Under bright sunshine and brilliant blue skies, we enjoyed a beautiful drive from Yellowstone to Bozeman. With all the rain this area has had, the fields looked green and lush and the lakes were full of sparkling water. When we took the rafting trip on the Yellowstone River with Hartmut two weeks ago, we had also read about a full day trip on the Gallatin River, north of Yellowstone. It sounded somewhat more exciting with lots of whitewater, some class 4. We weren't sure whether Hartmut would enjoy this much excitement, but knew that we would and were happy that we had the time to made a stop here on our way north.
We were fully outfitted with wetsuits, booties, rain coats and life jackets, just as we were on the Yellowstone. But since the sun was out and the forecast for 80º temperatures, we omitted the layer of fleece. At one point after lunch a rogue cloud dumped a shower on us and as soon as the sun disappeared, I was wishing for that fleece again, but most of the day offered perfect rafting weather.
The first part of the trip was tranquil as we floated past bucolic scenes, but after the lunch stop the pace crescendoed. Ken took video until things got really exciting and the guide told him to put that camera away and start paddling. One stretch over a mile long was a real challenge. We would bounce off our seats with every wave and hope that we landed back in the raft again. The guide shouted paddling instructions and we did out best to comply. In some spots the way the water flowed around the rocks, it created eddies which could have sucked us in. The guides clearly were hoping that none of us would fly out of the raft. This was not an area where it would be easy to rescue someone. An extra boat joined us during the Mag Mile, but luckily all of us hung on tight and made it through, covered with cold water and screaming in delight. We didn't see too many other rafters with hair as gray as ours. They say you're only as old as you feel. We were back in our 20's again today!!