Tag Archives: Yellowstone River

Boat Riders and Book Writers – Updated With Better Video

One of Gary Larson’s cartoons that has lingered with me over the years is the one where a small wooden shed sits in the middle of a construction site with a big mound of dirt.  Above the shed is the sign “Fred’s Fill Dirt and Croissants”.   I love it because it appeals to my love of contrasts and supposed contradictions.  It is also the story of my life.  Granddaughter of rich people from Philadelphia who made their fortune in bobby pins and hair nets and the granddaughter of a failed farmer who ended up on the Ford assembly line.  Trained to teach lofty subjects to college kids, but happier doing pratfalls in French farces in Off Off Broadway theaters.   Now living on a cattle ranch going to boat floats and book readings in one week.

“BOAT FLOOOAT! BOAT FLOOOOAT!”, the guys on shore yelled out to a river raft filled with pirate hatted young men. Continue reading

“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.