White water rafting or scenic float?   The hard decision was to take the camera or leave it behind.  As I wanted to capture all the wild and scenic photos as possible, we opted for the Grand Teton Lodge Company Scenic River Float at 6pm on Saturday.  On Friday I express my concerns about losing my camera and all my precious and memorable moments in the Snake River, I think I will leave my camera in the cabin.  My daughter assures me it will be no problem and she is taking her binoculars( not quite the same as all my vacation pictures) but I am persuaded to strap on the Canon Rebel XT with the 255 mm lens.  Off we go….the rafts are quite big and hold about 12 people, our trip had  9 adults and 2 children.   After a 30 minute drive from Jackson Lake Lodge we arrive at our starting point, Deadman’s Bar on the  Snake River.  Our guide Scott gathered us all and as WY law mandates, he went through his safety check list, which was then signed by a fellow member of the group.  “First…this is not a life-preserver, it will not preserve your life…it is a personal floatation device and it will only keep you afloat.  In the event you find yourself in the water keep your eyes on me and I will direct you to safety.  That maybe: back in the boat, or it may be to shore, or he can throw a life line to you.”  He has a perfect record on the water and he wants to keep it intact.  The raft gets launched and we are allowed to board without getting wet.  Now that I’m in… I want something to hold onto…anything.  There is a rope and I grab it, Scott says don’t touch the rope that is the line he uses to land the raft at Moose Landing.  What can I hold onto?…the sides of the raft….but I really can’t wrap my hand around something and hold on tight.  I can only palm the sides like a basketball player palms the ball (which was illegal when I played basketball) and doesn’t provide me with any real security.  Because there are little children on board as well as my oldest daughter I take a deep breath and hang on by my fingertips.  I can’t take photos like this, but after 20 minutes on the river I start to relax and enjoy the view.  This unique view of the mountains is impressive as they loom majestically over the river.  Scott is deftly handling the river while storytelling and answering questions.  Just one question for me “Where are the moose?” The moose population in the park is declining for a number of reasons, wolves being on the top of the list.  Here are a few of the best river shots….The Grand Teton, Mt Moran, a pelican in the water and flying away.

Although I didn’t get a great shot of the eagles, I think taking the camera was the right choice.

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