Monday, June 7, 2010

Memorial Day Mania

What better way to kick off the summer in Hood River than with a visit from Katie and Lizzy and a ladies weekend on the Little White!

Lizzy English showed up in Hood River to take #1 in the 8 mi. Super D mountain bike race and get in a few laps on the Little White. Katie Scott rallied up last minute for a couple of no portage Little White/Green Truss laps and to liven up the gorge nightlife. Mission accomplished. This town is definitely even more fun with these two girls in it!

Middle Fork of the Salmon River, Idaho

I was thrilled when I got the call from Rachel Crowder, inviting me on a 7 day trip on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho. Whitewater, wilderness, and hot springs....what more could a girl ask for??

I headed out early to hit up the North and South Forks of the Payette for a couple days (thanks Preston, Skip, and Bailey for awesome lines!!) then headed to Stanley bright and early Saturday morning. The drive was beautiful with the morning sun and fog in the valley.

The Drive to Stanley
Stanley, ID
After packing and organizing everything and meeting with the rangers to select our camps for the week, we were all buzzing around with excitement. We had a group of 13, half from the west and half from the east....a good mix of folks.

Put in excitement
We put on in the sun and at a nice friendly level of 3.86. This was exciting for us as we had a first time rower on our trip. Here is a short summary of how things went the remainder of the week....

Day 1: Popped 1 tube
Day 2: River has come up slightly, raining, popped another raft
Day 3: River has now reached 4.5 ft, everyone had an awesome day, still raining
Day 4: River rose to 6 ft overnight, still raining, we watch logs float downstream
Day 5: River rose again overnight, probably around 6.5/7 ft, big water, still raining
Day 6: Water is brown and huge with debris floating downstream, 1 kayak swim, missed camp, alternate camps under water, pouring rain, group decision to head to the take out a day
early, huge waves in the canyon, rescue a rogue, fully loaded raft, take out with the river
at 8ft.

Popped tube #1
Joe fishing at dusk
Kate Cecchini Beaver enjoying some hot springs
Oh look, it's a log floating down the river!
Opening up for a bit
Cave drawings
Of course, there are many many things that happened inbetween those things, but hopefully the photos and video can fill in the blanks! The Middle Fork is a gorgeous river and I would go back in a heart beat! I am, however, starting to wonder about my luck with multi-day trips and epic, high water days....