Horses and Rafts white water rafting on Yellowstone

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My family travelled to Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks - this is what we did and what we enjoyed (and didn't!).

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20120814-154401.jpg 8.30 am and we're back on the trail for an early morning ride. The sun is already rising above the surrounding Gallatin Mountain Range as the horses make their slowly and steadily down the steep slopes and through mountain meadows scattered with enormous volcanic rocks, presumably from some long past explosion in the highly volcanic Yellowstone area. Lisa was a bit saddle sore from the day before and stayed behind but the rest of us had another 2 hours enjoying the sun and scenery.

We then attempted the return journey from Hell a'roaring back down to Gardiner, taking it slowly and praying that we didn't meet anything large coming the other way! 20120814-154238.jpgThe afternoon held a new adventure - white water rafting. I think everyone was looking forward to it but there were a lot of apprehensive faces around! We checked in at The Flying Pig and met our guides for our overnight rafting expedition - Jeremy and Brogan.

We changed into our swimming costumes and picked up our boat shoes before making our way down to the boat (after the safety instructions). We were with one other family who we'd met the night before at the horse ranch so we were 9 altogether plus our guide Brogan. He sat at the back with two oars and we all sat down each side with an paddle each except the two youngest - Tom and Alisa who sat up front on 'rock lookout'.

20120814-154536.jpgThe ride was great - about 90 mins of rapids (about 3 miles), with another 15 miles tomorrow! Tom and Alisa screamed with joy as each wave broke (and even when they didn't) and everyone had a great time. In fact despite their earlier reticence and nervousness, most agreed that they'd actually have wanted to do even faster rapids! This just reinforces the fact that I tell the family every holiday - its the scariest activities that are ultimately the most fun and memorable.

Whitewater rafting on Yellowstone RiverOnce at our campsite Jeremy and Brogan cooked an excellent lasagne with garlic bread and salad and we sat by the river as the sun went down, sipping our Jackson Wyoming beer and eating smores and peach cobbler (which in the UK is a beef stew with dumplings but in the US seems to be a sponge with fruit and ice cream!). It was Kate's 16th birthday and she opened the few of her presents we'd brought with us on the banks of the Yellowstone river. The camp had wonderfully hot showers which were outside and have a spectacular view of Electric Mountain. Then we settled down to sleep in large, wooden frames tents with single beds in them with the sound of the river running past just a few metres away!