Thursday, July 28, 2011

Excursion #2-- Talkeetna River Rafting Trip

 We have mixed feelings about this rafting trip. For one thing, a float down any river in Alaska, regardless of any situation, is simply magnificent.  The views are incomparable. And for that, it was a great experience. But considering that we have done two rafting trips before (one in Colorado and one down the Snake River @ Jackson Hole), we have something to compare it to.  Our two previous guides were chockful of information about the area, the animals, the vegetation. This particular guide, whom we have taken to nickname as Mitch "the Mute" has several more years of reading up to even compare.
 Here we are before we push off into the Talkeetna River. The whole float lasted about two hours, floating down a little under ten miles down the Talkeetna, and ending at the confluence of Talkeetna, Little Susitna, and Chuitna Rivers. The raft holds eight, and we had a single rider hop on with us (no, he isn't my mom's boyfriend, LOL, just kidding, Dad). Not that his company affected us in any way, he was just about as mute as Mitch the guide.

This was Liv's first time on a rafting trip awake.  In the past, it seemed near proximity to water would render her unconscious. We were relieved and happy to observe how much she enjoyed this trip.

 This was also my mom's and niece Maddy's first trip on a raft. 

There's my baby, totally relaxed, she laid down and soaked up the sun. No fear at all, while her neurotic mother looked on.

Cheesy. Somewhere along the course, we stopped by the banks where some bearded old dude sang us two country Alaskan songs. Really? It was a bit gimmicky for my taste. 

But, yeah, Mitch the Mute pointed out some beaver dams, and then couldn't answer why beavers built dams. I already knew why, but asked so he could explain it to Sophie who is fascinated by anything related to animals.  He pointed out some cranberries along the banks and after a long silence, he muttered, "You can grab some to taste them." Ummm, ok, but not if it makes you that uncomfortable, buddy. Most of the trip was silent except for when Sophia and Madison broke out in a fit of unexplainable giggles. 

Oh, well. He did say he was just a high school senior. Perhaps Talkeetna River Guides should hire more knowledgeable guides. The other trip that launched with us seemed to have one of those.  If you ever decide to go on this excursion, insist on anybody BUT Mitch unless you want a guide with a bland personality. In that case, to each their own.

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