What we're about

Goal: We like to enjoy fresh air, clean water, and Montana scenery. On rivers we generally are not white water type paddlers. White water boats for rapids are generally at most 9' long. Our members' kayaks tend to be 12' to 16' in length which allow for carrying food and extra clothes. We've done a few multi day river trips when we could arrange a way to carry enough food and camping gear. On lakes our quiet paddling sometimes gives us great views of wildlife. We typically have a couple multi day lake trips per year and enjoy campfire dinners and socializing.

We are not the typical just show up and go type of MeetUp.

Transporting kayaks or canoes typically requires coordination to get them to a distant site and, for river paddling, to arrange enough shuttles. (Two of us own trailers which can often carry an extra boat or two to a site.) Small local events can work with only a few days notice, but river trips depend on at least two vehicles, one at each end of the trip. Complicated events require advance planning (such as reserving places with a commercial sea kayaking company for February adventures in Belize or Florida). Thus members in our group must be reliable; After signing up for an event, if something arises you may change your indicated RSVP, but otherwise we expect people who have signed up to follow through.

When joining, please use you first name and at least a last initial.The reason: later on when people are organizing a specific trip it can be confusing if there are three people named Bob or if a person has signed up as HappyCamper or similar. If a change is made at the last minute, it's important that the right people be contacted. Thanks

Now for some details ... then on to trip descriptions and photos of past events. :)

Costs: Because we incur costs of paying for this site and for sometimes renting campsites or other misc. expenses, in early 2016 we began charging via a "Season Pass" for $15 for a calendar year which can be paid via most credit cards through this MeetUP site. "Season Pass Members" get an extra benefit of being invited to an end of the season evaluation discussion and social event Visiting paddlers are welcome to join us, as are beginning paddlers or others wishing to just try us out, via a $5 fee / contribution per event. Participants in events usually manage miscellaneous costs among themselves, such as chipping in for gas for the drivers.

The Leadership Team & what it does: Running this site and planning trips is a group effort by about six volunteers. Suggestions and offers to help are always welcome! We put together about a dozen local one day paddling MeetUps each year. In 2014 we organized a week long sea kayaking adventure in Baja / Sea of Cortez (Mexico). Only 3 of us ended up going, but it was great! We swam with 20' long whale sharks (largest fish in the world), snorkeled with sea lions, camped in tents for a week on an island beach with tropical fish only a few feet away and in the evening sipped margaritas while watching formations of pelicans wheeling in the air and dive bombing into the water for fish. In June of 2015 and again in 2017 we did a four day paddle on Montana's Smith River (for which it is difficult to get a permit). In 2018 had a great ten day trip of salt water kayaking among coral reefs and touring up river areas in Belize! In December 2019 Steve did an impromptu scouting trip in rivers and bays of the West coast of Florida and came back with info on swimming with manatees, etc. for a future group trip.

Our other website: Because the MeetUp company went through a change of ownership and dropped features, Steve developed a separate new and more complete site on a different system, but it's still in beta test stage and most people still refer to this site.

For everyone's safety and liability protection, we ask that you read and accept the following two items.

We focus on easy paddling, flat water trips, but we may encounter occasional mild rapids or strange currents or fallen trees or snags. We ask that members be alert to potential hazards and paddle safely and responsibly. Usually we paddle in a group; if some want to go in a different direction, that's fine but we suggest using a buddy system. We urge everyone to follow safety regulations and guidelines, please see our Safety tips in our Pages section. As with any athletic or outdoor event, an accident could happen and everyone should take precautions for their own safety and have appropriate insurance. Please know that this MeetUp group is simply a series of individuals temporarily coming together for a specific outing; while some people volunteer to organize events or this website, this is not a formal organization and each person is responsible for his/her own safety and obligations.

Legal Waiver and Release of Liability for participation in all events:

In consideration of the risk of injury while participating in Bozeman Sea Kayaking and Canoeing (the "Activity"), and as consideration for the right to participate in the Activity, I hereby, for myself, my heirs, executors, administrators, assigns, or personal representatives, knowingly and voluntarily enter into this waiver and release of liability and hereby waive any and all rights, claims or causes of action of any kind whatsoever arising out of my participation in the Activity, and do hereby release and forever discharge past and current members of “The Leadership Team” of Bozeman Sea Kayaking and Canoeing, located in Bozeman, Montana 59718, their affiliates, managers, members, agents, attorneys, staff, volunteers, heirs, representatives, predecessors, successors and assigns, for any physical or psychological injury, including but not limited to illness, paralysis, death, damages, economic or emotional loss, that I may suffer as a direct result of my participation in the aforementioned Activity, including traveling to and from an event related to this Activity. “The Leadership Team” are those persons shown on the Activity’s Meetup site page and originally including Geoff Goodman, Steve Hample, et. al.

I AM VOLUNTARILY PARTICIPATING IN THE AFOREMENTIONED ACTIVITY. BY MY RSVP, I AM PARTICIPATING IN THE ACTIVITY ENTIRELY AT MY OWN RISK. I AM AWARE OF THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH TRAVELING TO AND FROM AS WELL AS PARTICIPATING IN THIS ACTIVITY, WHICH MAY INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO, PHYSICAL OR PSYCHOLOGICAL INJURY, PAIN, SUFFERING, ILLNESS, DISFIGUREMENT, TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT DISABILITY (INCLUDING PARALYSIS), ECONOMIC OR EMOTIONAL LOSS, AND DEATH. I UNDERSTAND THAT THESE INJURIES OR OUTCOMES MAY ARISE FROM MY OWN OR OTHERS' NEGLIGENCE, CONDITIONS RELATED TO TRAVEL, OR THE CONDITION OF THE ACTIVITY LOCATION(S). NONETHELESS, I ASSUME ALL RELATED RISKS, BOTH KNOWN OR UNKNOWN TO ME, OF MY PARTICIPATION IN THIS ACTIVITY, INCLUDING TRAVEL TO, FROM AND DURING THIS ACTIVITY AND RELEASE THE ORGANIZERS, CO-ORGANIZERS, MEETUP.COM, ANY AND ALL PEOPLE FROM ANY LIABILITY OR RESPONSIBILITY.

I agree to indemnify and hold harmless “The Leadership Team” and Bozeman Sea Kayaking and Canoeing meetup group against any and all claims, suits or actions of any kind whatsoever for liability, damages, compensation or otherwise brought by me or anyone on my behalf, including attorney's fees and any related costs, if litigation arises pursuant to any claims made by me or by anyone else acting on my behalf. If “The Leadership Team” and Bozeman Sea Kayaking and Canoeing meetup group incurs any of these types of expenses, I agree to reimburse “The Leadership Team” and Bozeman Sea Kayaking and Canoeing meetup group.

I acknowledge that “The Leadership Team” and Bozeman Sea Kayaking and Canoeing meetup group and their directors, officers, volunteers, representatives, and agents are not responsible for errors, omissions, acts or failures to act of any party or entity conducting a specific event or activity on behalf of “The Leadership Team” and Bozeman Sea Kayaking and Canoeing meetup group.
I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THIS ACTIVITY MAY INVOLVE A TEST OF A PERSON'S PHYSICAL AND MENTAL LIMITS AND MAY CARRY WITH IT THE POTENTIAL FOR DEATH, SERIOUS INJURY, AND PROPERTY LOSS. The risks may include, but are not limited to, those caused by terrain, facilities, temperature, weather, lack of hydration, condition of participants, equipment, vehicular traffic and actions of others, including but not limited to, participants, volunteers, spectators, coaches, event officials and event monitors, and/or producers of the event.

I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT I HAVE CAREFULLY READ THIS "WAIVER AND RELEASE" AND FULLY UNDERSTAND THAT IT IS A RELEASE OF LIABILITY WHEN I RSVP TO ANY

WAIVER AND RELEASE OF LIABILITY - Bozeman Sea Kayaking and Canoeing Page 2 of 2

BOZEMAN SEA KAYAKING AND CANOEING EVENT OR ACTIVITY. I EXPRESSLY AGREE TO RELEASE AND DISCHARGE “The Leadership Team” and Bozeman Sea Kayaking and Canoeing meetup group AND ALL OF ITS AFFILIATES, MANAGERS, MEMBERS, AGENTS, ATTORNEYS, STAFF, VOLUNTEERS, HEIRS, REPRESENTATIVES, PREDECESSORS, SUCCESSORS AND ASSIGNS, FROM ANY AND ALL CLAIMS OR CAUSES OF ACTION AND I AGREE TO VOLUNTARILY GIVE UP OR WAIVE ANY RIGHT THAT I OTHERWISE HAVE TO BRING A LEGAL ACTION AGAINST “The Leadership Team” and Bozeman Sea Kayaking and Canoeing meetup group FOR PERSONAL INJURY OR PROPERTY DAMAGE.

To the extent that statute or case law does not prohibit releases for negligence, this release is also for negligence on the part of “The Leadership Team” and Bozeman Sea Kayaking and Canoeing meetup group, its agents, and employees.

In the event that I should require medical care or treatment, I agree to be financially responsible for any costs incurred as a result of such treatment. I am aware and understand that I should carry my own health insurance.

In the event that any damage to equipment or facilities occurs as a result of my or my family's willful actions, neglect or recklessness, I acknowledge and agree to be held liable for any and all costs associated with any actions of neglect or recklessness.

This agreement was entered into at arm's-length, without duress or coercion, and is to be interpreted as an agreement between two parties of equal bargaining strength. Both Any and All Participants and “The Leadership Team” and Bozeman Sea Kayaking and Canoeing meetup group agree that this agreement is clear and unambiguous as to its terms, and that no other evidence will be used or admitted to alter or explain the terms of this agreement, but that it will be interpreted based on the language in accordance with the purposes for which it is entered into.

In the event that any provision contained within this Release of Liability shall be deemed to be severable or invalid, or if any term, condition, phrase or portion of this agreement shall be determined to be unlawful or otherwise unenforceable, the remainder of this agreement shall remain in full force and effect, so long as the clause severed does not affect the intent of the parties. If a court should find that any provision of this agreement to be invalid or unenforceable, but that by limiting said provision it would become valid and enforceable, then said provision shall be deemed to be written, construed and enforced as so limited.

I UNDERSTAND THAT IF I BRING MY PET TO ANY EVENT FOR BOZEMAN SEA KAYAKING AND CANOEING, I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR MY PET'S BEHAVIOR AND I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR CLEANING UP AFTER MY PET AT ALL TIMES AND BEFORE I LEAVE THE SITE OF THE EVENT.

I, THE PARTICIPANT, AFFIRM THAT I AM OF THE AGE OF 18 YEARS OR OLDER, AND THAT I AM FREELY AGREEING TO THIS AGREEMENT IN ITS ENTIRETY BY MY RSVP OR BY SIGNING A COPY OF THIS WORDING.

Upcoming events (5)

Our Group History (as of Jan 2019)

Needs a location

Geoff Goodman started this MeetUp page in 2014 and organized local meetings and trips. As a few others pitched in, more local trips were done and some of us enjoyed a really fun sea kayaking trip to the Baja Peninsula of Mexico that fall. In 2015 several members led area paddling trips and our special project was a very successful four day Smith River paddle. In 2017 we repeated a successful Smith River group trip. In April of 2018 we headed south for a carefully planned trip to warm coral reef islands off the coast of Belize and added jungle and Mayan ruins explorations for perhaps a once in a lifetime experience. We've faced a couple organizational problems: We originally had about 20 people who actively participated and before long over 200 others signed up but did not contribute or participate. Running the MeetUp page costs about $200 per year which Geoff had personally paid. We have additional expenses if we want to rent campsites in advance. So effective for 2016 we changed the rules for the page so that a $15 annual "dues" was requested to be a member. We initially had about eighteen people pay/contribute the $15. Some people had problems paying on line, so we delayed dropping anyone. By late 2016 our extended grace period ran out and about 200 people (mostly people who had never participated) were automatically dropped off the contact list. Since then the number of people signing up and paying has resulted in roughly two or three dozen active "Season Pass" members plus some people on a free trial membership. This seems a workable size for the group and should generate enough revenue to support our low cost operation. :) We include special “Season Pass” benefits: - pass holders will be invited to join in planning major events - pass holders will be able to tap into the accumulated group knowledge - pass holders will be invited to an annual Season Pass Holders Only end of year party Beginning in 2016 we experienced problems with using MeetUp.com as our site, full of information and photos, which was sort of partially decapitated by the company to conform to smartphone format. Also our understanding is the company was sold to a real estate firm which, among other things, rents meeting rooms. Kayaks do not fit well in meeting rooms. Put in sites at rivers do not have street numbers, nor are they usually on internet mapping smartphone systems. We are different. For 2019 we will continue using MeetUp which has not yet deleted a lot of our information as originally announced. UPDATE: All our trip descriptions have been deleted ! Only short messages are now allowed. Our write up this week, with information and suggested trips for 2019 cannot be posted, at least not in a simple single form or document, not even in the documents section, which MeetUp has now eliminated. This used to be a very good site, but for groups like us the functionality has been very diminished. Short version is that we have some fun ideas and just need volunteers to help schedule / plan them. See the "Contact" button on the left under the list of Organizers. Feel free to use that and we can e-mail our ideas to you. Suggestions are always welcome.

Update for using this site in 2020

Needs a location

Here's general information about our events, both public and private (paid members only). Our MeetUp site. You can use this site at no charge. However, the MeetUp system is not free. The MeetUp company charges the organizer a monthly fee automatically drawn from that person's checking account. The amount charged increases with the number of people shown as "members" even if we have never seen nor heard of them. So we do not want phantom members. We've created a $15 annual fee to cover the cost that would otherwise be taken from the organizer's bank account. It's easy to pay that $15 via a credit card using the MeetUp payment system. That annual fee also covers some reservation expenses, including a group site for our annual fall moonlight paddling party. Anyone can join this group as a free member for an introductory period of getting to know us, but after about a month or two of not having paid the fee, the person will be automatically dropped. Our other Site: On our separate private site for paid members, we post details about the trips available only to paid members. It's also where they can post comments regarding car pooling etc. and perhaps see some of the photos and lessons learned from past trips to a particular area. (We used to do that on MeetUp before the new ownership cut back on features.) Pay the $15 fee and we should notice it and then send you a link to the other site. If that doesn't happen automatically, use the "Contact an Organizer" button on our meetup page. Thanks! (Note: In our new site we require a valid e-mail address. If a trip is canceled or changed we don't want the message to get stuck in someone's spam filter. Also it's a handy way to contact just the people involved in a particular trip.) (Date / time for this entry is bogus - information won't post if left blank.)

Paddling with Manatees in Florida

Grannie's Country Cookin’ Restaurant

UPDATE: As of January 23, 2020 there has not been enough interest to make this trip a reality. Perhaps someone will want to do this trip in about December[masked] to March[masked] We'll leave this description here just as a sample of the ideas which members can contribute. ------------------------------------ The Dec 31 at 1am is just a place holder on the calendar. (The MeetUp system requires that something be entered for dates and times.) In general, start early to beat the crowds. The general location is near the towns of Crystal River and Homosassa Springs in Citrus County in Florida. That's on the Gulf Coast side of Florida. Crystal River is about 80 miles north of Tampa and 90 miles west of Orlando. Those two cities have good flight connections from Bozeman. Allow 2 hours for driving time because of the time required to exit from those metropolitan areas. (Orlando is the airport servicing Disney World so the area is crowded with tourists, but that allows more flight connections and the airport is well designed for handling crowds.) If flying into Tampa, rather than staying in Crystal River, consider staying in Homosassa Springs which is near a large wildlife area and ten miles closer to Tampa. "How to find us": People going will need to decide where they want to stay and meet up. Both towns are small coastal villages with retirement villages nearby. The main highway along the west coast of Florida goes through them and hence there are plenty of motels and fast food restaurants. Things to do: Go on a pontoon boat tour to swim with manatees (you don't much swim, to see them close you just float with a life jacket and wet suit and move silently and slowly like them - they may start to wonder if you are a newcomer manatee and come look at you!) There are plenty of kayak rental businesses usually providing just basic sit on top kayaks, although some places also rent transparent plastic canoes. Visit some of the many nearby nature reserve areas. Q: Who would seriously be interested in doing this about February 21 for about five days (before most college kids arrive for spring break) and who would be willing to roughly coordinate? More details and updates will appear on our DownToMeet site which is an expanded version of this site. Paid up members on our site in MeetUp can join for free on the new site - just search for it and apply.

Highlights of 2018

Needs a location

In April 2018 five of us experienced sort of a once in a lifetime really great trip to Belize where we first stayed in a rustic resort within a jungle nature reserve - with tropical birds calling, amazing flowers and trees everywhere. The second day included a short hike to swim in a pool below cascading waterfalls. Then boat rides to coral reef islands about 30 miles off shore where we lived in tents under palm trees and kayaked or snorkeled or did stand up paddle boarding whenever we wished. A trip to snorkel in the famous Blue Hole was a plus. After a week of that we went back to the mainland and inland to a tropical bird watching area where we also trekked through large Aztec ruins and some of us (not saying who) started a shouting match with baboons in the trees. It required about two weeks of travel & cost about $4,000 but what a trip ! In July seven members went on a two day paddle on the Jefferson led by Tom Elpel. We camped overnight in a new river access camping area that Tom spearheaded. A good time was had by all. The second day was particularly interesting for wildlife as we paddled a less visited stretch and saw moose as well as deer and pelicans and frequent bald eagles. The annual Fall full moon paddle held at Hebgen Lake which, though a bit of a drive compared to Hyalite, but provided variety and judged a success. Want to repeat? In between were a number of day trips, though not as many in past years. One which had great reports was a paddle on the upper Madison, just above Ennis Lake, which most of us have not done. That and other trips from the past were discussed with possible repeats and renewed attempts at some great sounding ideas which did not get implemented in the past. Volunteer to be a trip leader / event organizer - we can provide ideas and guidance.

Past events (87)

Paddle Missouri Headwaters to Toston Dam

Online event

Photos (511)