“Floating Saloons”

Continuing my series on Bar Codes and Saloon Life, I went to check out the annual Yellowstone Boat Float.  Last night was the start of the Boat Float where young people man rubber rafts, fishing boats, makeshift vessels made of oil drums and plastic bottles. It’s a three day drinking affair. Every night they land their vessels and drink some more, listen to bands, and get arrested. The town folk come to watch.  And sometimes it is dangerous and there is always somebody that gets in trouble on the river or at the parties. Ah Jack London would be in heaven.

“In the saloons life was different. Men talked with great voices, laughed great laughs, and there was an atmosphere of greatness. Here was something more than the common-every-day where nothing happened. Here life was always very live, and, sometimes, even lurid…Terrible [saloons] might be, but then that only meant they were terribly wonderful…In the same way pirates, and shipwrecks, and battles were terrible; and what healthy boy wouldn’t give his immortal soul to participate in such affairs?”

And lo and behold, there was very much a pirate theme to many of the rafts.  Pirate flags flew proudly in the wind.  Pirate hats adorned many heads.  There were Indians and Vikings.   There was a guy packing some heat.  Of course some of this dangerous behavior was undercut by a lot of cute dogs some with their own life vests and some with, yes, pirate hats and Viking horns.

I’m still editing some movies of the event, but until then here are some pictures to enjoy.


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