Last week 10 buddies, 2 canoes, 2 rafts, 2 duckies, and 1,000lbs of gear took a 4-night float down the Smith River in Montana. It was a blast! Here are the top ten reasons why it was memorable.
1) Food, glorious, food!
I had an idea that river eating would be tough and we would be scraping together pieces of beef jerky and granola to make it through. Not so!! We ate like kings. Everyone was responsible for a meal or two and we had some seriously talented chefs with us. The food was so good that I hurt myself most meals stuffing my face. I was too busy eating to get pics of all of the meals, but here are a few:
2) Dry clothing
I have NEVER loved a dry pair of long underwear and socks more than during this trip. Between the constant rain and falling off the boat numerous times, I probably changed 3-5 times a day. Thank you Matt for allowing me to over-pack.
3) Forest and river creatures
I saw my first Montana bear! Lucky for me it was through binocs from across the river. He was a pretty black bear, and was very focused on flipping and licking off rocks for lunch. I also saw a rattlesnake, beaver, wild turkey (the animal not the whiskey), eagles, deer, ducks, ducklings, geese, gooslings (?), pelicans, blue herons, sand-hill cranes…really more birds than I can even name, a pregnant spider and your run-of-the-mill cows and sheep.
4) Old places
We took a couple little hikes up to an old Indian cave and an old homestead site.
5) Loading and unloading and loading and unloading….
The great part about a river trip is that you can bring everything and the kitchen sink. The bad part is when you have to load and unload it twice a day. Good thing I brought my sherpa.
Matt: “do we really need to bring your lasso, two bags of extra cloths and blankets to camp again?”
Thank goodness for waterproof tents! Our tent was probably the most important piece of gear as it rained all night every night. The communal tents over camp were pretty awesome too.
Oh wonderful fire!! Matt decided to run me head first into a wave in a rapid and I was soaked, again. But, 15 minutes later I was drying out next to a fire, ahhhh. Is Matt drying off or just showing off his sexy legs in this shot?
8 ) Campfire shenanigans
We passed the time in camp by reading, playing beauty parlor, singing ridiculous songs, telling tall tales, playing butt darts, drinking, throwing wooden hoops, and just farting around.
Only one of the anglers in our group had luck fishing – and boy did he! This was his third and biggest brown trout of the trip. It proves that fishing really is skill over luck, no wonder I never catch anything.
What a great looking bunch!
Cute Blue pic of the week:
Dogs were not allowed on the Smith, so Blue went to the Montana Dog Ranch and had a little vacation. She looks pretty happy: