Beating the Heat on a Hot Summer's Day - Friday, 7/19/13

Friday looked to be a hot one in Livingston, Montana.  Perfect day for kayaking down the Yellowstone, this time from Mallard's Rest to Carter's Bridge, a road distance of about eight miles.  River miles would be more, 'cause that ol' river doesn't follow a straight line!  Today - unlike the last time - was full of sun!  Jimmy and I took our tandem inflatable Sea Eagle kayak.  Tom and Susan rented one from Rubber Ducky.  

Wednesday afternoon and evening spawned some terrific thunderstorms with torrential downpours in south-western Montana, altho we at Rock Canyon RV Park caught only a tail-end of one storm.  South of here (and just north of Gardiner, which is the north entrance to Yellowstone Nat'l Park), a nasty landslide of mud and rock closed Hwy 89, the only road in/out of that north entrance.  Thursday we stood at the river's edge in the campground and watched - aghast - as that muddy water crept its way downstream, overtaking the aqua-blue water with something that looked like cafe au lait.  The historic ghost town of Bannack MT, founded in 1862, where we camped a month ago, was all but destroyed by a flash flood... from the same storm system. 

By Friday, however, the river had cleared up, for which we were grateful.  Who wants to float in a muddy river?  Here we are below, ready to launch at Mallard's Rest on the west side of the Yellowstone River.

 Jimmy near our kayak, Tom and Susan by their rented kayak.

 Fishing didn't go so well, as the water was up and exuberant!

 Off we go!

 Parts of the river are lined with rock cliffs, other areas are nearly flat, but chock full of rocks. Susan and Tom paddling toward us!

 Much of the water today looked like this, some even more so, prob because of Wed's rain.  We literally rocketed (and bumped) toward Carter's Bridge.

 Yay!  Successfully navigated another patch of white water!  We were all pretty wet by the end of the paddle, but enjoyed the whole thing immensely.

 Some cliff banks were pocked with swallow nests.  Near the center of this picture, you can see two little guys peeking out at us from their nest hole.  Swallows flit everywhere over the water.

We stopped briefly along the way to eat a bit of lunch, and then continued on our way.  This is Carter's Bridge in the distance, out take-out point on the east side, and along about here is when the headwind blasted us and we had to pull hard to get to the other side of the bridge.  None of us can pinpoint exactly how long we were on the water - several hours we all agree, of a thrilling river excursion!

Back at "home" in Rock Canyon, everybody showered and dinner eaten, we cooled off as we relaxed on the benches at river's edge.  We were tuckered out from our excellent adventure.  The temp was way down from a high of 93, thank goodness.  We watched the sun set on yonder cliff in glorious color.

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