Jackson Hole Whitewater Scenic Raft Trip Part 1
Jackson Hole Whitewater Scenic Raft Trip Part 2
Jackson Hole Lodge, Bars & Restaurants
|I had done some
checking around for rafting companiess before we left
and had set up a full day
of rafting with Jackson Hole Whitewater.
They were by far the most responsive and most personable of all the
companies I tried to contact. The only problem I had
never anticipated happening was Scott having the desire to conquer the Teton's now that he had a little taste of them. He now wanted to
climb to the top of one of the peaks to match his Mount Kilamanjaro
expedition of a couple a years ago.
He of course didn't decide this until after Jackson Hole Whitewater had closed yesterday and now the deposit I had for the both of us was non refundable. I had actually talked with them when we arrived and they were really cool about letting us decide whether we wanted to do the full day or half day up until yesterday when I told them we'd do the full day. Now after hiking Jenny Lake Scott didn't want to raft at all. It might be the first time I think he's ever seemed mad at me but I don't know what else I could have done since he knew I had set this all up. Maybe he had altitude sickness or the few too many PBR's had messed with his mind. I was willing to eat his refund and tried to find a way for him to climb one of the peaks. It ended up being impossible for today anyway. You have to leave right after midnight to actually get up to the top of any of the peaks through any of the tour operators that ran those trips and as athletic as he is I don't think he was capable of actually getting to the top on his own so he was stuck with rafting.
I had set up a dual rafting trip with Jackson Hole Whitewater with the first half of the day being a scenic float trip down the Snake River and the second half of the day being the whitewater portion of the trip.
I had been dealing with Dave Tibbitts who owned Jackson Hole Whitewater who was a real nice guy. I had to ask him if he had any wetsuits that would fit me and he told me it would be no problem. He was right and when we got to the office he was talking about how Mark Eaton of the Utah Jazz had done a trip with him. Mark Eaton is 7'4" tall so I felt much better. Another corresponding New Zealand trip story from 10 years ago was I missed out on whitewater sledging because they didn't have a wetsuit that would fit.
When we got to the office we were met by Dave's giant dog Bernie. Bernie is an English Mastiff that weighs 175 pounds. He's a great dog - the type a dog you'd figure a 6'8" 330 pound person would like. We were close enough to walk to the office also which was nice. It was their first real week of the season so our scenic trip only had 3 customer along with us and the whitewater trip only had 2 additional customers. It was alright though because they filled out the rafts with employee trainees.
The scenic trip was guided by Scott who was a real laid back guy. He was definitely a scenic trip type of guy. The whitewater trip was run by Captain Ron who they claimed was Captain Ron before the movie came out. I really enjoyed both of the trips but I liked the scenic one a little more. It was great for my photography addiction. The Teton Range is just beautiful and we came across all kinds of Bald Eagles and their nests and some Ospreys . We never saw any Beavers but passed quite a few Beaver Dams. The strangest thing though was the Pelicans. I had no idea that Pelicans were inland birds also. I've always been fascinated by Pelicans and it was just bizarre to see them on the Snake River.
The Bald Eagles are amazing. We didn't see as many as when I was on my Alaska Cruise but seeing them is just breathtaking. I took a few pictures where it looks like they are soaring at the top of the Tetons. We also passed some magnificent mansions on the river. Apparently we passed Harrison Ford's place but the guide was sworn to secrecy about it's exact whereabouts.
After finishing the scenic tour we went back to the office and got ready for the whitewater trip. They had a top that fit me no problem and it was such a nice day we decided to go without the wetsuit pants. That worked out fine even though the weather was much nicer on the scenic trip. We got a little bit of rain on the whitewater trip. We were apparently too early for a real good ride. Captain Ron was constantly saying each rapid was better with more or less water. It was actually calm enough in spots that he let Scott and the 2 other customers steer the raft for awhile after the trainees got their chance. I didn't get a chance but I also was a little iffy on actually standing up in the raft and trying to make it to the back.
Captain Ron was lots of fun. He gave everyone a hard time. He found out we were from the East Coast when he was talking about their version of jump rock that they now don't jump off because of the liability. I told him we got to jump back in West Virginia on every trip we had done on the New River or Gauley River. He then made a crack about West Virginians marrying their sisters which gave me the chance to inform him that Scott is a West Virginian himself. It was all in good fun and we make the same jokes about West Virginia to Scott back home anyway.
Overall I really enjoyed the day. I loved the scenic for the photography and the whitewater was alright also. I hadn't done it in so long it makes me want to go to take a trip on the Gauley River again or even upgrading and doing a week long Grand Canyon trip. I think Scott was kind of bored and was still upset about not climbing one of the mountains. I would though highly recommend Jackson Hole Whitewater for any rafting trip.
We made our way back to the hotel with a stop at the Virginian Saloon. It must have been the real locals bar. It was the first bar I've been to in quite awhile that allowed smoking also. That was really weird to have that smell wafting around.
After the Virginian Saloon and getting back to the hotel I decided to take advantage of our indoor pool. I swam some laps and then just took it easy in the hot tub for awhile.
When we finally head out for
the evening we found out that technology has really diminished the art of
"wandering aimlessly" that we had made a true art form. I checked
out the Jackson Hole magazine and downloaded the bars we wanted to see in
the phone and the map feature takes you right to where you want to go.
Videos Of Scott Running Our Jackson Hole Whitewater Raft Trip
We made our normal stop at The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar and Silver Dollar Bar and Grill along with our late night pizza at Cafe Ponza's. We walked way out of the way to 43 North because it was an Irish Bar. It was the most expensive place we hit during the trip. Probably because it is at the base of the ski run. We also hit the Town Square Tavern for awhile.
The most notable events of the evening was having to skip the Town Hall Tavern for awhile because they actually had a cover charge but it was because the had some charity event going on and we then had a real drunk guy who was one of those types of guys that really wants to be your friend and won't leave you alone at the Silver Dollar Bar & Grill. It claimed it was his first night in town and he was just incredibly annoying. The good thing though was that I didn't let him ruin what had been a very good day. We just kind of agreed with everything he said until he finally left us alone.
After our late night pizza we went back to the hotel again to get some sleep then head out to Yellowstone in the morning.