In late July we went to the Tetons and Yellowstone National Park for a couple of days. We canoed a slow part of the Snake River with Eric's parents (after they had just finished an arduous canoeing adventure in Yellowstone National Park), and ever since then Eric has been fantasizing about doing that same stretch in the fall. We went up there again this past weekend, and enjoyed the Tetons in all their autumnal beauty.
The boys enjoyed being on the water. We were really clever this trip and filled up a box with rocks so the boys could chuck them in when they started getting bored. They also enjoyed watching other boats and fishermen. Ike spent a good deal of time with his hands in the water, and occasionally he managed to pull up out some grass. When Felix tried to reach his hands into the water he nearly went headfirst into the river. I managed to save him before he was able to test out his life jacket.
The boys also liked seeing various wildlife. We saw ducks, geese, cormorants, and herons. Eric also saw some otters at one point, so we canoed upstream to the opposite side of the river to get a better look at them. We counted a total of six, and they continued to swim upstream and play around logs as we approached. Eventually they got out and ran along the bank. I never got a great picture of them, but they were fun to watch.
Just as we were getting close to the otters a bald eagle flew right above them and went to a spot in a tree on the other side of the bank. So then we hustled over to the other bank to get a better look at him. Thankfully, he landed in a tree with no leaves, so he was pretty easy to spot. As we approached, he took off again.
Although our trip with the boys was certainly beautiful, it was not as colorful as Eric had hoped or expected. While we were driving out of the park we noticed that other sections of the river (the ones not really accommodating for canoeing with children) were much more vibrant.
After watching the BYU football game at my brother's house, we took advantage of the free babysitting and the ability of my 16-year-old nephew to shuttle us to a more adventurous section of the river close to my brother's house. It was fun to canoe without little kids in our boat. We had a great time going through rapids and definitely got wetter than we did with the boys. Eric fully intends to take them on the same section of the river next year. The scenery was gorgeous, especially as the sun was going down and lighting up all the yellow leaves along the banks.