Hi folks, how are you!?
I can’t believe that May has now almost passed and that we’re about to go into the second half of 2018 in just a few days. Time has flown by and it’s hard to grasp that we’ve been in Canada for 6 months already. Anyways – moving on!
This weekend we got to experience one of the most fun things so far on this trip; We went white water rafting on the Kicking Horse river and it was AMAZING!
As you might remember if you’ve read our blog, we recently did a Workaway just outside Golden with a family who were building an earthship. There we got to know Jair, the dad of the family who besides building on their future home also works as a river rafting guide. The season for river rafting has just started which meant there were some new rafting guides in training. Late Saturday night I got a call from Jair asking if we would be interested in going rafting the next day as they needed people to fill the boats for one of the new instructors and we would be able to get a full day of rafting for a fraction of the price – Hell yeah was our answer!
At 10am we showed up at the Glacier Raft Company just outside of Golden where we signed some waivers (Glacier Raft Company may or may not now own our souls – we didn’t really read the fine print), got fitted with wetsuits and got information of what the day would have in store. Approximately an hour later we got onto a bus who took us down to the Kicking Horse river and the start for our rafting experience. Once there, we were given a standard safety talk on what to do if you fell out of the boat and were then assigned our rafting guides for the day. We were also told that this was an ideal time of the year to go rafting as the river was very high from all the melted snow coming down from the mountains. Hell yeah!
Our guide’s name was Dave and he was new to the Glacier Rafting Company but had plenty of experience already as a rafting guide. We were also joined by another new rafting guide, Josh, tagging along in the boat for the day, as well as two English guys who also had been sent there by Jair. Once on the raft you’re not actually strapped into anything, but you sit on the edge of the boat and wedge your feet on the inside as to not fall out. There are also ropes to hold onto on both the outside and the inside of the raft, but other than that it’s left up to yourself to make sure you stay on.
The rafting day was divided in two halves with a lunch break in the middle. The first stretch of the river was fairly mellow and was spent focusing on learning the different commands we needed to know. White water rafting isn’t just floating along on the boat but you actually have to take action and participate in making sure the boat goes where you want it to go! Our little crew quickly nailed the different commands (“forward paddle, back paddle, hold on”) and I’d like to state that I think we were all naturals. Just my personal opinion.
It was a great way to start the day and get used to being on the river before we hit the bigger rapids in the afternoon. We also stopped by a waterfall along the river that we quickly hiked up to and got under! After an hour or so we stopped for lunch at a little picnic spot next to the river where staff had set up a big BBQ. I had a vegetarian burger and Matilda had grilled chicken and it was super tasty.
It soon got around to getting back onto the river and hit the real waves! We had it explained to us that rafting is usually graded on a scale between 1 and 5, where 1 is moving water and 5 is some real serious stuff that could also be very dangerous if done wrong. The first half of our day had been mostly class 2 with a few class 3’s, and for the afternoon we were about to enter a section of the river with mainly class 4 all the way. Bring it on!
And holy crap. It was so awesome. Matilda and I were both sitting on either side of the front of the boat, which meant we would automatically take the biggest hits of water once we hit the waves. Once we entered that part of the river it was hard to keep track of how long we actually spent there, as you were just focusing on one wave at a time. When you’re on the water as well, the waves look massive! Instead of trying to explain it to you take a look at the video and pictures below showing us getting completely drenched.
After a while we stopped at another small waterfall mainly to stretch our legs, before hitting the last section of the river. At the last stretch we all jumped out of the raft and just floated along beside it on the river which was also very awesome. I accidentally floated in front of the raft and it took me a while to get back to it, as the current was so strong.
A little bit after 3pm we had reached the end and hauled the rafts up onto the shore and all got back on the bus, hyped up after an incredible day on the water. The bus took us back to the base where beer was being passed around, to celebrate that everyone who went out that morning had made their way back. At least that was the excuse for the beer drinking and I’m just going to go with it.
So that was the story of both mine and Matilda’s first ever rafting experience! I can honestly say that it’s one of the funnest things I’ve ever done and I can’t wait for another opportunity to do it again. I’ve had it on my bucket list for quite some time so – tick! I would also like to add a MASSIVE thank you to Jair for setting us up and to the Glacier Raft Company for an incredible day on the river. If you are ever in the area and want this experience, they are an ideal company to go with and you won’t regret it.