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

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