Monday, August 18, 2008


As we arrived in Lotus, CA, memories of our previous shows in this sweet river town resurfaced. Some old friends we met our last time through greeted us at Marco’s CafĂ©. We busted out an early evening show, then partied the night away with the rafting community at the Coloma Club. The band bumped and grinded the night away on the dance floor while Keyboard Mike won the community over with his well-honed karaoke skills… despite the limited song selection.

One of our youngest fans ever... a future bass player, perhaps?

Today is one of our only days off during the trip. This morning we took up an offer to hit the South Fork of the American River for some whitewater rafting. Our friends Janice and Jeremiah got the trip together for us, and when we got to the river, they introduced us to our guide for the day, their buddy Hunter. Hunter was the man. We all got in the boat, he gave us the quick tutorial on how to raft, and we were off.

Max oils up for a long day on the river

hi8us listens intently to Hunter's instructions

Being a private rafting trip, we didn’t have to comply with all of the corporate restrictions that the rafting companies on the river must stick to. Accordingly, Hunter encouraged us to take chances with our lives when they presented themselves. We enjoyed traveling through sections of rapids while not being in the boat, and intentionally flipping the raft by nosing it into a rock wall in the midst of a class 3 rapid. It was an added thrill to not have the security of the boat as I careened through the turbulent river rapids.

We also took the opportunity to scale a steep cliff wall to do a bit of base jumping during one of the calm sections of the river. This was an especially introspective moment for Mike, who can still clearly recall how he felt during the several seconds of freefall he experienced. Ask him for a detailed description of how he sped towards the water from atop the Gorilla Rock… he will surely tell you that “this was NOT in the brochure.”

Our day off proved to be one of the best of the trip so far. Traveling down the South Fork, we talked a bunch with Hunter about the area, about California, about the places he has been and about life in general. A few hours basking in the sun as we drifted down the river was the perfect shift of gears for the band. We had been on a pretty intense push across the country up until then. Everyone seems to be refreshed and relaxed again… not that we weren’t before, but we all now seem rejuvenated for sure. A huge thank you to Jeremiah, Janice, Mark and Hunter for a day we will not soon forget. Hunter is a Jedi!

Post-rafting chillin' at Adventure Connection HQ