Thursday, July 2, 2009

Paddling the Mighty Whitefish...

Hi Nancy 
The Mighty Whitefish is what my friend MaiBritt calls it.  The Whitefish River is not usually Mighty, but it can have some challenges.  The first challenge was SUN, and our crew met it head-on with lavish applications of sun block.  Katie went all out with SPF 55:
The rafting crew consisted of Katie, Christy, Joe, and MaiBritt, in Joe and MaiBritt's 10-ft. raft.  And what a great crew they were, always ready at a moment's notice to jump out of the raft and eat. 
 Brian at ease in his kayak - sometimes he seems half-man / half-kayak since he's spent so much time in them.  He just nosed his boat up to the dock and let it hang there...until someone opened up the beer and then he pulled alongside.
Katie kept us (and herself, sole child among five adults) entertained by playing with her food (here she's got a pickle in her mouth); 

swimming between raft and kayaks; 

and convincing Brian to paddle really fast while she hung on to the front of his kayak.  Unfortunately, there are no pictures of that.
We also saw an osprey, Brian says he saw western tanangers (we did see something yellow swooping over the river), ducks with ducklings, two or three beaver homes, and many swallows feeding on the river, along with their riverbank condos.  The clay bank below has a number of holes dug into it.
The float was a success in that nobody got sunburned, except in a couple of odd places where sunblock didn't go, we went through the scary culverts under Hwy 93 with no mishaps, and we got to have ice cream afterwards.  Not much got done the rest of the day by anyone except Christy, who had to drive back to Missoula as she left for Cannon Beach the next day at 5 am.  I'll bet she's having fun now too.  Maybe we can get some ocean pictures from her.
Love, Mary

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