Interview with Jessica: Floating the River

We think conversation is one of the most fun parts of language learning. On Thursdays, we switch languages and ask each other questions to learn more about Tuesday’s topic. Today, Rober interviews Jessica about summer river activities. You can read Jessica’s original post about floating the river here

Rober: In Missoula, is it common to float on an inner tube in the river?
Jessica: It’s super common! I’ve never lived anywhere else where it was so popular, although I know that it happens other places, too. On a summer day, along with inner tubes, you’ll have several kayaks and large rafts. There was one day in July where I stood on the Higgins Street Bridge for 5 minutes and watched maybe 15-20 people in inner tubes float underneath toward the wave. I took this picture on that day, but it doesn’t quite capture the traffic.


R: What river activities are your favorites?
J: I thought I didn’t like floating. I went a couple of times during visits before I moved back. The first time, we got stuck in a bunch of traffic and didn’t end up getting on the river. The second time, it was a cloudy day, so it was a chilly float. Even if it’s the middle of summer, it gets really cold floating on the river without sun. The inner tubes we used this summer, though, keep you warmer because you sit a little bit higher, so, floating is high on the list now. My favorite thing, though, and probably what we did the most this summer, is to paddle the paddleboard up the river a little bit and float back down. That gives you a minor workout and a new perspective on the river since you’re standing up higher. And, I love swimming, too, but there are better places for that a little farther down stream.

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Our usual paddleboard float

R: Are you sad when the summer is over or are you looking forward to fall? What’s your favorite season?
J: It’s much easier to enjoy fall now that I’m not in school–I think that always loomed over me a little bit and made me sadder to see summer go. In general, I’m really enjoying being in a place with seasons again. The river and the foliage change so much season to season, and walking regularly over the bridge heightens my awareness of those changes. But, summer is still probably my favorite.

From the Higgins Street Bridge in April, when it was still flooding
Same view during a summer sunset

R: Compared to your experience with San Francisco summers, is the Missoula summer very different?
J: Yes, San Francisco has much more muted seasonal changes with a foggy and cool summer. You’ll often see tourists in the summer in San Francisco sweatshirts because they came expecting a California summer and had to buy something warm last minute. In some ways, summer is the least nice season in San Francisco, but I grew to love it.

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San Francisco in July

R: Did you do everything you wanted to this summer or there are other things you would have liked to do?
J: I did pretty well, considering it was our first year here. I started a garden, which was a top priority. It was made easier by the fact that the previous owners of the house already had a garden bed, so I just had to throw some seeds in it. And Jacob and I took advantage of the short walk to the river to go down there almost every weekend. The one thing I would have liked to do more of is camping. We went one night when some friends were visiting, but it can be such a production to get everything ready, so it just didn’t happen again. That will have to be high on the list for next year!

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