We had some serious fun yesterday.

Nine thirty in the morning we jammed our big raft, paddles, life-jackets, air pumps, sunscreen, and a backpack with water bottles and snacks into the back of the minivan and ripped off to the Bow River at Bowness park to do some drifting. The river is pretty much glacial, flowing right through Banff in the heart of the Rockies before snaking cross country to punch through Calgary with its stiff current. The water bites with glorious cold and boasts that same turquoise blue that mountain water is known for.

Some stretches are a bit rough — no rapids, but a bit choppy as the water bounces from stone to stone on the river bottom. Other sections are gentle, pulling the raft with placid, sleepy grace. The sun was smiling through a thin glaze of whispy clouds, a merciful filter that kept us from baking too quickly. A pair of Bald Eagles, Canadian Geese, Mallards, Greebes, Gulls, and even a few Ofsprey graced our outing. The kids took turns paddling, splashing, and having fun. And so did we.

The highlight of the trek is often the customary stop at a stone-riddled shoal in the middle of the river to collect polished stones, bone fragments, and bits of washed up junk that whisper stories to young minds about how they might have gotten there.


It’s good for the soul sometimes.