I Almost Drowned River Surfing While Boondocking at the RV Dealership

Planned adventure is great, but when you stumble onto something spontaneous it can increase the level of excitement. That’s what happened during our visit to Missoula, MT.

Meeting Our Client

We had just left the incredible Glacier National Park (seriously, mind blowing) and on our way to Minnesota stopped in at one of our RV Social Media Clients, Bretz RV & Marine. Their head of marketing, Matt Powell, does a fantastic job and works hard to keep them as the largest RV & Boat Dealer in the Pacific Northwest. We were excited to attend one of their events that they happened to be putting on in Missoula, MT.

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An Adventure Town

Missoula is a neat town, small enough to know people in your community, but big enough to not feel like you’re capped by the limitations of many small towns for activities etc. Probably the best part of this town that we noticed was the level of adventure. There’s a lot of top notch outdoor activities in and around the area.

We hung out, looked at the new RVs and enjoyed some live music. But while we were there, I noticed people watching intently towards the river. When we walked over to check it out, I was shocked to see people surfing the river!Missoula (11)Missoula (7)I had never heard of such a thing and since we had the RV with, I had all my surfing gear! It turns out it’s a famous spot that’s been featured in National Geographic called “Brennan’s Wave”. I’m not one to turn away from a challenge like this so I decided the next morning at Sunrise I was going to come ride the wave before we headed on our journey to Minnesota.

There were some tubers also enjoying the river that day, until one of them didn’t heed the warning of the surfer to move over and flipped upside down (actually, it probably made it more fun). Missoula (12)Missoula (14)


RV Window Shopping & The Montana Club

We headed back to the Dealership to look at their huge inventory of new RVs. Isn’t it fun looking at all the latest and greatest designs and technology of these homes on wheels!?!

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After drooling over some of the new RVs, we built up an appetite. We went to a really neat cabin style restaurant called the Montana Club (we highly recommend it)! Awesome family friendly atmosphere and EXCELLENT food.

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It can be a challenge for Full Timers or people on vacation to get work done on their RV as it’s the place that you live and sleep. One big plus of this dealership is if you’re getting work done on your camper there they have hookups for you to stay charged up. Pretty unique view from our living room.

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Almost Dying or Truly Living?

Here’s a video of what river surfing in Missoula it should look like.

Unfortunately, when you don’t do your research and find out HOW to do something like this, it can get a bit dangerous.

I broke my own rule of adventure. I figured since I just wrapped up a 6 month “Mega RV Surfing Trip” from Mexico to Canada up the west coast that this would be cake (stupid)…

I thought the bigger dangers would be 1 of 2 things: first, without my board it would be exhausting and near impossible to battle the current of the river. Second, with the board there’s a danger of the board or leash catching on a rock or something under the water and trapping me.

Danielle almost NEVER gets up for sunrise, but I needed someone to capture the adventure on video (or call for help if things went terribly wrong). When we arrived, I noticed the river didn’t look like it did the day before. It seemed much more aggressive. Oh well, can’t back out now…

I carefully made my way out to where I saw people entering the wave the day before.  Just like anything challenging in life, odds are good you will fail the first few times. I failed miserably at getting up on the wave. It’s very different from standing up on a wave in the ocean. Missoula (45)That’s when things turned ugly. The water was SO POWERFUL and in what seemed like seconds I was swept 1/2 mile downriver and out of sight from Danielle. I’ve never had to fight so hard to get to shore in my life. I had NOTHING left in my tank of energy but somehow kept fighting and I estimate it took me about a mile to finally hit shore. Missoula (46)Missoula (48)I laid on the river bank for what seemed forever before finally getting the strength to climb up onto the trail. Danielle was moving quickly on the trail downriver to find out what happened to her husband. I couldn’t talk and could barely muster the energy to make it back to the truck where I proceeded to dry heave for 5 minutes. I haven’t been that sick from a workout since high school wrestling haha!Missoula (49)Luckily, I have the entire ordeal on video but we’re way backed up with all of our content so you’ll have to subscribe to our Youtube Channel and wait for it to come out.


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