Thursday, August 21, 2008

Adventures in kayaking

Driving to the Tetons from Bozeman we took the Gallatin Gateway, home of the Gallatin River. We were just driving along minding our own business when there came this torrent of whitewater next to the road, and an idea was born. A couple days after getting back from the Tetons we had bought our first kayak.

So of course we had to try it out, Mike manned the kayak and Monica and I shared an inner-tube we had found on the side of the road that actually still held air. We figured for the first trip it would be best to conquer a less torrent-full river, so we chose the Madison.

Mental preparation, hard at work

And he's off

We had a very pleasant float albeit a quiet shallow one- although I did manage to knock Monica off the raft pretty good once. Much to Michael's dismay about a half hour through the trip his legs had gone completely numb. Apparently the boat was just a little bit too small for him. So it was time to buy kayak number 2.

But first it was my birthday
Yay my very special day

With Mike scouring Craigslist and the paper we found 2 kayaks the next day, and he decided he wanted something more streamlined so he could slice through that water, and be able to fit his legs in it.

This is it. We took it to the pond the next day and taught ourselves how to eskimo roll. It may look simple enough, but let me tell you it goes against everything that your little instincts tell you to do. If you stick your head up first out of the water you'll go right back under.

We both learned in his boat because it was easier to flip- who knew a whiffle ball on top of your head could look so cool. I'm telling you it's gonna be the next fashion.

Then the day after that I tried it in my boat- and after more hours and hours of practice got it to work pretty darn good.

So then the next day we decided we were ready. After spending the morning at the lake, just to make sure we had the roll down, we here headed off to the Gallatin.
I was so nervous looking at the river I was shivering despite the 90 degree heat.

I know it doesn't look like much here, but do a you tube search of the Gallatin River and you'll understand. I flipped twice, and Mike flipped once. He was able to get himself back over, putting that eskimo roll into practice, but I couldn't quite get it and had to bail out of my kayak instead. This left me floating down the river in my life jacket and Mike chasing after my boat. We eventually all reunited, and next time I'm gonna be ready with my roll. It was terrifying but really really fun. We're just waiting for the next warm day so we can go back again. Maybe I won't direct the kayak on top of the giant rock in the middle of the river next time around...we'll just have to wait and see.

Our newest additions.

The after shot: Cold and wet, but very happy

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