Monday, July 30, 2007

July 24-29, 2007 Middle Fork Trip

Small groups on the Middle Fork can be rewarded with incredible camps that are not normally used because of space issues. This last week, our group of nine (including guides Jo, Will, and Skip) had the opportunity to camp at some great small-site camps. Our last two nights were spent below Big Creek deep within Impassable Canyon. Our group size allowed us the flexibility to essentially do whatever it was we wished. This meant kayaking adventures down Loon Creek and Big Creek, fishing up Big Creek, lots of hikes, and lots of relaxing time. To put it simply, it was another great week on the river with great folks and new memories.

Night 1: Upper Jackass
Night 2: Cow Camp
Night 3: Trail
Night 4: Big Pine
Night 5: Solitude

Here are a few shots from the trip, I hope you all enjoy them:

View from the White Creek Pack Bridge (day 2):

Fishing Big Creek:

Bull Snake at Veil Falls:

Camping at Big Pine:

Daniel, morning of day 5:

James gets a darn sucker fish:

Glen kayaking Haystack Rapid:

Holli and James, day 1:

James kayaking through Haystack:

Joan seeking the big trout:

Joan and Glen on the scramble up to Veil Falls:

Kayaking below Waterfall Creek Rapid:

Chris and his favorite boat:

Chris and Daniel kayaking Big Creek:

Hiking the kayaks up Loon Creek:

Night 5, Skip versus Will, Elephant Croquet:

Skip, waking up on the morning of day 5:

Tappan Falls, day 3:

Thanks everyone for a great trip!

-Will V, Jo S, and Skip V

A note about this blog...

Pictures are normally worth a thousand words. On the Middle Fork, forget all about that saying because you could not describe the beauty of this place if given an infinite word count. Throughout the course of this summer I have been trying to capture the essence of our trips: the character of our incredible guides, the amazing people we take down the river, the families and groups that find true bonding along its banks, and, of course, the river itself - its canyon, crystal clear water, and mind boggling scenery.

Although it may be impossible to capture exactly what the canyon feels like or what emotions run through ones body as they paddle through Impassable Canyon, you can get darn close. Many of you who have joined us this summer have sent me pictures and notes from the trips you were on. I'm hoping to post them on this blog when I get the chance to browse through them (probably when the season slows down in September). For those of you who have left comments, thank you so much. It is incredibly rewarding to see that folks are enjoying the photos and videos.

I am looking for a short story written by one of our customers about their experience on the Middle Fork. It could be about a particular moment, a new friendship, or the whole trip in general. If you think you've got a good story, send it in my direction via email to I hope all of you are having a great summer and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone on the river again sometime soon.

Best Regards,
Will Volpert

Sunday, July 22, 2007

July 14 - 19, 2007 Main Salmon Trip

Our July 14th Main Salmon trip was a blast. Our party consisted of 18 guests and 4 guides. We floated the 81 miles from Corn Creek to Carey Creek in 6 days. The canyon was hot with daytime temps in the 90s so occasional dunkings, both intentional and random, provided entertaining relief. We used a variety of boats including a paddle raft, 4 single kayaks, and that old relationship tester, a double kayak. If you were on the trip, thanks for joining us.

Our Camps and miles:
Day 1: Blackadar Hole, 17.2
Day 2: Magpie, 29.5
Day 3: Mallard, 37.1
Day 4: Haynie Bar, 53.4
Day 5: T-Bone, 71.6

Tom Tremain
Julie Guthrie
Bob Volpert
Jo Schroeder

Approaching Bailey on Day 2. Hey, where is the kayak at the top of the rapid going?:

Tom and Lisa checking out the boats following them through Bailey. All the kayaks made it fine:

Steve has a perfect run:

Helen just taking it easy:

Peter cools off at camp:

Day 5 brought us to the Jewel of the Salmon, the stretch of slow water just below the South Fork of the Salmon. Greg celebrates with a nap:

Kayak jousting:

Heading to take-out on the last morning. We’re about an hour away:

Lisa and Mary cooling off:

Thank you all for the great trip!
-Team IRJ

Saturday, July 21, 2007

July 16-21, 2007 Middle Fork Trip

Just another excellent week on the river with good friends and lots of fresh memories. It was our first trip this season launching from Indian Creek and immediately we got into the kayak and whitewater action. The trip was punctuated midway with a spectacular thunder storm that lit up the canyon and brought everyone huddled together underneath our rain tarps. The skies cleared during the night and, as Charlie Norton ("a man of nerve!") would say, "and all was lovely again..."

Our Camps:
Day 1: Stateland Right
Day 2: White Creek
Day 3: Johnny Walker
Day 4: Wollard
Day 5: Cliffside

Jimmy Butts
Beth Carlson
Will Volpert
John Bohach
Matt Volpert
Skip Volpert
Andrew Wilkin

Sharon and Mike during the first day on the river:

Brownies along the banks of the Middle Fork:

Made it through upright:

The happy dish crew on night five:

Graham practicing his fish slaying:

Jimmy at Cameron Creek (pictograph site:

Jordan at the helm:

Ken, dry, before his two swims:

Pulling over for lunch the first day at Little Soldier Creek:

Marble Creek Rapid, day 1:

Matt's paddle crew, day 3:

Will's paddle crew, day 3:

All smiles:

Skip and Mitch, displaying excellent technique in the surf wave at Wollard:

The view back upstream from Survey Point:

Looking down at Wollard:

Thanks for the great trip!

Friday, July 13, 2007

July 8-13, 2007 Middle Fork Trip

It is impossible to imagine a better rafting vacation than on a river other than the Middle Fork of the Salmon. The last six days have been absolutely incredible. The fishing picked up dramatically, the water stayed fun and exciting, and, of course, once again we had great company. We saw a ton of familiar faces from trips in the past and met many new friends. This certainly was a trip to remember from a wildlife perspective.

The wildlife count:
1 wolf (a definite first for most), 1 bear, 1 golden eagle, 1 beaver (a first some guides as well) 16 river otters, 7 rams, 23 sheep, 1 rattlesnake, and plenty of grouse and chukar.

Our camps:
Day 1: Greyhound Creek
Day 2: Marble Right
Day 3: Shelf
Day 4: Wollard
Day 5: Stoddard

Here are some shots from throughout the week (click the shots to enlarge them):

Tom hanging out:

Surf's up at Wollard!

Stoddard Creek pictographs:

Pete tests out the mint at Veil Falls:

Paddle crew, day 5:

A pause in the action:

Marty above Wollard:

Swimming above Marble, day 2:

Lunch at Mist Falls, day 5:

Lindsey tests out the oars:

Jo at Waterfall Creek:

Haystack rapid, day 4:

Marty and Mandi drenched after the confluence, day 6:

Debbie and Dale on the hike to Veil Falls:

All smiles above Wollard, day 4:

Big horn sheep, day 5:

View from the ridge above Marble Right:

Ridgeline above Marble Right Camp (day 2):

Lake Creek Blow-out:

Day 2 paddle crew:

Mandi and Joe below "The Chutes" rapid:

A special thank-you to everyone who made this trip extremely fun and exciting!

-Andrew W, Tom T, Jo S, Julie G, Skip V, Mark E, and Will V.