Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Middle Fork of the Salmon | August 1-6, 2009

The August 1 – 6 Middle Fork trip had everything a memorable river trip should have: Exciting whitewater, good fishing, great food, and interesting weather. Five out of six days had warm sunny weather, and the water level at the top was 2.1 feet.

The group that started at Boundary Creek included the families of David, Andrea, Max, Daniel, and Dylan; Adrienne, Charles, and Abigail; and Paul, Mary, Grace, young Mary and young Paul, as well as old friends Bea, Lauren and Hank. Joining us at Thomas Creek on Day Three for the balance of the trip were Marie, Greg, Hilary, Amaya, Gabe and Ted.

The guides were Tom, Scooter, Matt, Erin, Skip, birthday girl Rachael, and Mike.

We had some wonderful camps along the way, each with a different highlight:

-       Sheepeater (great hot springs with too hot, too cold and just right pools)

-       State Land Right (where we tossed up a tarp to shield us from a pre-dinner squall)

-       Shelf (where we took a beautiful 1.5 mile* hike to the Loon Creek hot springs)

-       Driftwood (where a dramatic 2:00 am wind storm woke everybody up to see cloud racing by the full moon)

-       Parrott Placer (where the guides took the kids on a paddleboat rodeo ride and we held Pirate Night)

At this time of season, the Middle Fork is in prime condition for inflatable kayaks. At one point or another, almost all the guests gave the IKs (aka duckies) a spin, and there were exciting runs at Tappen, Jack Creek, Weber, House of Rocks and more. Paul, Hilary, Hank, Ted and Max will all return with stories to thrill their

 friends. In a calmer stretch, Charles and Abigail shared a ducky, and Abigail 

produced an impressively high number of “giggles per mile.”

General consensus on the meals gave

 high marks to the newly introduced Ahi Tuna with soy and ginger marinade. The apple spice cake with caramel sauce wowed the crowd, and the breakfast burritos and Waldorf Salad lunch had high “yum” factors.

Other memories of the trip include a visit to Joe Bump’s cabin (where we found the geocache), hikes to pictographs, an old ranch and to Veil Falls, and sightings of eagle, big horn, otter, osprey and chukar. A number of guests and guides enjoyed some good fly fishing, with the trout rising around almost every bend and at each camp.

On the last morning’s run out to the Main Salmon, thunderstorms chased us down the river, and after a hard rain, all were glad to see take-out, the bus, lunch, and dry clothes.

* Sorry to those of you who thought the hike was longer…Hank and Mike went to Google Earth after the trip and confirmed the one-way distance. 

Thanks for joining us on a great trip!

-Written by Mike O'Malley

Here are a few more excellent shots from the trip: