Friday, July 20, 2007

The Multi-day trips

Idaho has some of the best wilderness multi-day trips anywhere. We have woven our way through the largest wilderness area in the 'Lower 48' on many miles of whitewater and this year was no different. David had to paddle the classic South Fork Salmon this year without me, since I had an ear infection. I wasn't too disappointed, considering the level was way lower than my high water descent last year. Terry Smith, from Tennessee, joined him for his first self-contain trip, and his Mega Rocker was perfect. They flew out on an Islander at Mackay Bar. To fly out of the backcountry, you just arrange an air taxi. Its always interesting to meet the crazy pilots who fly old planes in the tight mountain backcountry.

We spent 4th of July on Hell's Canyon in our playboats with raft support! We caught plenty of smallmouth bass and a few small steelhead, and we ate some too! It was awesome to see Sarah, Terry's 13 year old daughter, run some HUGE rapids in her new Fun. She did very well. The real kicker of the trip was finding a big rattlesnake basically under David's pillow one morning after we had slept on a tarp under the stars. Creepy, huh?

We were lucky enough to be invited on a self-contain trip on the Selway. The water was low but it was beautiful. The permits are so hard to get, we couldn't turn it down. Only one group is allowed to launch per day.

Ladle (above) and Wolf Creek (below).

Lunchtime at Cougar Bluff:

Typical Selway scenery:

Moose Creek Ranger Station and Airstrip (below). This is where the first smoke-jumps were made in 1940. The farm and buildings were built in the 1920's and 30's. Pack bridges, trails into Moose Creek, and along the Selway River were built in the 1930's by the CCC, and later finished by Japanese internment camp workers during WWII. The Forest Service maintains them in true historical fashion, allowing no motorized or mechanical traffic on the trails. This includes chainsaws as well. Downed trees are cut by hand and most supplies are packed in on foot or on horseback.

Old growth cedar trees, ponderosa pines, ferns, and moss line the banks of the Selway River. Its water is clean and clear.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Main Salmon play

Here are some mediocre shots of surfing Rodeo Hole, Cat's Paw, and Gold's on the Main Salmon in Idaho...where all you have to watch out for is a jet boat twice a day.