Wow, what a season 2017 was! First off thanks to all of you: you being our customers, guides, employees and friends. We took a few thousand people whitewater rafting on the St. Louis River, gave dozens of kayak lessons, and rented out recreational kayaks and stand up paddle boards on the beautiful Thomson Reservoir (just down the block from our new office and kayak center). We were busy but we had tons of fun too!
The summer of 2017 did not disappoint as far as water levels. May and June were wet as usual and July started off with a bang. Then as water levels started to get low Mother Nature hammered the St. Louis River watershed with heavy rains in mid-August and never let up. That being said we had a superb fall rafting levels too.
In addition to all the fun loving tourists we took rafting we took down school and youth groups, summer camps, Boys and Girl Scouts of America, several different types of non-profit groups, bachelor and bachelorette parties, and corporate team building trips.
We expanded the number of educational trips we offer for schools and camps this past season working with teachers to incorporate their classroom curriculum into our trips. It’s fun to mix the sciences into an adventure experience. We did trips for physical education classes, biology, ecology, environmental science, sports teams and beyond.
Team Building Adventures
We are also experts in fun and engaging team building trips in which rafting is part of the experiences offered. We have even started a new division dedicated to team building adventures and experiences called Evolve Endeavors. Call us to set up your company’s team building adventure today: www.EvolveMN.com
Kayaking Merit Badges
Be prepared: for whitewater. This summer we worked with the Boy Scouts of America to help scouts obtain their kayaking and whitewater merit badges. Being an American Canoe Association certified kayak instructor, we were able to teach scouts the basics of kayaking, from wet exits to paddle strokes. Then we were able to test their skills as we learned to read and navigate whitewater. I was impressed by the energy and enthusiasm the kids had for paddling!
Specialized or Customized Group Trips
We led quite a few customized bachelor and bachelorette parties. We also guided several specialized trips for organizations such as Team, Red, White and Blue, a fantastic organization that gets veterans and the community out together interacting and having fun and 23rd Veteran.
One group in particular I know we will never forget. We took a group from Blind Inc. rafting. As the name implies, most of the participants were blind but that didn’t stop them from being solid paddlers. One of our biggest challenges was communicating what to expect on the trip while making it fun and safe, and interactive. Blind Inc inpressed us with their enthusiasm and tenacity.
Paddlemania –St Louis River Rendezvous
For the last several years Swiftwater has organized this paddling event held on the St. Louis River in correlation with Carlton Daze in Carlton, MN.
The 2017 event had the most racers and spectators to date! The Blast to the Bridge expert kayak race featured 32 racers. Throughout the weekend there were hundreds of spectators. And a couple of dozen teams competed in the Team Rafting event on Sunday. Thanks to our great sponsors and volunteers: http://www.paddle-mania.com/
Swiftwater Office and Kayak/SUP Rental Center
One thing that was completely new for 2017 was our new office and kayak center in Carlton, MN near the Upper St. Louis River take out/Thomson Reservoir. This is our office location, obviously as the name implies, as well as where many of our whitewater kayak lessons meet at.
We also rent out sit on top kayaks and Stand Up Paddle boards (SUPs) to use on the Thomson Reservoir. This 475 acre reservoir is a man-made lake created by the Thomson dam. This body of water is where the St. Louis River spills into the reservoir ending the rafting trip but there is so much left to explore. With several rocky, pine covered islands and rugged shoreline and the Midway River also flowing into the reservoir there is paddling adventures to be had!
Look for our spring 2018 blogs for a preview of what to expect and what’s new for 2018!
Book your whitewater rafting adventure on the St. Louis River now online.
See you on the river!