Here are two more highlights of our trip. It’s hard to really nail down in my mind what was my favorite thing but I think these were the top two events of our week in the mountains. These were the most adventurous things that we did and it was truly exhilarating!
St. Mary’s Glacier
This sign said 3/4 mile to the base of the glacier, but it seemed much much further than this. When Tom and I got out of the car we just looked at the trail and looked at each other. It was completely rocky and a steep uphill climb. We could do this but we had a sled and 3 kids in tow. We comforted ourselves with the thought that this was probably just the trail head and the terrain would change once we got up this first hill – HA!
This is what the trail looked like the whole way up the mountain. I have to say that having Bill and MK, Jonathan, Daniel, Carol and Stu is what got the kids up the trail. They distracted them and had them jumping and climbing the rocks and before you knew it, we had made it to the lake.
It was a truly spectacular site!! The most beautiful, pristine lake on top of the mountain. In the backdrop you can see the snow glacier. It was sooo peaceful. You could just feel it. I was in awe and amazed at the scenery before my eyes and I immediately felt such satisfaction that we made the gruelling hike up there. It was worth it!
We played around the lake, watching fish jump and people fishing and caught our breath. Jonathan went way on ahead and hiked toward the glacier. The kids followed him so that made our decision to continue on to the snow. It seemed like a really long way away, but we made it. As we neared the snow bank you could feel the temperatures begin to drop. It was like walking into an air conditioned room of God’s house.
The glacier was pretty slippery and steep, so the kids slid down on the sled pretty carefully. One person got them started and another would stand at the bottom and catch them. It really could have been pretty dangerous otherwise.
It’s fun to be able to say that we had a snowball fight on July 2nd.
White Water Rafting!!!
I first must give another big “Thank You!” to my parents and to Tom’s parents for watching the kiddos all day so that Tom and I could have this wonderful exciting experience together. So thank you soooo much!!!! We appreciate all that you do for us.
If you ever get to Colorado, the rafting is a MUST! This was exciting and adventurous and I am so glad I got to try my hand at this. I could see how this would be addicting. One thing I plan to do since coming home is to watch The River Wild again. We thought a lot about this movie while floating down the canyon.
Here are both of our rafts. We filled up two of them. Our boat had Brandon as a guide and he was great. You can see him in the picture below – he’s the skinny one. He’s the tall guy on the right. The other boat had Erin as their guide and she was the only girl guide we had with all the boats we floated with.
Kenny, Barb, Tom , me, Shawn, Christi and Brandon
Daniel, Stu, Jonathan, Carol, Mary Kay and Bill
It was all out war between our boats. Anytime we got close enough to fling water with our paddles at one another, we did! We were pretty soaked all the time. I kept having a problem remembering to close my mouth and was constantly spitting out the water.
We started our float by getting all suited up with our jackets and booties, grabbing a paddle and getting on the bus. It drove us up to the river where we got the rafts ready and met our guides. We then picked up the boats and carried them down this steep hill to the river.
Tom was the first to get into our raft and we all watched as he put a leg over, tried to pull himself in and fell backwards right into the water! It was really funny! We also were informed of how cold the water was at that point. I don’t have a picture of his big splash right now, but if I get it I will be sure to post it.
If you have never been rafting . . .you sit on the outside edge of the raft. The only thing keeping you from falling out is your feet. You kick and wedge your feet into the raft in order to hang on when in the rapids. Your feet get really sore after awhile, so whenever the river is calm you pull them out and relax.
This is how the river looked a lot of the time. You could just sit and look at scenery or have a water war with other boats, but then the rapids would come and it was a blast. You really had to listen to your guide and row together to get the boat through them. One of the rapids was called the toilet bowl and it looked just like one. It was a circling huge current of boiling water and we were told we would either do it correctly or all end up swimming. We did it correctly! Jonathan was the only one of us that ended up swimming in the water. They had just gotten through a set of rapids and were high fiving with their paddles when they hit a rock and he went flying out of the raft.
Once we got Jonathan back in the boat, we pulled off for a break and for lunch. They had a wonderful spread for us! I was shocked it wasn’t peanut butter and jelly.
Here’s some of our cool rafting pictures. . .
If you are now reading this line, I know you have endured this long post. Thanks for sticking with it. I will try to make the next ones shorter. There is just so much to show and say about our trip.