113 days on the river and 5,148km paddled on the Kicking Horse. That’s thousands of smiling faces everyday! And just like that, in the blink of an eye, our 26th season is over.
Through the hustle and bustle of everyday life on the river it can be sometimes easy to forget how special of a place the Kicking Horse & Banff really are. But what reminds us daily, are our rafters’ faces. Your gleaming eyes when you see the turquoise water, your giggles when the first group picture is taken within minutes of being on the boat, and the sheer excitement in your screams as you crash through the rapids. It’s because of you that we love jumping out of bed every morning to share yet another adventurous day on the Kicking Horse River.
This summer our crew was made up of members from 10 different countries. With an array of different backgrounds and languages spoken, we were destined to be an interesting bunch. After 4 months spent day in and day out together, it only makes sense that we are now a family.
4 months ago we gathered at the RiverBase for our first day of the season. We stood in a circle not knowing the first thing about each other; what corner of the world she came from, what job he would be filling this summer, and why she spoke with a funny accent (yet another Aussie!). Our returning team members were great at introducing the “rookies” to this new world of rafting, and within a couple of days we would be the goofiest group of friends you ever did meet.
It was a big summer for Canada, celebrating 150 years. What better place is there to experience the Canadian Pride than in our own backyard of Banff and Yoho National Parks! The Canadian Rockies braced for a busy season – and that it was! We had such a blast welcoming guests from every part of the world to join our celebrations. From first-time rafters, to those who have traveled all over to raft, it was our pleasure to introduce you to the Kicking Horse, a river we believe is one of the best in the world to raft.
Unlike the typical weather we usually see in the Rockies, this summer brought us hot and sunny days every week. These warm days made for some very dry conditions following our high-water season, which resulted in some devastating wildfires across the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. Thankfully we were never put at immediate risk at the RiverBase; however, fires close by left us with very smoky skies for the better part of the season. We have the firefighters and safety crews to thank for their tireless efforts towards protecting Banff, Yoho, and Kootenay National Parks.
As the final days of the season are here, it’s time for our team to pack our bags and move on to our next adventures. We will scatter across the map for the Canadian Winter season… some staying in the snow, while others head towards the warmer sun in Australia, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Arizona and California. There are snowy mountains to be conquered, many golf games to be played, and warmer waves to be caught.
We are so thankful for the memories we have shared with you this summer, and can’t wait to see you back on the Kicking Horse River in 2018!
The Wild Water Crew