Monday, July 16, 2012

Middle Fork of the Salmon - Round 2

The Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho, or the River of No Return, is a 100 mile stretch of beauty in the Frank Church Wilderness.  It is the second largest protected wilderness in the contiguous US.
Middle Fork Salmon River, ID
After a wild, high water trip in 2010, I was determined to make it back this year.  I was bummed when I found out that I didn't win a permit in the lottery, but that was quickly remedied when I got an invite from Carrie Horner (BAMF extraordinaire) for the exact date that I had applied for!! As an added bonus, the fancy new cataraft I had ordered from my friends at NRS arrived less than a week before launch and I knew this would be a great opportunity to learn from one of the best...Carrie herself!
Madness at Boundary Creek
Madonna's First Rapid, Velvet Falls!
Learning From the Best - Carrie "BAMF" Horner
Ready To Fly Solo

I was giddy with excitement as we packed and loaded, with sunshine, perfect flows, and an awesome crew were in the forecast.
Our Awesome Crew

Everything turned out as planned this time, with six wonderful days of whitewater, hotsprings, fishing, wildlife, pictographs, and unbelievable scenery.  
Pistol Creek Rapid
Sunflower Hot Springs
Nick, Master Fisherman!
Big Horns!! 
Pretty View :)
Our Trip Sponsor....Amnesia Brewing! Yummy!

 I loved every second of this trip...what an amazing river!!  I'm already planning my return....

Monday, July 2, 2012

Drew's White River Birthday

Typically when I think of high canyon walls rising straight from the river, continous whitewater in a remote setting, and white sandy beaches with the smell of Juniper’s in the air I think of the classic multi-day runs of Idaho or Utah. However, the run that I’ve just described is only an hour away from my hometown of Hood River, OR. The White River in Oregon tumbles off the eastern flanks of Mount Hood before draining into the popular Deschutes River. Recieving it’s name from the silt that gathers in it’s glacial waters the White River has been in my thoughts for a few years. Christie and I decided to check it out for my birthday this year and we were pleasantly surprised. The whitewater was continuous enough to keep us entertained and the scenery was surreal. We decided to make the most of our weekend and spent the night half way down this 23 mile stretch.

The first day consisted of fun rapids the entire way in an intimate forest. After about 12 miles the forest peeled back and towering walls of basalt emerged from the river. As soon as we saw a big sandy beach we decided to have our birthday celebration. We set up camp, had a few cocktails, and enjoyed the afternoon sun. When the sun dissappeared behind the canyon wall we started a fire and cooked up a tasty meal that we let digest while watching the stars illimunate the desert sky.

The morning brought blue skies and a day on the river to be remembered. Floating by sandy beaches, caves, and springs along with a collection of hawks, butterflies, and bear our cameras were getting a workout. After a couple of serene hours the canyon walls tapered off and the whitewater resumed. Just three miles below our takeout lies the infamous White River Falls State Park, aka Celestial Falls. This impressive waterfall plunges ninety feet over a basalt shelf before falling again fourty-five feet into an amphitheater-like pool and yet another twenty feet just downstream! Needless to say we enjoyed our weekend and started off my new year in good fashion!

Drew Eastman