Canoe Collision

The horn - Swiftcurrent Lake, Glacier National Park


E had been hinting about renting canoes. She mentioned it again the day after our hike to Grinnell Glacier. Little did she know that Dad had planned to surprise us with an hour of canoeing on Swiftcurrent Lake.


M in the canoe on Swiftcurrent Lake, Glacier National Park


When we went to the dock to get in our canoes, I was very nervous. Dad and E sat down carefully in their canoe, E in the front, Dad in the back. I wondered if this canoeing adventure would take someone’s life. The first thing E did in the canoe was bump into the rocky shoreline. With my nerves going crazy, I stepped into the red canoe and got a paddle.

Rowing was easier than I had expected and the likelihood of flipping over seemed less. Dad and E had already departed far into Swiftcurrent Lake. Mom and I started rowing and my arms were hurting by the first 5 minutes of paddling. Mom showed me the technique and soon I was sailing through the blue-green water. There was a breeze blowing and I enjoyed drifting to feel the canoe rocking in the waves.


M canoeing towards Many Glacier Hotel, Glacier National Park


Mom casually took pictures as I noticed that Dad and E were purposely going towards a dangerous stream, or so I thought. Furious, I paddled towards the apparent daredevils. Realizing they hadn’t gone near the stream, we continued to paddle in their direction. Upon reaching them, I saw that a collision was about to occur between the two canoes. We were headed in a deadly course towards each other. From the looks of it, no one else seemed concerned. I yelled and screamed, tossed my paddle aside and prepared for the crash.


Dad and E canoeing on Swiftcurrent Lake, Glacier National Park


Luckily we were only side swiped and Mom grabbed my paddle out of the shallow water. Everyone thought that I was pretty funny overreacting and throwing away my paddle. Dad explained the expression how I would be up the creek without a paddle. He also commented on how deftly Mom swiped it up, as she knew that a lost paddle would cost her $20.00.

Mom and I continued canoeing around the wind swept lake. At one point the excursion boat passed us and the wake tossed us towards the rocky shoreline. The stiff breeze and the waves made it difficult to steer. The rowing was treacherous and nearly impossible. I yelled for help, saying SOS and SOC (save our canoe.)

Amazingly, we made it to the dock. Our time was up and our thrilling canoe ride was over.



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