29th, 2011
Rafa G. from Venice, CA went down the Merced on May 29th with a group of four. He got back to us with some feedback and sweet video of their trip:
As usual, we had a fantastic time rafting with AO. Our guide, Joe, was great. I also had the chance to chat with a few of the other guides on the bus ride to the put-in point, and they just seemed like a really cool group of guys. They were all handing out sweaters on the river for people who were unprepared for the cold, including me and my group. The food was great and well laid-out – the hot chocolate was an especially nice touch on such a cold day.
Yes, feel free to contact me about trips next spring. Cherry Creek is still in my sights – just trying to find the time to hopefully squeeze it in this year.
It’s best viewed if you up the resolution to 720p, otherwise, the video is grainy and blurry. Please share the video with Joe, as I know he was interested in seeing it. I may post more video of the rafting alone and will let you know if I have time to do it.
Merced 1-Day, June 3rd, 2011
Lawrence E. and five friends went out on the Merced on June 3rd. Here’s what he had to say:
We absolutely loved our experience. Charles is a great guide, very knowledgable, but more important a very warm and friendly person. Feel free to contact me next year. 🙂
-Lawrence E. Sutten, Jr.
Merced 1-Day, May 28th, 2011
Here are some comments from Sid P., who rafted the Merced with 5 friends on May 28th:
The team of guides was fantastic – serious about the work and about safety, but also very chill, fun, and prone to laughing and smiling. The rapids were pretty intense and that’s exactly what we were looking for.
I think all of us had a great time – from the two first-timers to the seasoned hand on the raft. And if we decide to go rafting in the Sierras again, it’s very likely we’ll be giving you a call.
Thanks again, and please pass our thanks along to Seth, Joe, and the whole team that was out there.
Merced 1-Day on May 29th, 2011
First-timers John R. and his girlfriend from Tampa, FL rafted the Merced on May 29th and had these remarks:
We really enjoyed the trip. Our guides were the best part. Louis and Joe were outstanding. To start, we were not fully prepared for how cold it was. But they bent over backwards to make sure we had warm clothing and all the appropriate gear.
At the river, they took time to go over all the safety procedures and rafting 101. On the water, they made sure it was enjoyable and kept everyone excited and encouraged. During slow stretches, I particularly enjoyed talking about the surrounding area, Yosemite park, the history of the area and other rivers in the country. Louis was knowledgeable and friendly. Lunch was great too.
As a first timer, my girlfriends fears were gone after the first rapid because of how comfortable our guides made the experience. I was appreciative of the fact that we tried different things on the water and I had the chance to paddle and steer the raft toward the end.
No complaints except that our camping reservation got cancelled right before we got there. It wasn’t anyone’s fault, but it made for a long night prior to our rafting trip. We should have listened to your recommendation on the Yosemite Bug since everything else was full. Oh well.
For next time, we will look to do the 2-Day Tuolumne trip. I need to get 3 more trips to get to the free one. J Thanks for all your help. You really helped to make this a great experience. We will definitely be back next time we are in California.
Merced 1-Day & Tuolumne 1-Day, May 21 & 22, 2011
Ally Heim and her mother Nancy from Dana Point, CA rafted the Merced with us on Saturday, May 21st and came back for a day on the Tuolumne on Sunday. Here’s what she had to say:
We had an AMAZING time! Thank you for all of your help in accommodating us. Both of our guides Joe and Adam were fantastic. We had such a great time on the Merced that we decided to do the Tulomne Sunday, and I am pretty sure that’s my new favorite river! We are looking forward to rafting with AO again very soon, perhaps Cherry Creek in August….. Thanks again to you and everyone at AO!!!
Merced 1-Day Trip, May 1st, 2011
Chris K. from Cupertino, CA rafted the Merced with us on May 1st, and had this to say:
Sorry to be so slow in responding. As usual, we had an amazing trip with All-Outdoors. It started off great, being recognized by Joe and greeted by my first name as we drove up was a comforting surprise. We had perfect weather, perfect water, and a great crew. It was very cool to see Joe and Tom ( “Tom Canada”) again this year. I’ve had great trips with them in the past. Louis was a fantastic guide and made the Merced river a memorable trip. I cannot say enough good things about the staff at All-Outdoors. I have always appreciated your help and support, and ALL of your guides keep me coming back! I look forward to planning my annual father-daughter trip and am heavily promoting the hospital trip again this year. I look forward to planning with you and rafting with All-Outdoors again. See you soon!
Just got home today from Yosemite. The rafting trip was phenomenal! Our guides were Dan and Joe and they were great. Very friendly and talked us through the entire trip. I was surprised by our delicious lunch. We had Salmon/cream cheese rolls, gourmet sandwiches, chips, fruit, veggies oh and some cookies too!. Plenty of food for everyone.
The rapids were sooooo much fun and we are planning a group trip already for next summer, so yes feel free to reach out next spring. We didn’t get many pictures because we were busy rafting which is the only thing I would have liked more of but other than that, the trip was fantastic.
Thanks for making our Yosemite trip a memorable one!
Merced River 1-Day June 13, 2009
Feedback from a Merced 1-Day Trip on June 13, 2009
We all had a fantastic time. We laughed continuously throughout the day both together and at each other whenever one of us got particularly soaked. The food as always was great, plenty of fruit and water and those salmon wraps were a welcome surprise for a pescatarian like myself – ordinarily I make a cheese sandwhich since I don’t eat meat but since there was fish this time, I got protein for lunch!
Joe Marshall was a splendid guide: the perfect combination of humor and focused energy. I’ve rafted with guides who were either clowning around too much that I felt unsafe or were too serious that I didn’t have as much fun on the water. And I always appreciate it when the guide emphasizes teamwork and reminds everyone to paddle as one by following the lead of those sitting in the front and Joe didn’t miss a beat during his safety talk; this call for teamwork is one of the main things I want to hear from a guide and wait to see him/her implement whenever I go rafting. We all look forward to rafting with him again in the future.
Thank you for your help planning and booking the trip for us, Roxanne! We will definitely raft with AO again.