10 Images

Don’t wash out

Cody Farnum, front, gets help from Anthony Lehman with a raft. At left is Sean Leitch. They were among 23 young people applying for river guide positions. (Anacleto Rapping / LAT)
Two women get a hand loading rafts after the tryout session on the Kern River. Eighteen applicants would be selected as entry-level guides for Sierra South, a rafting company based in Kernville. (Anacleto Rapping / LAT)
Anthony Lehman, 18, steers the raft through whitewater. (Anacleto Rapping / LAT)
Andrew Bell purposely fell overboard to test river guide applicants’ responses and rescue techniques. (Anacleto Rapping / LAT)
River guide John Arcurio, right, prepares to head out to the river with applicants. The training of river guides keeps the dangers of rafting low. (Anacleto Rapping / LAT)
In small towns, where everyone depends on the river for income, there is no more prized summer job than “boatman” or river guide. (Anacleto Rapping / LAT)
Stacking rafts for transport proves a team effort. (Anacleto Rapping / LAT)
Rafters test their skills on the Kern River in hopes of landing a job with a local outfitter. (Anacleto Rapping / LAT)
A guide’s job is twofold — keep clients safe and entertained. Gregariousness is as necessary as sunscreen. (Anacleto Rapping / LAT)
Prospective river guide Jerry Gorman paddles through a rapid on the Kern River in hopes of landing a job with Sierra South, a Kernville-based rafting company. (Anacleto Rapping / LAT)