A good friend of mine from college who currently lives in LA was back in her hometown of Livingston and it seemed like a wonderful way to experience small town Montana. I didn’t know much about Livingston beyond the Jimmy Buffet “Livingston Saturday Night” song but after 24 hours with Karri I had my own opinions, all which were good! She told me to meet her at the Murray (http://murrayhotel.com/) and gave me very simple instructions on how to navigate from the freeway. Within minutes I was sitting at a bar stool awaiting her arrival. When she walked in it was a bit like in the movies when the big city girl goes back to her hometown, there were a lot of hugs, excitement an occasional squeal of delight and a whole lot of love.
We decided to walk down to the Farmers Market in town where we enjoyed handcrafted art and jewelry, produce, live music and local beer. We sat on a bench overlooking the Yellowstone River and caught up with one another.
We made our way back to town where we toured her old stomping grounds, I learned a lot of Livingston history, stopped at the Elks where we cocktailed with her old Home Ec teacher and then met some friends for dinner. The rest of the evening was spent back at our meeting spot, The Murray where we were treated to live music and a few more drinks.
Prior to departing town my friend encouraged me to float the river with her and her friend Cole. I was a bit cautious as I have had some water incidents that have left me a bit scared of moving water, Oregon coast, rip tide, Coast Guard sort of incidents. However, I have decided that I need to expand my horizons on this trip and try things I wouldn’t normally try. We loaded into Cole’s car and headed outside of town to drop in to the river. I was anxious. I was nervous. What was I worried about? It was just a little float down a little river.
We pulled down onto the river rocks to unload and while Cole was at the back of the car pulling the tubes out to inflate the car somehow started driving forward. I was just getting out of the back seat and was standing by the door when the car started its move. The next think I know the car is rolling over my left foot (yes like the movie title) and I was thrown to the rocks. Thankfully, Cole was quick on his feet and had the car stopped before it gained too much ground. However, speaking of ground, I was sprawled out on it in complete shock! I lay there for a moment and could hear my friend Karri asking me if I was okay, I wiggled my foot and was met with absolutely no pain. The only response I could provide them with was hysterical laughter, seriously, who gets their foot run over by a vehicle and walks away with only a few bruises from the fall? I guess me; I have since been called Bionic and referred to as Wonder Woman; which doesn’t upset me in the least bit.
The near death experience did not get me out of floating the river. We finished inflating the tubes and pushed off into the swift moving Yellowstone. It was a wonderful trip, met with pockets of anxiety when my tube floated the incorrect way or really bounced me through the rapids. I even got a workout in as I used my arms as oars for the hour and a half ride. Towards the end of the float I had gained some confidence and was thinking I had this water fear licked. As we hopped out of the river Karri said “Congratulations! You just successfully floated THE most dangerous river in the United States!” I almost dropped to the rocks again. Seems I cheated death twice that day and ended up Living through my Livingston experience.