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Our leadership team met last month and enjoyed talking about ideas and looking forward to paddling. Several ideas: - Possibly change our name to: Bozeman Flatwater Paddling Reason: Keeping the same history and description which includes some rivers, but clearly indicating we're not the type that do Eskimo rolls in small boats. Most of us use 9' to 14' touring kayaks rather than really long 17' to 21' sea kayaks. Canoes welcome. - Continue to focus on having a group of 25 to 40 active, reliable, safety minded members. Reason: When we had over 250 people on the list a couple years ago, that increased our site cost and increased the risk of potential problems from someone being reckless or failing to show up thereby delaying the group's launch. - Require a direct e-mail addresses of all members Reason: Mostly because updates sent though a forwarding system often get caught in spam filters and if we have an important message, such as cancelling a trip, we want it to get through. Also it is often useful for people planning a special trip to exchange e-mails among themselves for arranging car pooing and/or sharing equipment. We have e-mail addresses for most active members; we would put some effort into keeping a complete up to date list separate from the MeetUp system. Occasionally we've had strange / fake names joining our group for unknown reasons; requiring a valid e-mail address for confirmation might eliminate that. - While we are at it, we could also keep a list of cell phone numbers. Not required, but sometimes very handy. Visualize: "We're all here waiting at the put in site. ... You apparently turned near a white barn and are at the wrong bridge. Go a few miles further upstream and turn at the RED barn" Actual example: While camped for a Smith River trip, we drove uphill to get coverage and made cell phone contact for a person whose flight from Texas was cancelled, but she was able to fly into Billings. A trip member still in Bozeman was able to go there and pick her up, with the two arriving in the night but still making the morning launch on a Great trip. - We may withhold details on this site for some of our events. Reason: Bozeman and Big Sky populations have grown rapidly, as have tourism and real estate publications / sites which list places we used to go with no crowding. Witness the Madison where two large parking areas were built and now they are jam packed for the beer float stretch. Also with the Forest Service and state and national parks going to on-line reservation systems, competition for sites has drastically changed and it's now perhaps 10x harder to reserve a campsite. So we may keep some of our ideas off line until close to the date, though glad to answer questions from members via e-mail. NOTE: Some features of this site have been dropped by the new owners of MeetUp.com who focus only on smart phone formats. That's why we no longer have a large cover photo nor past trip reports. I've backed up some items and am looking for ways to improve. -Steve
UPDATE May 16, 2019: A change of Plans ! The road into the Warm River cabin is questionable due to snow and melting snow / mud so we are deleting that part of the planned trip. We are making the decision now, rather than waiting until the last minute and likely then learning the road is closed. This will allow us to more accurately plan food and transportation at our Monday 7pm meeting. That means our driving time will be significantly shorter (only 28 miles past West Yellowstone) and we can wait until 10 am to depart (on Friday May 24). The participant limit for this trip is 6 because that's the capacity of the second cabin. (The adjoining yurts etc. are all sold out, but a person could check for cancellations on the reservation system.) The new photo is of the cabin / house at the historic Harriman ranch. Current Conditions: Harriman State Park Conditions Report 5/10/19: Spring is (mostly) here!! The cranes, curlews, swans, and other waterfowl get the park first. Spring trail closures along the River from Sage Flats- Ranch Loop- Big Bend Loop are all closed until June 15th. That is also the opening day for flyfishing in the Henrys Fork thru the Ranch! Trails in the trees still have patches of snow or mud. Best to have heavier hiking boots to hike on the trails. They are not ready for bikes or horses yet. Loons, sandhill cranes, great blue herons, elk, moose, and other critters starting to come out!! A grizzly sow with 3 cubs/yearlings was spotted across the river on Tuesday! So be Bear Aware! The Mesa Falls visitor center will apparently open on that Saturday. It's about a 15 minute drive from Harriman Park on a paved road. * * * * ** "Cabin Fever" in this case means wanting to get INTO a cabin because of early season unknown weather. Reservations confirmed. However, early spring weather is unpredictable. Roads could be muddy / impassable. THINK OF THIS AS A SCOUTING TRIP. The "Cattle Foreman's House" in Harriman State Park (28 miles past West Yellowstone) for the second location is slightly more modern (remodeled 1970?) with electricity and a basic shower and hot water and stove / microwave and sleeps six. It looks nice. Paddling would be on a scenic lake (though still cold at 6,000’ elevation, vs. Hyalite roughly 7,000’ ) but within an 11,000 acre nature reserve with potential viewing of moose and other wildlife. https://parksandrecreation.idaho.gov/cattle-foremans-house While driving between the two campsites (only about 30 miles as a crow could fly) we will take a scenic highway route to view two really nice large waterfalls. One has a small entry fee, but I think National Park season or permanent passes work. see: https://parksandrecreation.idaho.gov/parks/harriman Added attractions: Camp appetizer competition? - both cabins are drive up accessible and both have stoves for heating up food prepared in advance. Bring deck of cards if we run out of things to do. General good times. Estimated Cost: Second cabin with electricity, reservation fee etc. is about $$300 total for the 2 nights at Harriman so if split by 5 people then $60 each plus a daily $5 fee per car, to enter an Idaho state park (apparently for all Idaho parks for non residents - a year long pass costs $40).
Join us for the first two days of our six-month Missouri River Corps of Rediscovery Expedition. Weather permitting, we will launch the expedition from Missouri Headwaters Fishing Access Site near Three Forks, Montana on Saturday June 1, 2019. We will paddle down river to camp at Fairweather Fishing Access Site at Clarkston Saturday night, then continue downstream and across the reservoir to end at Toston Dam on Sunday afternoon. You are welcome to join us for either day or come for both days and camp overnight. Those of us who are continuing for St. Louis will portage around the dam and camp to get a fresh start the following day. If our launch date is rainy or snowy, we will simply delay the launch for a day or two to take advantage of the first nice day. Please come equipped for camping, cooking, and canoeing. You will need to bring your own canoe or kayak, since we won't have any convenient means to loan out canoes this time. This canoe trip is not a formal class, but rather a fun adventure that is open to friends and family, members of the Jefferson River Canoe Trail, all Green University students, members of the Bozeman Kayaking and Canoeing Meetup Group and anyone else with basic camping skills who would like to come along. In lieu of a fee for the float trip, we would be grateful for generous donations to the Jefferson River Canoe Trail to support our work to secure additional public campsites along the Jefferson River segment of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail: https://www.gofundme.com/jefferson-river-canoe-trail Learn more about our six-month expedition: http://elpel.info/ http://www.elpel.info/Expedition_Members.htm http://www.greenuniversity.com/Class_Schedule/Missouri_River_Expedition.htm https://www.facebook.com/Thomas.J.Elpel/ Learn more about the Jefferson River Canoe Trail: http://jeffersonriver.org/
Dates and times for this trip are very tentative (the MeetUp system requires something to be entered in order to post). The White Cliffs section is locally famous and has now been discovered by tourists and outfitters, but still worth doing. Below Great Falls the river becomes muddy and subject to flooding and the river slows down. Banks are often muddy and camping is in cottonwoods. Animal life includes cows. Yet ... the cliff areas are nice and the history of the area is really interesting. So if you've not gone there, you should. And read about it and Fort Benton and Lewis and Clark beforehand. Search for: rojomoexpedition dot com It's been almost 20? years since I rented a small kayak and joined friends in an extended family trip. Everyone else had canoes or inflatable rafts. The kids in the group loved playing in my kayak. The steak and other dinners at the campsite were great. With rafts and canoes, bulk is no problem. The family brought badmitten raquets and ping pong balls to bat between boats. You get the idea. One problem is strong upriver winds in the afternoon, making high profile rafts seem to stand still. Best boats are canoes, followed by kayaks with enough capacity to carry supplies. This trip should be considered as a great history trip ! Possibly arrive a day early and stay in an old hotel in Fort Benton. Perhaps arrive a couple hours early and use the Virgelle Ferry which I think is only one of three highway ferries still operating in the USA.