From the journals of a guest, 2001
Sunday Today is our second day on the river, and
Matt and the guys were up early as usual, starting the campfire and then
rousting us out of our tents at 7:00. "Hello, my friends, there's breakfast on
the beach." Breakfast scrambled eggs, bacon, hot chocolate, and coffee.
Breaking camp has settled into an easy rhythm by now we pack our "day"
boxes, and stuff our sleeping bags and gear into waterproof bags, while the
guides pack up the tents and cooking gear. Zoe and I take a walk up the beach
and see 3 wild turkeys!
break camp at Blackadar and head off. Gary is outfitted in the red "Duckie"
a big rubber kayak and John, one of the guides, follows behind in
Today we are in for four of the "Big Five" rapids. The
first is Salmon Falls big drop-off in the middle. We watch Gary try this
first Class III in his kayak. He makes it!
11:00 Floating through black rock
canyons, giant monoliths, and big ship-like granite rocks. Pull over to the
left to scramble up the bank to a natural hot springs. Hot!
12:30 After Hancock's rapid, we stop for
lunch. Today it's a chicken taco crunch, fruit salad, and drinks. I write in my
journal while Zoe skips rocks and tries to catch minnows in a bucket.
3:00 We pull over at Yellow Pine Bar to visit
an Englishman named Gus who care takes the ranch. He has a huge orchard, and a
garden grows his own food, shoots wild turkeys and bear for meat. "The
plum-fed bears are the sweetest." Nearest neighbor is Allison Ranch, two miles
upstream. So fascinating to see this independent way of life.
4:30 Last of the rapids for the day: Big
Mallard. A huge churning stretch of white water with a house-sized rock in the
middle of it. We will run it in the narrow (!) passage to the left. It looks
almost impossible that the boat will fit through, but we do!
5:00 Camp at Big Mal. A
beautiful sandy beach with pine trees. The guys get busy setting up the tables
and cooking area while we guests lounge around. I like to go hiking when we
first get to camp and then take a swim to cool off.
7:00 Dinner tonight is spicy grilled salmon,
pasta with tomatoes, basil and brie cheese, a big spinach salad, and German
chocolate cake made in the Dutch oven. Outstanding!
Later, we stay up roasting marshmallows and listening to Wes,
John, and Matt tell stories. A Perfect Day!
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