Thursday, June 26, 2014

It's been a busy spring!!!

Hello Family Rafters,

I haven't had the chance to post since our return from the Yampa.  It's been a busy spring, with floats down the Arkansas, work at my new practice and doing my best to get families out on the water.  My family therapy practice has grown as I was invited to join the group at Paramount Health Directions.  I was honored to be asked to join by Dr. Stamatiou, who developed Paramount to meet the mental health needs of Denver.  For years it's been my opinion the Dr. Stamatiou is the best psychiatrist in Denver. This spring has been busy as I've moved much of my practice to Cherry Creek as I've become part of her team.  I'm also happy that she's supportive of my Families on the River program.  I'm looking forward to getting more families, kids and couples out on the river.

As far as floating, we've been hitting the Arkansas river this spring.  It's been a blast as the flows have been fun and swift.  I'll be posting pics soon.  I've also been able to get some new families out on the water, which is always a joy to behold.  River life is indeed grand!

If you've never floated Browns Canyon on the Ark, do so this spring and do so fast before the flows drop.  River Runners and Noah's Ark are both excellent rafting companies.   Contact them and have a great float!

As far as us, we are planning what has become our annual trip down Lodore Canyon of the Green river.  I'll be posting more as we get ready.  We are lucky we floated the Yampa during off season as usually you can only get a permit for one or the other.  We have one excited group.

Back with more soon.

Bill Strong on Family Rafting!!!!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

We are back from our trip on the Yampa, what a great family float!!!

I'll post more shortly, but here are some pics of our recent trip.  Yampa Canyon in Dinosaur National Park is such a great family float.  71 miles of river in 5 days.  Wow my arms are sore!

This was a wonderful trip for us to get ready for our "Families on the River" Program.  I'll be taking new families on river trips in hopes of sharing the excitement that family time on the river has to offer.  I'll also be working on my "Family Therapy on the River" program, where I'll be taking families who can benefit from working together in what will be challenging, therapeutic, and healing.  I couldn't be more excited and have had an excellent response.  Whether it's inner-city families who are new to outdoor activities or families who want to improve their relationships, the river will provide what they seek. I can't wait to see how each family responds and grows to the demands and beauty of river life.  Being on "River Time" (leave your watch at home) allows individuals and families to live in the present.  Cell phones, Ipads, hand-held video games somehow don't work on the river!  But do bring your camera.  And don't forget your wishes and dreams for how you'd like things in your family and marriage to change. 

A big Shout-Out and thanks again to Chris Frazee of Maravia Rafts, Tony Abrams of Canyon Coolers, Jan at Stiches-n-Stuff, the fine folks at Cascade Outfitters and Mike Mather (the best trainer for river safety!) for their help in putting this program together!

Our trip started with all the planning involved in multi-day trips.  A detailed and tasty menu, gear list, safety equipment (double check it twice), beefing up the first aid kit, are all the things involved in planning for a fun and SAFE multi-day trip.  And 71 miles of river in 5 days is no small task.  Once you push off into a canyon with no way out other than better have what you need!

After planning food and gear, we watched the flows and weather.  Due to cool weather, the flows dropped a bit.  They were around 1400 CFS when we put in and stayed around there throughout.  Floatable for sure, but you had to keep your eyes peeled for sleepers (shallow rocks) and rock gardens.  Getting hung up isn't fun in general, but with cool temps I wasn't wanting to have to hop out of the boat to push. 

The morning of the trip the river ranger showed up to check to see if we were really ready for our expedition.  She wasn't kidding around!  She looked for our "Groover" (toilet system), First Aid Kit, Fire-Pan with required Fire Blanket, Safety Equipment...then she signed out our permit and said good luck!  As the assigned trip leader it was my job to make sure we had everything required.  If you don't have every mandatory piece of equipment and documentation, there's no float for you!

Before letting us shove off, the ranger pointed out that we were the only boats putting in that day, none had left the day before and none were leaving the following day.  My sister who's quite the wilderness lover was so happy to hear that we wouldn't be seeing ANYONE on our trip. As excited as I was, I also felt the pressure of doing a good job as the trip leader.  I was extremely happy to have my wilderness seasoned sister along.  With no one around to assist it was really important that we were smart and safe.  Thanks Mike Mather for the training!  I take his White Water Rescue class about every other year and still have more to learn.

Here are some pics that I'm hoping my readers enjoy. If you're a family wanting a river experience, please shoot me an email to

A little relaxation at the "Put In" after a long drive from Denver.

The Barney Barge is Family Friendly. My wife loves the bass boat seat I put on for her.  A happy wife on the river is a happy life on the river!
One thing for sure...Kids love water!

There's nothing like the entrance into a canyon that you'll be living in for 5 days.
My Brother-in-Law came from Kansas and left an accomplished river rafter.  He was floating a 12' raft on his own and rocked it!  He did a great job!
He may have been a majestic elk in a past life!

"Wow" was the word of the trip!

It was a bit chilly, but the times were good and my crew was a hearty bunch!
Another Wow moment!

My kids know how to live life on the river!
Having my sister along made the trip very special for me.  We learned so much from her about botany, geology and Environmental Conservation.  Thanks Nancy!!!

The contrast between the canyon and snow cover mountains was stunning.
Those crazy River-Kids!

Tiger Rock

It's hard not to have a good time on the river with scenery like this.


The Watercress below Warm Springs Rapid was my wife's favorite.

That's our favorite campsite of the trip.  Mathers Hole.

The great thing about river trips is that with the coolers we can fit our boat, you can truly have a gourmet experience!  Here's our grand meal at Mather's Hole,  Rib Eyes and Apple Cured Pork Chops from Middle Park Meat Company in Kremmling Colorado, and a Salmon Steak from Tony's Meats for my healthy sister.  Regulations require a fire pan that has 4' legs and the fire blanket shown catches any ash.  I use a welder's blanket.  This meal also included my wife's Crab and Asparagus Risotto.  We had her chocolate cake for desert.  What an amazing meal!

Here's are meal on night number 3.  My wife's famous green chili with some Tacoritos from Santiago's Englewood!  Yum Yum!!!  Again the fire blanket helps us from making a mess. 


It was nice to see the herd of sheep again at Jones Hole.  We saw some river otters but I was slow with the camera.
It was also nice to fish again at Jones Hole!!!
This picture says it all for me.  Floating with my daughters is truly wonderful.
Life on the River.  It couldn't be better!
Back with more soon! 
Bill Strong of Denver on Family Rafting

Friday, March 28, 2014

River Season is Upon Us!!!

Hi Family Rafters,

Well the Strong Family of Denver is getting all geared up to run the Yampa river at the end of April!

We couldn't be more excited.  We have a few families joining us so we will have a great group to enjoy this incredible canyon float with.  71 miles of river in 5 days with good food, fun activities (Horseshoe tournaments every night around the fire), Great Food and fun with the kids.

As with all Multi-Day river trips, everyone will have a job to do as we rig the rafts, float for the day, and then set-up camp. Meal preparation is a very social event for our style river trips. It's a time for talking, laughing, discussing the upcoming challenges the next day.  It's true that trips with adult are fun, but for me Family Rafting is where it's at.  We share times with our kids when they are unplugged and their screens are off.  Thank Goodness that we don't even have cell service on these trips!

I'll be back more as well plan.  Just a reminder, if you didn't get a permit look for cancellations!

Bill Strong of Denver on Family Rafting!!!

Friday, January 24, 2014

More on River Permits

Hi Rafting Families,

Yes the clock it ticking in all of our submissions for river permits.  I'll be posting links when I have time. Good news for those of us who submit (and cross our fingers) for Yampa and Lodore permits.  You can now do this online (which I'll bet makes Kelly's life easier too!).  Here is the link for the webpage.  As most of you know, you can only apply to either the Yampa or Lodore Canyon, not both.  The Yampa is the more difficult of the two in snagging a permit as it's season is shorter.  Lodore flows longer because it's fed by Flaming Gorge reservoir.  Both are great floats and they are amazing different canyons.  I suggest both. 

More later, I just wanted to get this link up for my readers.  Good luck in getting your permit.  Ours are submitting and we are hoping for the best.

Bill Strong of Denver on Family Rafting

Monday, January 20, 2014

Let's not forget to submit for River Permits

Hello Rafting Families,

It's that time of year where it's pretty easy to miss various deadlines for river permits.  Go here to find some helpful links. We will be trying hard for the Rouge River this year, as well as the Middle Fork of the Salmon, Selway and of course Lodore Canyon.

Good luck fellow rafters!

Bill Strong of Denver on Family Rafting

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

It's been a while, but I thought I'd update...

Well we never did follow though on pulling out kiddos out of school so we could do Lodore again.  But we did take them to Tulum (south of Cancun) before Christmas and had an absolute blast.  White beaches, great food, Zip Lines, rafting though Conotes (fresh water cavern and caves) and down time with the family was just what we needed.  I'll post some pics soon.

Also, don't forget it's time to submit our applications for river permits.  I'll post more on that soon as well.

Happy New Year from Bill Strong of Denver and his Rafting Family!