A Road, River and Renewal in the Rocky Mountains of Montana

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A river trip was badly needed, heat beat, clean the mud off from pedal play in Fernie, British Columbia and we were looking forward to ‘River Wild’ time.

Leaving Fernie, with the dramatic rock headwall of the Lizard Range looming in the rear view mirror, short hop, just 1.5 hrs., South across the border, to Whitefish, Montana. Less than 10 minutes behind the wheel, in a dramatic rock-walled canyon, around a sharp turn, hit the brakes, as ‘wild’ time everywhere here. Rocky Mountain Sheep jam.

We have arrived in Whitefish, surrounded by the namesake mountain range and nestled on the shores of Whitefish Lake, to do some hiking and whitewater rafting in Glacier National Park.

A short drive away is the Middle Fork, Flathead River, on the southern border of Glacier National Park, famed for being the infamous Hollywood location for the shooting of ‘River Wild’. We are greeted at Glacier Raft Company, by the whitewater boating and skiing industry legend, Onno Wieringa, who shares with us his professional knowledge of the river and Glacier National Park. We are in good hands going with Onno, Darwon, Sally and the highly trained team at Glacier Raft Company.

We had planned to spend a couple of days on the river and put in at Cascadilla, located about 35 minutes from their office. River time can’t be beat and throw in a hot sunny afternoon in August and you have the perfect recipe for quality water play time- swimming, paddling, riverside picnic and more swimming. Along the upper section there are numerous sandy beaches that will make perfect campsites and beautiful forested banks with periodic glimpses to the high peaks of Glacier National Park and or on the southern edge of the river into the famed Bob Marshall Wilderness.

As you meander your way down the river, enjoying more river time, you are lulled by the gentle current which has a magic way of erasing regular city noises and the routine of daily life. The last part of the journey picks up the pace and paddling quickens, as we navigate the famed whitewater section of the river. A fun, frothy, wave filled day, soaked and laughing as we paddled the day away through a series of more than 8 named rapids.

For more info on half day, full day and overnight whitewater trips, visit: http://www.glacierraftco.com.

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