May 9-15 Boating the Middle Fork Salmon

June 8, 2009 at 10:56 | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

I joined Bill Bradt’s early season run down the Middle Fork Salmon River for a spectacular week of boating with a remarkable group of young guns and seasoned river rats. We launched from 2 foot snowbanks on Sunday in perfect weather off the bridge west of Stanley to gain access to Marsh creek and the Middle beyond.

Not for the fairweather boaters. Cold water and snowbanks made the sunshine that much more sweet.

Not for the fairweather boaters. Cold water and snowbanks made the sunshine that much more sweet.

Day one was shallow with constant work freeing the cataraft from hangups. The rafts had no troubles by comparison and Jesse and Wooly shared the hard labor freeing the cataraft regularly. We camped just upstream of the first serious rapid, where disaster struck five years ago and a good friend to many of this party drowned. With much lower water this year, the group was able to pass by this obstacle without trouble. We did encounter two log jams on the upper river and the kayak probes bearing saws cleared them out and managed to create bypass channels.

There were three logs in this jam which eventually was taken out by bow saw, axe and muscle power.

There were three logs in this jam which eventually was taken out by bow saw, axe and muscle power.

By the second day we were into the bigger water and the confluence creating the Middle Fork proper. We stopped there for a patch job on one of the rafts and then pushed on to Dagger Falls which many of the party ran including all threee rafts and where we had two swimmers and our only injury of the trip. While swimming Jim hit a rock with his thigh and it bruised quite badly. Super game, he smiled, smoked a cigarette and rode a raft. Dagger Falls is the most intimidating feature on the river and once we cleared this obstacle and the adrenalin flush it created the rest of the river was usually relaxing.

Tyler Bradt leads the charge through Dagger Falls

Tyler Bradt leads the charge through Dagger Falls

TJ keeping his cool in the runout.

TJ keeping his cool in the runout.

John Lehrman hits the lucky line.

John Lehrman hits the lucky line.

Staying upright...

Staying upright...

Got the goods through safely.

Got the goods through safely.

Below Dagger Falls we had made the elevation drop to be completely out of the snow and we enjoyed a easy trip downstream to Sheepeater Hot Springs for the night. With hot water to soak in and a great dinner on the grassy bar we savored what is best with river life. By the next morning the weather had become unstable and we felt  six snow showers throughout the day alternating with strong sunshine and a downriver wind. Bundled up with more clothes on under the dry suit than for any activity other than riding a chair lift, I felt a bit bulky but stayed very comfortable all day. The rapids all blend into a delightful stream of paying attention and finding lines and relaxing into the flow of a river flushing snowmelt. Moving about five miles an hour, it was possible to make some miles on the river, just by staying in the current. We stopped at SunFlower Hot Springs for the night and had another dose of hot water and snowsqualls to keep the energy high. I had my best tentsite of the trip tucked between two fat Ponderosas and staring down river.

It was a good day of mostly moderate water from Sunflower to Hospital Bar where we celebrated Bill’s birthday with Wildcat, Mountain Lion Stew his grandson had arrowed from a tree last winter. Umm good and another night of soaking up the springs in the kiddie Pool. With a belly full of Tequila we had a touch of the wild hair that night….thanks Bill, in true form for a stoic Norwegian.

Mountain sheep kept watch over us at that camp as they grazed the bottom land and shed their winter’s coat, looking ragged but acting alert and healthy. Jesse and I made the long walk for Douglas Fir firewood that day and it paid off with a nice piece of wood for the firepan, where we were gathering for stories, cooking and staring at man’s great discoveries. What joy to be amongst a clan of riverrunners staring into the flames and listening and sharing stories from the day and from the years passed, with an eye for the future and hopes to keep getting out on great trips like this.

We split groups the next day with some of us making the move to Stoddard camp while others laid over for the day. We left  light and early and made the forty five miles in a solid eight hours, running cleanly down through numerous rapids and enjoying the lower canyon as the water became more exciting and the boulders choking its course became larger. I was rolled finally in a seam I was not expecting and took care to preserve my strength for this endurance day downstream. Stoddard creek has some remarkable pictographs on a beautful granite wall, and we hiked to and lay in front meditating on the ancient tales told by winter’s night deep in this canyon when the people talked to the animals and fish and had a profound connection to the land, on a day to day and ground to mouth type of way. While they nust have eaten fish most of the paintings were of large ungulates, elk, sheep and moose.

The final day was short and included some classic rapids like Rubber with its deep and frothy wave train no weakness save right down the middle. Before we knew it the Main Stem was upon us and we were headed back to the Bitterroot Valley.


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. 心から祝福したいような、自分が友達だと思っている相手にだけ出席して5万包んでる 夜はカロリ地中海レモン♪爽やか!自分らしく真っ直ぐに生きますp(^-^)q
    友達少ないオレはタダでも来てくれるならうれしいわ 結婚できない男 ドラマ

    お前が勝手に結婚するのに、こっちは一万円も払ってるのに、なに贅沢言ってんだよ 結婚祝いプレゼント 家電
    と友人知人の技術や労働力をクレクレして、さらにご祝儀もキッチリ取ろうとする人とか 半年前から旅行の予定で埋まってるわ

  2. Hello there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found
    that it’s truly informative. I’m going to watch out
    for brussels. I will be grateful if you continue this in future.
    A lot of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  3. If you plan to take advantage of watching off air HDTV shows then you will need an off air HDTV antenna to complete so.

    Ready-to-use Yagi style HDTV antennas are for sale to under $100 inside the market, though they could not
    be one of the most comfortable ones to use.
    Diy hdtv antenna reflector Most HDTV sets on the market can be found in large and wide screens, but they may also be more expensive
    than the usual general tv. In case your antenna fights, it is not always required to fully
    replace it. The DB4 model antenna from Antennas Direct is much more or less just a
    couple of their DB2 model antenna, both of which are highly regarded for reception. Terk amplified hdtv indoor antenna reviews The beauty of having the RV antenna is that we could find
    the weather for current location and in addition for our destination. Leaf hdtv antenna
    canada The location and positioning was required to be adjusted in a number of ways to ensure that
    antennas shouldn’t face any type of disturbance while catching the
    signal. The Philips 7705 series takes pride rolling around in its built in wireless technology that
    brings the internet to your HDTV for unlimited usage of online media.

    Best outdoor hdtv antenna radio shack The outdoor Hd tv antenna that’s most popular may
    be the medium directional antenna, as it’s not too large and
    possesses characteristics that prevent or reduce interference.

    But if you want the most effective chances
    of getting free HD content on the air, you may need a special antenna.
    These are mainly required to get OTA or higher-the-air-digital signals and then for this purpose,
    you may need over-the-roof antennas. Hd-2605 outdoor hdtv antenna This thing is best suited in a very high open area, as being a shelf something like
    that near your HDTV to hold it out from the way. But because antenna carries a compact panel design, the antenna could be placed indoors and will receive a great
    signal. A pyramid acts just as one antenna and magnifies the receivers’
    power to use our energy called our aura, the life span force energy
    with the human body. Hdtv antenna deals Getting the amount means that there’s a greater likelihood that fewer objects obstruct
    the fishing line of sight relating to the towers your signal and digital

  4. I’ve learn some good stuff here. Definitely price bookmarking for revisiting.
    I wonder how so much effort you place to make
    one of these great informative web site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: