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.

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