Friday, July 27, 2012

Lower Salmon River Birthday Trip

Our Trip Leader.
On friday the 20th of July we drove over to Ben and Sherma Higgs house and loaded their boat onto our boat for the trip down the Lower Salmon River. Everything went as expected and we were back home and finishing our final preparations by 9 pm. It is a known fact that the Bennett's generally prepare for their trips days before they actually leave. So we just had to do a few things and get to bed.

Sherma and Linda at put-in.
Early Saturday morning we drove over and loaded into their truck and left at about 9 o'clock. We drove down to Whitebird and then over the bridge to the Hammer Creek river access. The launch ramp was not crowded and we were able to get on the river quite easily. We floated down found a beach on river right near Woodruff Gulch, at about about 5.5 miles. We had nice dinner  of cold pizza and watched the sunset.
Ben levitates.
Pictographs on day two.
The next morning we pack up the boats floated down to Shorts Bar where we stopped and found the pictographs that had been left by the early pre-historic and historic canyon dwellers. We spotted many of the painted art pictures, but due to my knee and the ladies un-willingness to let Ben or I climb, we had to keep our feet planted firmly on the ground.  After that we floated down threw Pine Bar Rapid and on past Killer Goat Beach.  We were very surprised that none of the beaches in that area were taken.  We floated on and camped up above Lorna's Lulu at about mile 22.
The ladies examine the paintings.
We found quite a few.
That evening Linda prepared a wonderful dinner of lasagna in the Dutch Oven. It came out very well and everyone ate so much we almost couldn't have any dessert. I did say almost, didn't I?  We were tired and in bed by 9:30 PM each night.  The sun and heat really tires you out in the canyon.

By this time morning routine was always the same with the exception off this morning. I went on a mission and found a patch of black berries and came back with about a half gallon sweet, juicy berries. The rest of the trip my breakfast consisted of Almond Crunch cereal five spoons of yogurt, and a handful of berries.
Fresh blackberries every morning!
Five bass for dinner.
The next day we swept through all the numerous class two and three rapids, including Snow Hole and China rapids. Each one was fun and we bumped on through with no problems. Our camp for the night was directly across from Rock Beach in the area below Billy Creek. We had hey dinner off fish tacos which very good. We talk to fish locate during the float down.
That evening Ben and I caught five bass and we fillet them out. The Higgs prepared fresh fish tacos for our evening meal.
Our birthday Girl.
We floated down to the mouth of the Blue Canyon where we made camp on river right.  This was the special night that we were all waiting for, Linda's Birthday night!  We fixed an amazing meal of chicken fajitas and at the end, we shared dessert and a few gifts. Sherma and Ben gave Linda a silver engraved bracelet. I gave her a card and a new NIC workout top.  Her present is actually a membership at Cross-Fit in Cd'A.  She wants to see if they will work her butt off, I mean really work her butt off.

The next morning we left the canyon and the Salmon River.  On the Snake River things become a bit more noise and not quite as clean.  Jet boats and the people who use them tend to not take as much care of the river, so the Snake River beaches are not as clean as the Salmon's.  You also have to put up with the big, loud boats speeding by.  Our observation is that two in ten jet boats slow down when passing rafters.  Not a great average.
Ben and his boat.

We camped just above the information center at Cache Creek Ranch about mile 63 on the map.  Our final dinner was a Dutch Oven meal of Mac-n-cheese with Brats.  How can you lose any weight eating like we do each night.  That's part of rafting!

Smacks before dinner, with drinks.
In the morning we packed up and rowed the final leg of the trip out.  We got to the take-out at Heller Bar at about 11:00 AM but our truck and trailer was not there.  I had put a take-out time of about 1:00 PM on the shuttle arrangements, so we sat and waited.  As we sat, I started talking to some folks from Oregon who, as it turns out, were using the same shuttle service.  They had requested a noon exit and sure enough at 11:30 AM the vehicles arrived.  We quickly loaded up and headed back to Lewiston where we ate at the Main Street Cafe before the drive home.

Three toads f#^&$*~.
The rest of the trip was uneventful.  Over the five days we had an average temperature of about 96 degrees.  Twice during that period we had two little rain showers of no concern.  Ben and I caught a million fish and we saw deer, goats and a bunch of spiders.  At Eagle Creek we saw three toads having a threesome. We swam and hid in the shade along the way.  But most of all we were on the river on Linda's birthday!!
Band of thieves.

Mini lobster tail. Ouch!

Here fishy!

Mrs. Higgs

Mr. Higgs.

Sherma refreshed her crib skills.

Black berries every morning.

For Dennis. They don't bite.

Black Canyon

Higgs floating the Black Canyon.

On the Snake River.
Snake river sheep.

The last supper.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

King Fishing

Grande Ronde OP Staff Trip

Linda, Holly, Trina and Erin relax on the bank.

First night's camp, before the storm.

Tents down breakfast up, good times!

The Luchador and the Senora.

Fiesta party goers on Fiesta Island.

Packed and ready to roll.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

I Admit It, What A Kick!

About a week ago I received a letter from the North Idaho College Alumni Association.  I opened it and quickly read through the paragraphs.  Much to my surprise the letter was sent to inform me that I had been selected as the NIC Alumnus of The Year!  I was flattered and ran directly to Linda to show her the good news.  In the letter it invited Linda and I to help celebrate the 4th of July by riding in a convertible car in the 4th of July parade. 
Our usual 4th consists of staying out of the crowds and basically keeping our heads down. Kobi is not a fan of this holiday and because of his strange aversion to anything that makes noise: Whistling Pete’s, M80’s, firecrackers, doors slamming, broom handles hitting the floor, paper falling off the chair or practically anything that makes an unexpected movement. Yes he is a bit jumpy therefore we tend to stay home.
I looked at Linda and we both said “why not”, it’s an incredible honor and maybe it will be fun too.
On Monday we got an email with all the information concerning our participation.  By this time I was a little less anxious to participate but by then we were committed.  I kept thinking “What if people don’t say anything or even boo me.”  I sort of get carried away when I think about things sometimes.

The morning of the 4th Linda and I drove down to the parade staging area and met up with all the crew from NIC.  Our ride hadn’t arrived so we mingled with Mike, Julia and Rayelle Anderson and met a bunch of new people including the new NIC President and his wife.  Time ticked away and more and more participants showed up.  Finally around the corner east of us came the most beautiful 1954 Buick Skylark Convertible.  Both Linda and I simultaneously asked “Is that what we are riding in?” and of course the answer was yes.
Our transport pulled up to the curb and we met the driver.  Linda and I talked with Mike about the car and we found out that we had a lot in common.  Mike was a life guard at the city beach prior to when Linda and I worked there.  He was also a local, so we knew many of the same people.  It was fun figuring out the connections.

 We loaded into the car and when our time came we launched into the flow of the event.  Sherman Avenue was packed with people shoulder to shoulder.  As we idled down the street people on both sides that we knew yelled our names.  Linda had kids and parents shouting “Mrs. Bennett, Mrs. Bennett”, and if we weren’t hearing that we were hearing a mix of “Deano”, “Deaner”, “Dean”, “hay Bennett”.  It was a blast, much more fun than we expected.  We both thought it was one of the greatest things that we have done in a long time.

Funny thing was that when we passed the numerous bars along the route, we heard mostly my name.  It would seem that most of the folks I know hang out in bars.  When we passed the Eagles there was a loud chorus “Dean”.  It sort of shows you a little glimpse of my sorted past.  Odd, I am not a member of the Eagles.