Rafting the Rapids of the Snake River

Skillfully Manning the Snake River
Skillfully Manning the Snake River

 

With just a few white puffy clouds and temperatures in the 70’s, it is a fine day for a whitewater rafting trip. Five of us pack into one vehicle, as we journey to Jackson where I shuttle awaits us. When we arrive, our crew outfits themselves in wetsuits and I ponder my need for one. I know I’ll be getting wet, but it’s one of the warmest days since I arrived in Wyoming. I join a few brave souls and opt out of the wetsuit.

 

Heading to the Raft
Heading to the Raft

 

Our shuttle driver takes us to West Table Creek and 14 of us strap on life jackets and ponchos and climb into the raft. We leave the bank and there’s no turning back.

 

Our Guide Informing Us On the Height of the Rapids
Our Guide Informing Us On the Height of the Rapids

 

Matt, our guide, gives us a lowdown on what to do if a member falls out or the boat flips. “Try to remain on your back if you don’t want a mouthful of water,” he advises. I’m beginning to understand the importance of the wetsuit, as I reach down and feel the numbing water with a temperature of 40 some degrees.

 

Mae in a Moment of Panic
Mae in a Moment of Panic

 
Mae, a first-time rafter, asks, “So we’re not going on a scenic float trip?” Someone failed to mention to her that rapids were going to be involved. After a brief moment of panic, she proudly grabs a paddle and chooses her side of the raft.

 

Mid-Rapid
Mid-Rapid

 

 

The safety talk is complete and we are cruising down the river to face boiling eddies, unpredictable currents, steep gradients, and souse holes. We meet our first rapid as four foot waves pour over our raft. I am drenched, but smiling none-the-less.

 

Paddle and Break
Paddle and Break
                   
Nick Jumps in for a Swim
Nick Jumps in for a Swim

 

We floated 8-miles of the Snake River, with only two overboard and merely by choice, as our guide allowed anyone adventurous enough to hop in for a quick swim. The canyon was a beautiful sight with Osprey nestled in the trees and Bald Eagles soaring above. Our crew skillfully maneuvered over the infamous Lunch Counter, a Class II-IV rapid (depending on the time of year). 

We concluded our trip with Champagne. No, not the bubbly, but a section of the river containing millions of tiny air bubbles rising to the surface after having been trapped by the rushing water.   

 

A Beautiful Day Down the River
A Beautiful Day Down the River

 

Our whitewater rafting trip was a sweet success, as our soaking bodies piled into the van and headed back to Jackson. There are a selection of whitewater trips, scenic floats, and overnight trips down the Snake River for all levels of adventurous tastes. For the whitewater trip, I suggest wearing a wetsuit.

Posted from Katie’s Corner

 

Melissa Post-Trip with Some Excess Water in her Booties
Melissa Post-Trip with Some Excess Water in her Booties

 

 

Mae Conquered Those Rapids
Mae Conquered Those Rapids
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