Thursday, July 7, 2016

Rafting Wyoming's Snake River

Just found these photos from my first-ever whitewater rafting trip. In 1982, our family was vacationing out west, including a visit to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. While in Jackson, Wyoming, we investigated the possibility of rafting. Our youngest, Steve (age 5), was too young for the trip but there was nowhere to leave him if we went without him, so we turned around and began leaving the rafting company's office when the clerk told us to hang on a minute. After a brief consultation with someone else in the office, she told us Steve could go on the trip, but we'd have to keep him sitting on the bottom of the raft and hold onto him. We agreed!

The scenery was drop-dead gorgeous for the eight mile trip through the Bridger National Forest. The river is rated at class II and III rapids, with the largest two rapids called Lunchcounter and Kahuna.

At Lunchcounter Rapid we knew why they had told us to hang onto the boys -- this fellow was  thrown out and quickly retrieved.

Here's the photo taken by the professional photographer just as we were about to hit the six-foot-tall standing wave of Big Kahuna Rapid.

You can see young Steve next to me in the bottom of the raft between the two girls who are in front. I enjoyed the whitewater experience so much that I've done whitewater rafting and canoeing over 20 times since then, including a number of multi-day expeditions where we camped each night on beaches.

When the trip was over, Steve was shaking from sitting in the cold water at the bottom of the raft for a couple hours. I asked if he had enjoyed the ride and he shivered,  "Yeah."  Then I asked if he'd like to do it again and he shivered, "Not right now."