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Interview with Marilyn Scott: Magpie River Adventure Guest

Marilyn Scott tries to raft a major river about every 2 years. So far she has rafted 12 rivers, some Class-V, from Europe to the Americas. Two years ago, she figured that a good way to start a month of backpacking around Patagonia was by rafting one of the region’s most famous rivers, the Futaleufu.

“They said I was too old — that they were worried I wouldn’t be able swim if I fell out,” Scott said. “That pissed me off. At my age I hate being told I’m too old to do anything, especially because I’m in good physical condition.”

78 years young

At the time, Scott was 78 years old and had a lifetime’s more experience than most whitewater rafting guests. She was still sea kayaking and has paddled sections of the Washington, Oregon and British Columbian coast, and she used to kayak whitewater.

“I have so much experience,” says Scott, who lives in Oregon. “I thought, ‘wait a minute I’ve never fallen out of a raft in my life—almost but never.’”

Add to that the fact she’s lived and backpacked through 18 United States National Parks and worked a 6-person Pacific salmon fishing boat, and it’s easy to see why she was frustrated.

“I wanted to do something that year,” she said.  After a quick search for world’s best multi-day rafting rivers she settled on the Boreal River’s Magpie Adventure.

“I have never been to Quebec and my granddaughter had always wanted to go to Quebec City; that was her dream, so I said, ‘why not do Quebec City and the Magpie together?’”

With some logistical support from Boreal River, the pair spent a weekend in Quebec City before driving up the scenic Highway 138 to Sept-Îles.

Unique features of a Magpie Adventure

“The river was great. It had a bigger flow than many I’ve been on. The guides took really good care of me especially during the portages and getting in and out of the rafts with my bad knee. And the Magpie Falls were huge, really monstrous compared to other rivers. The food was great and eating the wild berries and being shown what was safe to eat. The berries are different from out west, so learning that and picking them was fun.”

Two other options that are unique to Boreal River’s Magpie Adventure were fishing. (“I caught a fish four out of five casts!”) and the option to paddle different boats.

“What they offered that other trips don’t offer was the chance to kayak in inflatable boats, or hard-shell boats or stand up paddle board. The variety was great.”

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