Go Fishin’, Raftin’, Litter Pickin’ … Or All Three!

By Beacon Staff

Yeah, I know. The Sun Road isn’t completely open just yet, so there’s nothing to do in the Flathead, right? Wrong!

I took a quick look at the events calendar on the Chamber’s website (whitefishchamber.org) this morning, and found no fewer than 15 different events and activities set for the next week or so in the area between Whitefish and Glacier National Park – literally something for everyone!

If you’re a local businessperson, you’ve probably already got this Thursday’s “Gone Fishin’” mixer on your calendar. If not, add it now – 5-7 p.m. this Thursday (June 20), at Whitefish Therapy & Sports Center.

Located in the medical plaza just south of North Valley Hospital, Scott Ruda and the staff at Whitefish Therapy always lay out a nice spread for Gone Fishin’, and they do a great job showing off their state-of-the-art rehab, therapy and training facility as well.

So plan to join 150 of your newest friends for some great Montana hospitality, raffle drawings and a chance to network with other local business owners and managers.

Pickin’ & grinnin’… on the river!

Saturday morning’s your chance to score a little free whitewater rafting while also helping to get the Flathead River “lookin’ good” for summer! The Montana Raft Co./Glacier Guides has been hosting “Rafting For Refuse” – their annual river cleanup – since 1997, gathering trash at the public river access points and along the river corridor on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River.

No, it’s not in Whitefish, but it is right in our backyard, and, like everyone else in the valley, we treat it like our own. So encourage your friends and family to come along and make this annual event another great success!

Volunteers will meet at 9:30 a.m. this Saturday at the Montana Raft Co./Glacier Guides office located on U.S. Highway 2 about 1.5 miles west of West Glacier. When you get there, check in with the office staff to read and sign their “Acknowledgement of Risk.”

After heading to the lifejacket room to get everyone fitted in wetsuits, booties and lifejackets, they’ll take a group picture and give a brief presentation on “Leave No Trace,” then split up into smaller groups and shuttle to various river access points.

Once there, volunteers will clean up the river put-in then float the river, stopping periodically to pick up refuse along the way. They’ll scour their take-out point for more trash, then it’s a short shuttle back to the Montana Raft office for volleyball and a complimentary barbecue at 2 p.m. – with a prize awarded for the coolest piece of trash found!

Montana Raft Co./Glacier Guides will provide all of the necessary rafting equipment (splash gear, wetsuits, booties, lifejackets, etc.), as well as expert guides and staff to coordinate the day. Each volunteer should bring their own work gloves (for picking up trash); water bottle; a warm hat and gloves; a fleece shirt and/or jacket; sunscreen; and an extra set of clothes for after the raft trip

Montana Raft Co./Glacier Guides has always promoted a strong environmental message, with an emphasis on “Leave No Trace” ethics and energy conservation. During the river cleanup, your guides will provide information and insight into issues facing our river system and national park. Exposure and participation in the river cleanup is even more important in light of growing river use, development pressure and the expansion of mining at the headwaters of the Flathead River.

So come on out this weekend, and help preserve the Middle Fork for generations to come!

To volunteer, contact the Montana Raft Co./Glacier Guides at 387-5555 or email info@glacierguides.com.

But do it quick, because space is limited!

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