I know it might be cold this weekend but it’s never too early to start planning family activities for the summer.

I’ve talking a lot of people this week about what’s on their bucket list.  One of the main activities that came up besides skydiving was whitewater rafting.

If that happens to be one of the items on your bucket list, then I have the perfect place for you!  A few years ago a friend and I decided to buy one of those gift certificates for whitewater rafting. None of us had ever tried it, so we this year was the perfect time to go. The rafting company we choose to go with was called Adventure Calls Outfitters Inc., and they have three different rivers that they raft on – Letchworth State Park, Cattaraugus Creek, and Salmon River.

The first year we decided to go, my friend and I sat down and did our research and chose Letchworth. Letchworth was an awesome time! Of course there had been lots of rain so the river was fantastic! We did have to wear the wetsuits, and yes, if you don't wear enough clothing underneath it is a little chilly, but you don't even notice because you're having such an adrenaline rush!

The minute they pushed our raft out from the shore we were moving.  The rapids were huge!  I told us that the ride would take two and a half hours, but it all happened so fast for me I felt like it was over way too soon.  The only down part was since there was so much rain the place you would usually dump your rafts off was too muddy for the trucks to get back too so you had to carry your raft back only a mile or so. Looking back on it now it doesn't seem so bad but at that time we were dying.  The mud was up to our knees and the rafts were heavy.  I’m pretty sure that my friend and her daughter lost a shoe and my boyfriend was covered in head to toe in mud but it was definitely a memory none of us will never forget.

Both Letchworth and Cattaraugus depend on the water levels in order to go rafting. Their season runs March 16 to May 19, Saturdays and Sundays.  During the summer months at the Letchworth location, when the river often becomes too low to raft, they use inflatable sit on top kayaks in order to enjoy the gorge.  Even though you aren’t rafting it’s still an amazing experience!

Finally the last location that I absolutely LOVE is Salmon River!  Now this location only happens in the summer months.  How can that be possible you ask since you need lots of water for rapids?  Well Salmon is a controlled release river, which means that water from a reservoir is allowed to flow downstream on certain dates!  That means you have guaranteed Class III whitewater!  This was definitely the best trip ever!  It’s hot out, the sun is shining, and the rapids are moving fast!  In the middle of this trip they even let us get out of the rafts and ride the rapids right in the water.  It’s body surfing in rapids.  The pictures I have here are all from Salmon River.   On this rafting trip we did hit a rock and had 2 people fall out but as long as you listen to the safety talk in the beginning and do exactly what you are suppose to then you’ll have no problem getting back in to the raft.  We also made a weekend out of it.   The place they have you gather to get your paddles and life jackets is a campground or we stayed at Selkirk Shores which is the State Park up in Pulaski.  The campground was great too.  Salmon River dates for rafting are July 6, 7, 20, 21 and August 3 and 4. So if this summer you’re ready to try your hand at whitewater rafting this is definitely the place.

Oh and one more thing.  Don’t worry if you don’t have any idea what you are doing.  Most of the people that try rafting have never gone either so the trip leader will give you a safety talk and instructions on what to expect when you get out on the Whitewater.   Adventure Calls Outfitters Inc website is www.adventure-calls.com.   If you try Whitewater Rafting this summer with this company or a different one definitely send me pictures!  I love hear all about other’s rafting adventures!