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Monday, November 15, 2010

You're all wet! So am I.

For the second summer in a row my son and I (along with some friends) decided to do some rafting while on our  motorcycle trip.  Last summer we rafted out of Pagosa Springs, CO.  During our trip to Yellowstone National Park we decided to raft out of Gardiner, MT on the Yellowstone River.

Gardiner is right outside the famed north gateway to the Yellowstone National Park known as the Roosevelt Arch that was dedicated by President Theodore Roosevelt on April 24, 1903.
We stopped for pictures at the famous arch on our way back to camp.

There were four rafting companies each offering full and half day trips.  After doing some research and reading different reviews I chose the Yellowstone Raft Company.  We opted for the 1/2 day trip.  Four of us, including my son and I, got up early and got in a great hike to Osprey Falls prior to our afternoon rafting experience.

We met the rest of our group at the Yellowstone Raft Company store in the afternoon.  We changed into appropriate clothes, picked up our life jackets, and were briefed about the trip.  We loaded up in the vans and rode to the launching locations only about a 1/4 mile from the store.  We carried the rafts to the river and began the wet and wild adventure.  Since there were eight of us in our group and another couple we split up with five in each raft along with our guides.
Raft #1 had five from our group and a guide.
Raft #2 - my son is manning the front right of the raft and getting really wet!
Both of our guides were friendly, funny, and knowledgeable.  They pointed out different mountains, plants, and geological features, including Devil's Slide.  Our guide had a great sense of humor and kept us laughing.  He would skillfully steer the raft toward the biggest waves ensuring maximum splashes.
Preparing for a big wave.
The other group also had some big splashes.
During one stretch of the river the water was pretty calm, but still flowing at a good rate.  Anyone that wanted to was welcome to go swimming or float along side the raft.  That mountain water is a little chilly so I stayed in the raft, but some jumped in.

To the south we could see Joseph Peak and Gray Peak of the Gallatin Range in YNP.  The views were awesome.  We saw birds, but no mammals.  The river was flowing at a good rate so there was plenty of excitement.  Overall it was a much "wetter" adventure than our rafting trip in 2009.

If you are visiting YNP or that area and you want to do some rafting I would check out the Yellowstone Rafting Company.  They did a great job - we had fun, got wet, learned about the area, and we were kept safe.  What more could you want?

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