Clearwater National Forest – Colgate Camp & the River

We came across an idyllic little camp site right on the edge of a fast flowing river. It’s one of the only properly designated free campsites with toilet facilities that we came across and at the time it was absolutely perfect. We set up our camp chairs on the riverbank, cooked up a Mexican tortilla dish and cracked a beer. Bliss.

I had a dip in the river; it was flowing so fast that I couldn’t go any deeper than just over a foot and had to hang onto a tree branch when I lay down to prevent myself from being swept away. The water was mind numbingly cold (some say refreshing). I dipped under and in my haste to get back out again I lost my jandal (Japanese Sandal – the rubber version originally a New Zealand invention). The cold prevented me from moving quick enough to retrieve it and it was swept away. Not to be discouraged from a good wash I shampooed my hair and got back in. Honestly it was brain slowing, heart stopping cold; but I had the heater on in the van and a hot tea ready so it was all in good fun.

[slickr-flickr tag=”Jandal” type=”slideshow” size=”small” align=”left”]

Later when I was dry and bundled up in warm clothes I walked downstream scouring the riverbank for fallen branches and the like which could have caught my jandal. I couldn’t believe my eyes when a hundred yards downstream I spotted a tree with something odd caught on a branch and forced just under water. Retrieving my jandal wrapped up an awesome afternoon, just one of many on our awesome road trip.

[slickr-flickr tag=”Colgate Camp” type=”galleria”]

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  1. I didn’t realise that Sam was holding on to stop being pulled away by the current!

    • It was fast flowing, couldn’t go any deeper than I was. I was frustrated that I couldn’t go deep enough to totally submerge myself quickly – doing so would have got me in and out quicker.