We loved Yellowstone so much after our first visit, we went back again
the next year! What an amazing place…..the kids loved it and wanted to go back again even after the second trip!
On that second trip Ken had a surprise for all of us when we got to Jackson Hole……a whitewater rafting trip down the Snake River! I don’t think the internet was a big thing back then…..he’d made the ressies over the phone so when we arrived the first night he had to go and pick up the tickets for the next morning. I wasn’t a happy camper…..the kids were really excited. We’d all gone to bed early for our big exciting day but were woken up in the middle of the night by an incredibly spectacular thunder and lightening storm……I never slept a wink after that stewing about my “exciting” raft trip the next day.
Part of the trip was fun and quite pleasant…….floating down the river enjoying the scenery……and then WHAM!! I was terrified the kids…..and me…..were going to get thrown off the raft. I think there were probably about 10 of us on the raft. You go through a little orientation first and they show you the route that you’ll be taking and explain the different classes of rapids that we’d go through (possible one 5 but generally 4’s) and what to do IF you are tossed out of the raft….!!!!! Roll into as tight a ball as possible and tuck in your head…..I think I stopped listening at that point because my head was filling with scary thoughts. We were each given an oar and directions on how to paddle and when……our guide would give the order for that! Hah!!! I was so busy holding on for dear life and making sure my kids were still on the bloody raft there was no possible way I could have paddled. Luckily most of the others were not in panic mode like me and managed just fine.
After an hour or two, I did pull myself together realizing that our guide was experienced and knew what he was doing, even though the class 4 rapids send your heart and head for a loop, we really weren’t in too much danger and I started to enjoy myself a little bit. I even picked up my oar and paddled through a couple of the eddies. Ken and the kids absolutely loved it! They wanted to go again a few days later on a different river (don’t remember which one….) but our time and route didn’t make that work…….which I was quite thankful for!!! It’s one of those things that you really should at least try, which I did, and once was enough for me. I’m glad we did it.
Maybe one day my kids and I can take the grandchildren to Yellowstone (sans a whitewater raft trip!)……..I hope they’d enjoy it as much as we did twenty some years ago.