The Princess And The Fish

It has been a week since we returned from a fabulous trip to Montana with our college friends, enjoying days of adventure and beauty.

One glorious afternoon we took a whitewater rafting trip with the fine folks at Glacier Raft Company. Armed with sunscreen, bug spray and about a million zip lock bags to protect our belongings, we gathered with all the other rafters to ride the bus to the drop off location.

Our group of 11 was assigned to one raft with the adorable Erik as our guide.

Being a delicate little Irish flower, I applied more sunscreen and covered nearly every inch of skin with SPF clothing, a hat and sunglasses. I was ready. And it was quite the look.

Standing on shore we all donned our life jackets, making sure that we were tightly cinched in, as Erik gave us the safe rafting lecture.

Basically something like this, “Pay attention, follow my instructions and you probably won’t fall out of the raft and drown.”

While Erik was giving his spiel, I was half paying attention and half sizing up the raft situation.

Hmmmm. Ten paddles and eleven of us. I can do the math. I was ready.

Erik wrapped up his briefing with the question,

“Who would like to be The Princess?”

My hand shot up faster than if someone asked, “Who would like a glass of 1996 Silver Oak Cabernet?”

The others didn’t know what hit them. And I became the non-paddling Princess.

We launched our raft and navigated the series of class II and III rapids.

Now, when I say “we” navigated, I of course mean that Erik and the paddlers propelled our raft down the river.  I was busy with my Princess duties.

I kept my subjects friends entertained with droll stories as I greeted other boaters with my well practiced royal wave.

It was exhausting.

Fortunately, Byff, who was seated next to me, took great care of his Princess by splashing cool water on my feet and hands as needed. What a guy!

At one point along the way, Glacier Raft Company staff members were perched along the shore to capture photographic evidence of the adventure.

I noticed the photographers well before the rest of my group did. (To be fair, they were busy paddling us out of a whirling tide pool. Well done, people!)

Taking my job VERY seriously, when I saw the photographers I started to wave. And I kept up my royal wave for many minutes straight, even while being tossed hither and fro through the rapids.

This lovely series of pictures really tells the story.

rafting

Paddlers are paddling and The Princess is in the middle of the raft, waving.

Then the rapids got a little more serious. But I kept my composure. And my wave.

rafting and waving

My team is doing a wonderful job of paddling don’t you think?

Then this

still waving

Still waving!

And finally, after getting us safely through the dangerous waters, everyone had the chance to join in the waving.

waving rafters

We had a blast. And I milked the whole “Princess” thing for all it was worth.

Maybe a little too much because…

The next day we went on a fly fishing expedition which was also arranged through Glacier Raft Company.  (They didn’t pay me to say this but if you are ever in the Glacier Park area and want to do any sort of outdoor adventure you should look up these guys. We have used them multiple times and they are awesome!)

We paired off, two to a boat with a guide.

fly fishing

The guides talked us through the mechanics of fly fishing.

  • Straight wrist
  • 10 and 2
  • hello, how are you
  • don’t smack the water with your pole
  • don’t get your line caught around the anchor
  • don’t impale your guide on your hook
  • HAVE FUN!

Fly fishing in the movies looks so peaceful and relaxing. But folks, it is not easy!

I (The Princess) came close to catching about seven fish, including one that our guide, Jake, swore was the biggest fish he had seen in the river all summer. I reacted either too quickly or too slowly and failed to seal the deal with any of those seven.

(I also learned not to trust a word that Jake said…)

But just before our trip was done, with the docking site in view, I CAUGHT A FISH!

It was so very exciting! The Princess was all a dither.

Jake took the fish off the hook and said that before releasing it back into the water, it was customary for the fisherperson to kiss the first fish they caught.

“You’re making that up.”, I said.

“No, I promise.”, said the very earnest and charming Jake. He was not going to take no for an answer.

So, the Princess kissed the fish.

Kissing the fish

BLECH, EWWWW, and GROSS!

All of our boats caught at least one fish but one boat was the grand prize winner of the day.

Byff caught FIVE fish and his lovely wife, Marie, snagged two.  For the record, I think that was seven times the number of fish caught by any other boat.

Here is Byff and one of his catches.

What a beauty! The fish, not Byff. Although he is pretty darn cute, too.

We piled back in the vans and returned to base camp all telling the stories of the fish that “got away” and, more importantly, those we caught.

“Wasn’t it gross kissing your fish?”, I asked.

Blank stares. And more blank stares.

You guessed it. The Princess got her comeuppance and was the only one gullible enough to be talked into kissing the fish.

Lesson learned. But I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

And Jake and I hugged it out at the end. He really was an awesome guide.

With many, many high points (including an incredible cello recital by our hostess on the deck during cocktail hour) and very few low points (poor Clare getting sick and missing out on fly fishing), the trip was an opportunity to create great memories with dear friends.

And we are already planning next year’s trip – to NAPA!

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Comments

  1. What a fun post! Given a choice, I will ALWAYS be the princess! It sounds like you had an amazing trip!! Have a great rest of the weekend! xoxo

  2. I’ve only been white water rafting once and all I can say is – I’m beyond impressed that you kept your wave going through all that!!!
    Kissing the fish is too funny – Jake sounds like one of those people who loves his job and helps all around him to enjoy their time!!!
    Kim recently posted…Trying New Things (8/10-8/16)My Profile

    • I had an excellent crew of paddlers that kept me safe. And you are right – Jake was awesome. A really sweet and interesting guy who was clearly dedicated to creating a positive and memorable experience. And he did!
      Mo Lux recently posted…The Princess And The FishMy Profile

  3. How much wine does it take to get rid of the taste of live fish? Greg ate turtle soup on our honeymoon, according to him it takes a lot of wild turkey to get rid of the taste!

  4. Oh these pictures are classic. Just classic! Love the full on splash complete with waving hand one. Looks and sounds like you had a wonderful time. Though how he managed to talk you into kissing the fish …
    Kelly McKenzie recently posted…Top Ten AffirmationsMy Profile

  5. OMG Mo!!! I think this goes into the TOP 10 of my favorite posts of yours. I felt like I was sitting right next to you on the royal throne! What a great adventure. I’m sure you have kissed a few frogs before finding your prince – who knew a fish was in your future. Have a great week. No more fish kissing.

  6. Ok, Mo – you need to edit this. “Do not read while drinking a glass of wine.” Came this close to losing it all over the iPad. Lol between you in Princess mode and Katie in Supermodel Trophy Wife Camp I don’t stand a chance!

    • If I can ever be one tenth as funny as our pal Kate I will count that as a hugely successful post! Sorry I didn’t warn you but I’m a fan of your blog reading technique – iPad and a glass of wine is the best!
      Mo Lux recently posted…The Princess And The FishMy Profile

  7. Too funny. I especially love Peter’s very serious paddling face with you waving regally behind.

  8. I would arm wrestle you for the princess seat, but on the other (non waving) hand, I am so much of a control “Lover,” I would want a paddle in my hand to control the fate of my subjects.

    What fun!
    Leslie Anne recently posted…4 Questions: Touring on BloglandMy Profile

  9. That’s amazing! I’ve ALWAYS wanted to do this- and I think I’d make a very good princess too.
    Kate recently posted…Lions, tigers and beers… oh my!My Profile

  10. Hehe, great story, Mo! You really lucked out with the rafting, and I am mighty impressed with your waving skills (especially during some of those bigger rapids).
    Bev recently posted…Learn a new creative skill with CraftsyMy Profile

  11. You did an excellent job as the Princess! And Napa next year? Woo hoo!
    Dana recently posted…Of chocolate, Broadway, and brasMy Profile

  12. Mo, what a fabulous adventure and “YOU GOT TO BE A PRINCESS” yay. By the way i am very impressed with your fish smooching bravery.
    I might just add this to my Yes list.
    Karen Main recently posted…Oh how I Wonder, and why you should toMy Profile

  13. Boy were you dedicated to your princess responsibilities! I loved the shot of your waving hand sticking up past the white water and the side of the raft. The fish kissing picture as adorable and makes for an excellent story.

    What a wonderful adventure!
    Tammy recently posted…Life ChangingMy Profile

  14. Laughing so hard, because I know my hand would have shot up just as fast as yours! You mean I can just sit in the boat and wave while everyone else does the work? Yep. Sign me up! 🙂
    Trish recently posted…Week in Photos {August 11-17}My Profile

  15. mo, i am so jealous of all the fun you are having. the faceless picture of you with your hand raised had me cracking up.
    catherine gacad recently posted…I Was Not Born to Be a MomMy Profile

  16. How fun! I would have picked the Princess too-smart choice 🙂
    Deanna recently posted…Wordless Wednesdays: Summer in the City.My Profile

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