Family Rafting on the Middle Fork
A few weeks ago we had a guest who recounted a special but familiar story. When she was 14 years old, her family came down the Middle Fork, which turned out to be the type of trip that made it into family lore. It was an unusually cold and rainy June trip, where they only saw the sun through the rain for a few hours. It was back before gore-tex and polypropylene. Everyone wore jeans and plastic ponchos. Needless to say the pictures from the trip show people looking wet, cold, and not having the time of their life. Despite the critical elements, amazing memories were made and it was the vacation that was remembered most often by the family.
A couple weeks ago, the guest – now a mother – brought her family down with Middle Fork Rapid Transit, without any epic stories of rain and cold. We had beautiful weather, a birthday for their daughter, rocks to jump off, and rapids to paddle through. The group consisted of three large families, along with three wonderful couples who meshed right into the group dynamic. The group as a whole proudly tackled many firsts: camping, catching fish on a fly rod, fear of heights, and kayaking. A whole host of new memories were created without the strain of bad weather.
This past week we had the pleasure of hosting another group, which was comprised entirely of families. Much of the group had never been on a river trip before. Others were returning to the river but bringing their families for the first time. And one guest from Colorado returned for his 17th trip in 22 years, bringing his teenage daughter who was coming down for the fifth time.
Family trips offer a good reminder to the guides of what makes the Middle Fork such a special place to guide. It’s an honor to play a leading role in what will often be one of the most memorable vacations of their lifetimes. Often we get the pleasure of watching families return and see kids grow up. We’re often witnesses to family firsts and the pleasure that those achievements provide to parents and kids alike.