Monday, October 02, 2006

Salmon River Trip with The Family

On September 15, we closed operations on the Yellowstone River in Gardiner for the season. A few days later, we left for a 5 day trip down the Main Salmon River in Idaho. Although we have canoed and rafted the Main many times before, this trip was really special because we were able to bring my Mom - Brenda Wilson from Toronto, my Auntie Dee from Vancouver and Baby Teebird (age 20 mos).

We brought 2 oar rigs - one for me (Margot) and one for Bill. We packed for two days, trying to make SURE that we had everything to make the trip perfect. Upon arrival at Corn Creek Put In (6 hours from home), we realized that we had forgotten our cam straps. If you know anything about rafting, you know that cam straps are as important as oars. They are for tying your gear into the boat. We were paralysed. Brenda - Grandma - had put the bag of cammies in the shed, thinking she was Helping us Put Things Away. She said - "You seemed to have so many of those things, I couldn't imagine that you would need more". She felt so bad. She had really screwed up the trip. We might as well turn around.

Well, obviously, we didn't. Within 30 seconds of sending a message to the Great Goddess of Cammies, a cute guy named Dan arrived in a Jet Boat. He just happened to work at the Salmon River Lodge.He loaned us a ton of cammies - WOW. What a cool guy. He didn't want any money but Bill had some tips falling out of his lifejacket so we tipped him. What a honey.

The first day was gorgeous. The last day was gorgeous. The days in between were rainy, cloudy and gnarly! The class III rapids provided enough excitement and we portaged Baby Tee on 3 of the biggest rapids. The rest of them, she either slept through or yelled "wheeee!"

On day 4, after 3 days of rain, Mom and Auntie Dee were over it. Wet, sandy tents and sleeping bags were just too much for these civilized ladies. Neither of them had slept a wink, even when dry. Dee stopped talking. Brenda went delirious. Late that day, we stopped at Shepp Ranch. Perfect Timing! They had rooms for us and were preparing a shrimp and steak banquet for a Hunting Guides Birthday Party. Wow. Shepp Ranch, right across from the Buckskin Bill Museum, is such a friendly place!

Luckily, the last night was sunny and warm and everybody ended the trip with comfy, dry clothes on.
It was a blast! Grandma even cried when it was over.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

String Band Goes Rafting!

Hot Buttered Rum String Band came by, parked their veggie oil powered tour bus in the back lot and came rafting with us! These fun, talented guys from Mill Valley, CA have been coming to Bozeman regularly to entertain and enlighten with their original tunes in the bluegrass style. They had a great time and then spread the love (like butter) by putting their raft guides on the guest list for their show the following night at the Filler in Bozeman. And what a show it was! Lots of dancing, laughing and lovin'!
We look forward to seeing them again.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Montana Whitewater - Wins!

Could it be true? Montana Whitewater wins Raft Races on the Gallatin AND Yellowstone Rivers!!
Sure, some of our big guns from the Gally went over to Gardiner to Kick Butt in the Yellowstone Race - Jakey, the Gangster, Deni the Meni and the Gangster's Lady Hillary - augmented the already Rockin Crew Of Shani, Julie, Madgical Madge and the Newbies. Wow. This year's race even attracted corporate sponsor, Red Bull!
Thanks to all the other raft companies who particpated. They paddled so hard that it made it even more exciting to Beat Them!

The Gallatin Whitewater Festival was a good time and we always love the raft race. This year, Deni the Meni guided a stellar crew to victory - for the second year in a row. And for the second time in history!
Some kids had an oversized ducky that looked hilarious and fun- and made it even more of a party float. Yee Haw!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Guide Training 2006

This spring weather makes me realize that spring is on it's way! The warm breezes and little pussy willows make me feel those butterflies and tingles that I always get at high water time!
This year's guide school is shaping up to be The Best Ever!
Since we started the Guide School 4 or 5 years ago - it has been a great experience for all involved. Many people who come to us with No whitewater experience ending up having what they so often tell me is the best summer of their lives. Wow! As a person who has lived for summer since first attended summer camp in 1981, I can say that I couldn't be prouder to be a part of something so important, enriching and Wonderful!
Becoming a Raft Guide requires hard work, dedication and motivation. Our best guides, and the people that we know who really enjoy guiding are people who are charismatic, optimistic, funny and open to learning and growing. The best Whitewater Paddlers are humble people who continue the learning process with every river experience.
We are filling up for our Guide School - and I'm happy to report that we are %100 female so far! So guys, get on it if you are thinking about it!
Do we hire everyone from the Guide School?
We can't Guarantee employment for obvious reasons, but if you are motivated, friendly and willing to put in the time to train, chances are, we will have work for you...
Summer 2006 is going to be Awesome!

Monday, January 09, 2006

The Hero Cam, Skiing at Big Sky & Cute Guy Max

The most common question that we get asked is “what do you do in the winter?” What do you DO?? Well, there’s always some kind of work to do- always something we can do to plan for next season, learn from last season or improve on some level. But it’s work. The boring kind. And that’s not what we’re here to talk about. What you really want to see is photos of Becca (office ‘04-‘05) and I shredding the pow at Big Sky yesterday. It was SICK! And I had my new Hero Camera – it’s the coolest! Actually, I will give the full review when I get the phots developed (yes kids, the ol fashioned way! You have to wait). But we are very excited about the Hero Camera. It’s a small, reusable water proof camera (retail $20) that straps to your wrist so you can get those Action Shots! We already ordered a case to sell at MWW, hopefully discouraging purchase of those nasty disposable cameras (retail $15) that clog the landfills with all the other disposable JUNK that we buy…
Anyways, Skiing with the Hero Cam was fun, if only to be able to say “Hero Cam Me!” or “You’re on Hero Cam!”. Hopefully the pics will turn out great and we can confidently offer this camera to the do it yourself photographer rafters at MWW this summer…

Did I mention that the guy who invented the Hero Cam is totally Cute?

Speaking of totally cute, while at Big Sky, we got to run into one of our favorite totally cute raft guides, Max Stevens - check him out on our staff page (Yellowstone ‘04, Gallatin ’05). It’s hard to convince such a totally brilliant guy that he needs to be a raft guide for the rest of his life but I try every time. This kid is just such a total gem that I can’t help myself. I don’t want to see his beauty, sense of humor and lively sparkle drain out of his being and swirl down the pipes at some laboratory at some corporation in some heartless concreteland. There’s just something about being outside and having fun that gives people that sparkle that makes them totally cute. So what if he has the brains to develop that crazy equation that might save the world- he’s too cute for that!