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Annual Boat Trip Down the Platte

Written by Dick Perue

Prominent Men of Denver and Kansas City Preparing for Annual Trip Down Platte River

 It’s summertime, living is easy, and fishing is the best in the world. It’s also time for the tourists to arrive, as described in these two articles in “The Saratoga Sun,” published July 19 and Aug. 19, 1917:

A local business man has received a communication from F.G. Bonfils, one of the publishers of the Denver Post, stating that he and a number of other prominent men who have accumulated the habit of coming to Saratoga on a fishing trip every year have their arrangements about completed for another enjoyable vacation trip down the Platte river.

In his letter Mr. Bonfils says: “We are intending to make our annual float down the Platte River and will arrive in Saratoga on Tuesday morning, Aug. 14. The crowd will be just the same this year as last, only there may be one more. We want at least the same number of boats, guides and everything else. All are looking forward to this trip with a great deal of joy.”

For six years, Mr. Bonfils and a party of good fellows have come to Saratoga in the late summer and made a trip down the river in boats, enjoying the fine fishing and outdoor life on camps along the river for a space of 10 days or two weeks, and each year do they look forward more eagerly to the time when they can take to the boats and float away from cares and worries in the enjoyment of the finest vacation trip that could be imagined.

Local parties are looking after the arrangements for boats and other equipment and all will be in readiness for the party when they arrive here.

An article in the Aug. 16, 1917 issue of the hometown weekly newspaper notes:

Navigating the Platte

F.G. Bonfils of Denver, accompanied by a party of nine friends from Denver and Kansas City, arrived in Saratoga on Wednesday in a private car attached to the regular train. The gentlemen are enjoying their annual vacation voyage down the Platte and will spend the next two weeks on the river in quest of the wily trout and enjoying camp life along the river.

Their boats, supplies, etc., had been taken to a point up the river near the mouth of Cow Creek, where the start was made, and they will make a leisurely trip from there to Fort Steele, where their car will await their arrival.

In the party are F.G. Bonfils, Volney Hoggatt, Alex. Dougherty, C.A. Bonfils and Leslie Whittaker of Denver; E.T. Swinney, T.T. Crutender and Lin S. Banks of Kansas City; and W.G. Bierd and C.H. Haney of Chicago.