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LENGTH about 3 hours (I lost track)
DIFFICULTY Easy with an awesome guide like “SOCCER MIKE”!
DATE July 3, 2017
MAIN FEATURES Amazing views of Middle Fork of the Flathead River.
Woke up at 4:45am, made the hostel coffee and headed out to Brownie’s front porch to enjoy the sunrise. I get the feeling that I am the only one awake in this little town, the baker is even still sleeping.
The Scouts roused themselves at 6am and we were all packed up and in the vans by 7am. No hike planned today. Today is rafting and exploring Apgar Village! One hour drive to the Apgar Transit Station in the West entrance of the Park.
We walked about a mile or so to kill some time and revisit the group camp sites that we stayed in during our first visit to Glacier. We then headed down to Lake McDonald to skip rocks. The Scouts have skipped rocks every day that we’ve been here! I hung up my hammock on the shore and chilled out until we had to head to the rafting company for our grand adventure!
Glacier Raft Company was a great outfitter to go through and everyone that works there is a comedian. Super funny guys that seem to really love what they do! They gave us a brief safety overview and loaded us up on an old school bus to head up river.
I haven’t really had much experience on rivers and definitely never rapids, so I was glad that the river was high but not raging at full force. We loaded up on the boats, had more safety talk and then off we went!
The first rapid was a little freaky, but after that it was a blast! Our guide, “Soccer Mike” was a great paddling guide as well as tour guide. He told us stories of floods, bridges destroyed by the force the raging river and even a train car that flew into the river somewhere. I would like to say I paid better attention but I was totally focused on not falling out of the boat…so some details are fuzzy.
The rapids had lovely names like “the bone crusher”, I do remember that.
About half way, we saw a crazy paddle boarder taking on the rapids! This guy was nuts and kind of nerve wracking to watch, but he looked like he knew what he was doing even when he fell off. The few pics I took on my water proof camera came out lame because, as I said earlier, I was focused on not falling out of the boat.
We met other rafters that squirted us with their bilge pumps and got into a few good water fights with paddles and pumps. It escalated into a full on pirate war with the other raft our troop was in and ended in “soccer Mike” boarding their raft and stealing their weapons! Ha!
Ironically, with all of my concentration on NOT falling out of the boat, my favorite part of the ride was jumping overboard into turquoise frigid water and swimming around. It was SO cold, I stiffened up and definitely needed help back in, but it was so exciting to be swimming in that crazy river with the mountains all around.
This was about the time that I realized that I had been in every freezing body of water I had encountered on the trip and would decide to keep the “dunk” streak going.
After a dinner south of the park, we headed back to Apgar village for a night of souvenir shopping, a dip in the creek, Lake McDonald and a well earned double scoop of Huckleberry Ice Cream.
EXCEPT THERE WAS NO HUCKLEBERRY ICE CREAM! ANY. WHERE.
After visiting every place that serves Ice Cream, I ate a dumb triple scoop of Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream with a sad face, because it was the only day on the trip that I didn’t get a scoop of Huckleberry Ice Cream. It was also July 3rd and kind of busy in the park. Oh well…we can laugh about it now.
Next post: Avalanche Lake…and a REAL BEAR! If you missed previous posts, check ’em out!