Friday, September 03, 2010

Rafting the Yellowstone River

Carole had booked a rafting trip down the Yellowstone River for us for one day. We chose the longer trip that included a riverside buffet lunch along the way. The weather was, as with our whole trip, perfect. The skies were mainly clear and the area where we were rafting was at a relatively low elevation, so the temperatures got up into the very low 80s. The water temperature was also a very bearable 65, so that wasn't a problem. We were used to water about that same temperature when we go snorkeling and canoeing in the springs of Florida.

We chose the Flying Pig outfit to host our trip. They were one of several in Gardiner Montana, and we liked their trip description the best. We got up early and headed into Gardiner and soon found the outfitters and got changed into T-shirts and swim trunks for the journey. We went through a simple instruction bit and then we all climbed down the steep set of stairs in the riverbank down to our rafts.

We were on our way!

Looking down on the Yellowstone River from Gardiner. We were pretty high above the banks and had to climb way down there to get to the rafts.

Carole and Andy and our river guide, Anna, who is from Australia.

An osprey that we encountered just as the float trip began.

I snapped this one to show one of the other rafts and the typical scenery all along the 18-mile trip.

Anna let Andy take the oars for a bit. He looks like a natural!

Looking ahead toward the mountains. The river was getting slowly pinched in by the canyon.

This is LaDuke Springs, a hot spring that flows down into the Yellowstone River. The water here was really hot! Scalding!

Andy and me standing in front of the terraces at LaDuke Hot Spring for a portrait.

Dome Mountain rises ahead of us on the river.

The skies in Montana are a brilliant, clear blue.

I took this composite shot at the point where we stopped to eat lunch.

We came across this huge raft of ducks just as we were preparing to disembark for lunch.

The place where we climbed up the bank to eat. We had buffet style lunch--sandwiches, drinks, salad, and beans, cookies, etc. It was very filling!

Our guide, Anna, Carole and Andy.

Anna took this of the crew on her raft (with my camera).

The canyon gets really narrow at this point.

I looked back to take a photo of the other raft coming down a series of rapids we'd just gone through.

This was the most fun I had. Toward the end of the trip I hopped out and rode some mild rapids just floating along in my life vest. I was smiling, but riding the river that way was very tiring!

Soon after this we came to the take out point and went ashore. The bus from the Flying Pig was there to pick us up and take us back into Gardner. We had a great time! Carole always books this kind of side-trip for us on our vacations, and we always have a blast!


Jack said...

Looks like a nice river trip! Yet another thing we didn't do during our trip to Yellowstone!

HemlockMan said...

This was actually just barely outside the park in Gardiner. Part of the trip borders park land. As you probably know, Carole loves canoeing and kayaking, so we had to book this trip. At first I resisted but I had a blast. Also, we got some really good views of both Electric Peak (almost 11K feet) and Sepulcher Mountain along the float. I seriously considered hiking Electric, but it's a 20-mile out and back hike. I'd have to do it as a two-day backpack. My days of 20-mile single-day marches are over.