|Day 3 at Deadrock Ranch|
Whitewater Rafting, Cowboy Camp
The River Warrior
Girded For Battle with the Raging Waters
We rose again at 6:45 for another outstanding breakfast and a day of white water rafting. Due to the drought, we had to travel about 75 miles into Yellowstone Park to find a spot with enough current to provide a reasonable experience
Ready for the Water
Facing the Raging Torrents
We got suited up for the water, including these bulky life jackets and those unusual "booties" to protect the feet. We got a short lesson on paddling ("Always paddle into the Rapids.") and Staying in the Boat ("You can't get tossed out of the boat if you are paddling.") Since I can't swim, I took my paddling very seriously.
His name is "Point", too...
We spent the entire day on the river, accompanied by our colorful guide whos name was "Point". We got a liberal education about the river and its flora and fauna. I was impressed by the Osprey and the Merganser ducks.
We stopped at a hot spring which flows into the Yellowstone River, and we found out that the Earth's crust is very thin at this spot and that the molten magma is fairly close to the surface, and thus the hot underground springs
Due to the low volume of the river, we only had a few real "Roller Coaster" rides. Since I can't swim, this was not at all a problem for me.
On the River
A Calm Spot
We hit a calm spot and I was able to take the camera out of the "dry bag" and shoot this picture of my partner. We were at a place called Osprey which is named after all the Osprey nests around.
Just after this, two of our companions, Jody and Jeremy, exited the boat and body-surfed through the rapids. I admire them for their bravery! And --- the water was very cold.
We do this Everywhere...
We pulled the boats out of the water to find that the Ranch had sent a wonderful lunch of fried chicken down. We enjoyed the lunch in the shade of a very nice willow in the middle of nowhere. It is not easy to do a lockup when you are wearing a life vest... especially when you are BOTH wearing life vests.
The Tour Bus
Another "Over the Top" Experience
After doing a little Lindy Hop in the Saloon, we joined Floyd and several of the wranglers in a trip to a high mountain work camp. Our transportation for the evening was a 1938 Yellowstone Tour Bus (manufactured by the White Truck Company). The ranch is really 18,000 acres and it took us 45 minutes to drive to the camp. Once we were there, I got a lesson in roping from Floyd and then we barbecued inch thick t-bone steaks in the crisp mountain air.
The Chow Bell
Another Cowboy Myth
In view of all the skills that I had developed, the wranglers entrusted me with a very important duty --- ringing the chow bell. I think that my performance was satisfactory --- everyone rushed to the table.
The Coffee Pot
It Really Tastes Great...
I got to help the cook make boiled coffee in a big spatterware pot that hung over the campfire. You mix the grounds and water and let it boil until a teaspoon stands traighht up in it... Eggshells are added to clear the grounds from the coffee and it is decanted very gently into spatterware cups. The best coffee in the world!
After listening to the wranglers tell stories about the rodeo, we piled back in the bus and made the journey home.
As we said, before, we took quite a few photos, so we have divided the story into parts to minimize download time:
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