Sunday, July 15, 2012


Every year, for a little under 50 years, Montanans pile into flotation devices, whether that consists of a barrel, an inflatable couch, or a raft, and bob down the Yellowstone River. They start in Livingston and retrace the Lewis and Clark Expedition to Columbus. The name of this event, "Boat Float", echoes down the river for three days. These marathon floaters stop in Big Timber and at Reed Point for rowdy nights dedicated to living it up on the river. And for many of them, a drink or two or ten is involved, on and off the river. Which is why the river is patrolled by Fish and Game personnel in motorized rescue boats for the entire float.

Yesterday, Jesse and I travelled to Big Timber to film for a television show called Wardens. This specific episode involved filming the floaters of Boat Float pass through an especially tricky rapid. The Fish and Gamer personnel, aka the Wardens,  idled their motors on the bank, waiting for girls to slip through their tubes and guys to drop their oars. Which is exactly what happened. Rafts got stuck on rocks, dumping their occupants into the churning river. People bounced out of their water crafts at the violent rapids. The Wardens set into action, scooping up the swimmers as they scrambled to stay afloat, grabbing escaped tubes and lifejackets. They helped many people safely to shore, the rumble of their engines announcing their presence throughout the day. And all the while, Jesse and I hovered the Cinestar over the action, catching it from above. We think it will add a really cool perspective to the show.

Watching the floaters pop out of their crafts and then be rescued by the wardens was pretty cool and entertaining. The wardens and other videographers were also so nice. The wardens seemed to truly love their jobs, driving motor boats and rescuing the drunken floaters. The fellow videographers were super easy to work with, as well. Jesse and I enjoyed spending the day with them. We both conclude that aerial gigs are pretty much the best and we can't wait until the next one!
Check out the Wardens TV show!

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