Bow River Rafting (Sept 5)

Thanks to our friends and fellow geocachers (Sears Tower et al), we enjoyed a six hour rafting trip along a stretch of the Bow River today. After getting the shuttle set up, we launched our 8-person raft at 10:30, just downstream of the Ghost Dam, about 45 km NNW of Calgary.

Launching the raft

Looking back to the Ghost Dam, shortly after launch

We planned to stop and search for 5 geocaches during our trip, three of them on islands and one on the bank of the Bow, netting a 5-star terrain rating on each of those 4 caches.

K retrieved the first cache from its hiding spot on a small island not too far from the Ghost Dam

The highlight of our cache hunting was when we successfully claimed joint FTF (frst-to-find) honours for GC1XWXH Just a Reflection, hidden a week ago. It contained a very nice FTF prize – a “5 Star Difficulty” unactivated geocoin and we will have to reach a joint decision on what to do with our prize.
In addition to searching for geocaches, we stopped several times to hide new geocaches, leaving a total of 4 new containers to be found by other geocachers who explore this stretch of the Bow River. We’ve started working on the write-up for the one that will be published under our geocaching account, but due to other commitments it will probably be a week or so before we’re finished and ready to submit K’s Island Cache for review, approval and publication.

Island stop to hide a cache

The kids (at least some of them) enjoy the splashing from the riffles

K checks out an old wreck we spotted along the river bank; we wondered how it got here and how long its been parked in such a precarious spot
We finally came off the river at about 4:30, 24 km downstream from where we’d started, with 5 geocaches found and 4 geocaches hidden. In between, we explored 5 islands, enjoyed lunch at Wildcat Provinical Natural Area, spotted some animal skeletal remains, caught sight of a bald eagle, an osprey nest and several hawks and just generally enjoyed ourselves.
Of course, coming off the water in Cochrane meant the younger members of our excursionary force were strongly hinting that a stop at MacKay’s ice cream shop would be most appreciated. It’s probably safe to say, however, that the adults enjoyed this stop just as much as the kids did. We imposed on another customer to take this group photo before our cones disappeared and we headed down the highway to complete our shuttle and head for home.

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