Thursday, June 26, 2008

River Rafting in Jasper

Surprisingly, one of our most favorite activites on our trip was the Rafting on the Athabasca River. We left our hotel early Sunday morning and bussed out about 25 miles from Jasper where we were to start our rafting adventure.

We were all given these yellow plastic bag-like gear and told to put them on first. Then a guide outfitted us with proper life vests to put on over our plastic baggies. Next we had a lesson in "how to get onto the raft." As we were all sizes, and I mean ALL sizes, this wasn't an easy task for most of us! First you walk across a gang plank and step onto the raft. Then you make your way onto a seat and squish in real tight, locking your feet inside a rope near the floor.

As soon as we were all settled in safely, our boatsman, Shamus, moved out into the river and began a nice, slow float. How relaxing! And what a beautiful day to float lazily down the river! Well, that didn't last long! As soon as he was sure we were all comfortable and happy, Shamus quickly located the rapids and took us for a grand ride. Just imagine a boat load of senior citizens bouncing out on the river! As far as rapids go, these were probably equivalent to the bunny hill on a ski slope, but, boy, were they fun!

It didn't take long to understand why we had our plastic baggies on! We had enough warning to put our cameras under wraps and hang onto to the hand ropes. And had enough calm waters to get lots of great pictures. Then, as we were coming to the end of our ride, we crossed under a bridge where a photographer waited to take a group picture! What a fun time!

Enjoy the slide show that follows.

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