Posts Tagged ‘Rafting’

Rafting the Alberton Gorge of the Clark Fork River in Montana

 

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Rapids on the Clark Fork River (photo credit:  Mike Malament of Montana River Photography)

I recently went to Montana on a family vacation in honor of my nephew’s graduation. My family has a long history of summer rafting trips, and I thought it would be fun to continue the tradition with my brother and his family, including my three awesome nephews.

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Kevin, my raft trip guide

My nephews are Boy Scouts and outdoors types, so we picked a full day rafting whitewater rafting adventure through the Alberton Gorge on the Clark Fork River near Missoula.

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Kevin in action on the Clark Fork River

The trip was a good combination of gorgeous scenery, peaceful floating, and class III+ rapids.

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A day on the Clark Fork River

Raft technology has improved greatly since the summers of my youth when you had to manually bail out the rafts. Now they are smaller, more mobile and self-draining. This made the whole experience pleasant.

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Montana’s Big Skies

About halfway through our trip, we stopped at Split Rock Beach for a nice lunch spread set up by our guides, Kevin and Jake.

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Scenic smooth water on Montana’s Clark Fork River

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My brother and I shared a raft, just like old times

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Split Rock Beach: A lovely spot for lunch

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Human mountain goats

Record warm temps made the Clark Fork River perfect for swimming. We spent a bit of time jumping off this this rock into the river.

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Rock climbing in the Alberton Gorge GIF.

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Left: Kevin led the way up the rocks Right: My nephew jumping into the Clark Fork River

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My nephew Reese has mad rock building skills

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Rockitecture on the Clark Fork River

Paddling a raft while photographing can be challenging. Fortunately, Mike Malament of Montana River Photo has a set up to photograph some of the best rapids of the day.

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Awesome rapid splashiness (photo credit: Mike Malament/Montana River Photo)

Our whitewater rafting trip ending mid-afternoon, just as temperatures were getting uncomfortably hot. We were craving a beer. Our trusty river guides Kevin and Jake suggested we stop at Big Sky Brewing Company‘s Tasting Room, which had free samples.

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Missoula’s Big Dipper Ice Cream made for the perfect ending to the day

Jake suggested we stop at Big Dipper Ice Cream in Missoula before heading back to Paws Up. After a cold adult beverage, ice cream was a good call for the kids.

My Clark Fork Raft Trip was arranged by the concierge staff at Paws Up.

The Resort at Paws Up

40060 Paws Up Road
Greenough, MT 59823
Toll Free: 877-588-7151
Int’l/Local: 406-244-5200
Fax: 800-473-0687
theresort@pawsup.com

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Evolution From Camping to Glamping: A Photo Essay for #ThrowbackThursday

Rocking a dress while grilling on a camping trip. Once a glamper, always a glamper

Rocking a dress while grilling on a camping trip. Once a glamper, always a glamper

Until today I have resisted #throwbackthursday because I dislike social media peer pressure (an twitter alliteration) and I find much of it gimmicky.

But as I’ve spent this week editing photos I shot on my trip on assignment for Glamping.com to Cresto Ranch and Dunton Hot Springs in Colorado, I decided to include some of of these pictures of family camping trips of my youth to make a point: once a glamper, always a glamper.

Inspecting my tea for bugs on a rafting trip on the Salmon river

Inspecting my tea for bugs on a rafting trip on the Salmon river

Me by a campfireSmores in the works at The Resort at Paws Up

Left: Me by a campfire.  Right: Smores in the works at The Resort at Paws Up

I’m pretty sure my dad still has that tent in the picture. I vividly remember it’s musty smokey smell.

The tents at Cresto Ranch (complete with comfy bedding, wifi and bathrooms) are more comfortable than ripstop nylon tents of my youth, yet still give you the camping experience. You still wake to the sounds of the birds and river. You still come across random bugs, but your back doesn’t ache from sleeping on the hard ground. And you can take a hot shower.

The tents at Cresto Ranch are comfy yet still feel like campingThe tents at Cresto Ranch are comfy yet still feel like camping

The tents at Cresto Ranch are comfy yet still feel like camping

When I was a kid summer vacations were spent on trips that started with my parents packing all four of us kids into the family truckster and heading out west. We visited many National Parks (Glacier was a favorite). When we camped we brought in everything. There were no bathroom facilities. It was not posh. But it was fun.

Rafting with my brothers and cousin (who later became a ranger)

Rafting with my brothers and cousin (who later became a ranger)

We usually went white water rafting for several days at a time– the trip I remember most involved several days on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho. I learned to fish on that trip. I attempted to master fishing that summer to no avail. Maybe I’ll try again when I return to Montana next month.

I got my feet (and seat) wet learning to wade while fishingI got my feet (and seat) wet learning to wade while fishing

Glamping self-portrait in Montana, still rocking a dress

Glamping self-portrait in Montana, still rocking a dress

I still enjoy the camping experience and glamping takes a lot of the hassle out of it. If you didn’t grow up camping and aren’t sure if you’d like it– give  glamping a try. You might like it.

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