Monday, July 23, 2012

Gates of Lodore

Two river trips in the same month, yeah!  My friend Mike hit the lottery for a river trip permit on the Green River through Dinosaur National Monument. Unfortunately, Mike's wife suddenly developed a serious health problem just 9 days before we were scheduled to launch. Mike had to cancel; I was able to pick up the cancellation launch date and the trip proceeded as otherwise planned. (The best news, Mike's wife is recovering well).

Thirteen of us, in four rafts and three kayaks, spent four days on the water. We had picked the same campsites as we used in our 2010 trip. This year we had great weather, no flipped boats, no injuries, and no mosquitoes at all! Just like in 2010, a skunk was prowling the campsites at Jones Hole.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Middle Fork of the Salmon!

We're home and unpacked after a 7-day trip on the Middle Fork of the Salmon, through the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness in central Idaho. When we launched on June 30, the gauge at Middle Fork lodge was at 3.56 feet; seven days later it was at 3.14. This was a really enjoyable level, the rapids were fun, the rock gardens not intimidating like at low water.

The weather was just about perfect. On our last night, we got a few raindrops from some menacing clouds during dinner -- just enough to convince Jill and I to set up a tent. Naturally, that was the only rain we had.

We did a layover day at Lost Oak Camp; some of our group ferried across the river to soak at Sunflower Flat hot springs, others went hiking. The fishing was very good, there were lots of golden stoneflies out and the cutthroat trout were happy to feed on the imitation versions.

This was the first multi-day river trip in the new raft that Jill and I bought last summer; we really like the new setup. It carries gear like a dream and rows very nicely; although I had terrible sloppy runs through a couple of the rapids, it wasn't the raft's fault!

Permits to run the Middle Fork are hard to get; the lottery odds for prime dates can be 100:1 or worse. Thanks to everyone in our group for a great trip, and special thanks to Alice for inviting us!

My Middle Fork photo album on PicasaWeb