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Senior Thrill-Seekers Raft Down American River Rapids

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PLACERVILLE (CBS13) – A group of senior citizen thrill-seekers embarked on the American River near Placerville on Tuesday for their first rafting trip together.

Nine miles on the American River on a 100-plus degree day may seem a bit much for seniors, but age is nothing but a number for this group. The oldest is 93.

This group is living proof you’re never too old for heart-racing adventure. Four thrill-seeking seniors took on the white-knuckling whitewater, some for the first time.

“New adventure in my life,” Kathleen Anderson said. “I’ve never done this before.”

Whitewater Voyages’s trip down the American River is not for the faint of heart.

“We’re gonna do two big class rapids today,” Oscar Murillo with Whitwater Voyages told the group. “One is called Meat Grinder, the other is called Troublemaker.”

Those are titles that could scare off some of their grandchildren. But these ladies from the Camden Springs Retirement Community, some troublemakers themselves, say they can handle it.

“So you’re 80, you’re 90, so what? You’re not dead,” said Alicia Sansone, a staff member at the senior community.

“That’s the usual baloney you get from young people,” said Phylis McGee, 84. “We go because it’s fun and we want to do it.”

Even if they can barely walk, they’re ready for the ride of their long lives.

Janet Rush, 93, is eager for the thrill of the rushing river again. She had a previous whitewater experience as a young woman.

“When I was 70 I went down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon,” she said.

Whether it’s their first or just their latest adventure, these seniors say they’re far from washed up.

And the adventure doesn’t stop here. The next trip for these retirees, planned for September, is skydiving.

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