Day 12 - The Bonecrusher & a New Evans Hobby??

Trip Start Jul 22, 2011
Trip End Aug 15, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Montana
Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I just love it when the kids rave about one of our holiday days. Today all three of them were in complete agreement for once, and said that today has been the highlight of the holiday so far! What's more....Lyn and I have to agree. So what did we do that was so special? Well, I eventually got Lyn to agree to try white water rafting; something I’ve been keen to try for years, and something he has tried to avoid. I even bought him a white water rafting experience one year as a surprise Christmas present, which nearly led to divorce! (He swapped it for a tank driving day!!)

We signed up for a half day white water rafting experience yesterday whilst in West Glacier. We were going to raft on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River, in Class 2 & 3 rapids. We had noted with envy yesterday the rafters as we drove down the highway parallel to the river, little did we know we would do it today.

Wow. Just bloody wow. What an experience...all we could have hoped for and more. I think the Evans’s might have found a new hobby. The kids even wanted to book straight away again for tomorrow! Even Lyn had to agree it was fun, and he loved it! See, Luce is right again! When will he learn!

We were booked on the 11am session, and got onto the bus with a load of other people, towing the rafts on a trailer behind us. We met the 4 guides on the bus, and had to do a lot of the usual American whooping and hollering, "giving it up" for our guides. Yee har, and a big wooo hoo! We were told we were on raft 3, with another family of 3.

Our guide was Maddie, who was really sweet. She is from Salt Lake City, and has been guiding in Glacier for 2 summers, when not guiding she is a kayaker. She is living in a converted school bus when she is in Glacier! She was fab, and taught us all the safety rules we needed to know, and how to obey all her rafting commands. She had Lyn doing all sorts, so I will now have to use her voice to command Lyn in the future.

We had driven 8 miles from West Glacier, and were going to paddle the 8 miles back; 4 miles of quite leisurely paddling, then 4 miles of rapids! The weather was beautiful....although the river was cold, as we quickly found out.

We were in the raft with a family from Atlanta; Jim, Janet and their daughter Sarah. They were lovely people, and we all got along really well; making the trip even more fun. Lyn and Jim were named as “chief paddlers” and were placed at the front of the raft...guess who was going to get the wettest??

Lyn and Jim were so engrossed in conversation they missed quite a few of Maddies rowing commands. And yes they both got very wet.

The rapids were awesome. The biggest stretch of rapids is known as the Bonecrusher, and my bum left the raft and lifted about 2 foot in the air when we rode it! this stretch of river is the one features in the film "The River Wild", so I felt like Meryl Streep at this point! 

  It sounds inadequate describing the rapids...but I can’t think what else to a sock in a washing machine on the spin cycle........  Lyn was told to row straight, but when he put his oar in the water there was no water just air, the next second he was underwater as the waves hit.  There was a chicken line running through the centre of the boat, Lyn admits to holding it twice !! At one point the river which is running at 250% volume for August, flows through a narrow channel about 30 feet wide. Maddie explained the depth at this point was in excess of 70 feet, that’s all I knew we flew through the gap. Amazing. Please don't think the photos are of the rapids....I was too busy paddling to take my hands off my oar and onto the camera then! We did get a DVD of professional photos taken of us riding the rapids, but don't have a DVD reader with us to include them in the blog.

On a quieter part of the river, the kids had a chance to go over the side and then be pulled back in the raft, and Tegz had a chance to “ride the bull” sitting on the front of it, going through the rapids. In the US, to qualify as having ridden the bull is about 8 seconds... Tegz did not qualify, but she was a hero for attempting it. We were all soaked through.

The trip was over all too soon....never before has 2 and a half hours gone so quickly. After finishing the rafting, were dropped off at a beach on the river, we all walked back to the rafting offices to change like heroes in our wet kit, carrying our oars and life vests across the bridge and down the highway.

On a high, we went from there to Lake McDonald for a picnic, and the kids had a quick swim in the lake. We then drove onto Columbia Falls, to our first big supermarket in a week, then back to East Glacier via the Theodore Roosevelt Highway.

As is typical of our road trip we follow our nose and follow local signs so in the town of Hungry Horse, Lyn pulled off to a side road and drove up to the Hungry Horse Dam.  Lyn and Ci had a walk over the dam, all 560+ feet of vertical concrete, Lyn explained why the dam was convex and explained the workings to Cian and has now promised to watch the Dam Busters with him, boys will be boys!

The drive home seemed to take forever...we were all knackered. Our last full day here tomorrow, where Lyn and Io are going to do the Highline Trail, while Tegz, Ci and I pack up the house for our long journey south on Thursday.
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mcfarlne on

Hey hey hey...Loving it! Wow what a day that must have been and i bet jumping in that water was freezing! I love the fact that the days are getting better and better for you guys :0).

It was my last day at work today and i have spent the evening packing! We are off to London tomorrow afternoon and fly out 1145 am Saturday. I can't wait :0).

Have even more fun tomorrow :0)
Chris x

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