Monday, June 25, 2018

Grand Ronde River - Boyz Trip

Rainbows over the Palouse.
As soon as I got back from Mexico this year, Ryan Edwards invited me to join him and the River Boyz on a river trip on the Grand Ronde River in Oregon. The trip was put together by a couple of folks that Ryan knew and all I had to do was pay and show up with my boat and gear. You can't beat that, so I was all in.

We had everything together by Wednesday night and so to make things easier, I stayed out at Ryan's place that night. In the morning we were able to get up, eat, and get an early start. We met up with the group at 7:00 AM, at the group leader's house, Andy Groves. When we arrived we found out that some of the fellas were going to be a bit late, so we jumped in and helped load the final items onto the truck.

The second truck arrived about 45 minutes later. We loaded it with gear and supplies and we were off. The convoy rolled along the roads of the Palouse; green fields of spring grass glistening with moisture from the morning's rains. We spotted several rainbows as we cruised along. Our next stop was Colfax where we picked up two more of our boyz.

Cutting across southwestern Washington we headed for Minam State Recreation Area in Oregon, just a mile and a half from the put-in on the Wallowa River. We spent the night at the campground and in the morning we stowed our gear and launched.

Our launch went relatively smoothly though the launch ramp was a zoo. I think everyone in Oregon decided to hit the river this weekend. Four of our boats launched from the west bank of the river and the other launched from the Minam Store located on the east bank. With all the other river runners and our double shore launch, it took us a few miles to gather up and get organized.

The Wallowa River flows ten miles down to join the Grand Ronde River. We floated on down and looked for a campsite. With all the folks on the river, we had to keep moving into the late afternoon and finally found a large spot at about river mile 22. The long day was unexpected but it also gave us a lot of time to fish as we went. Fishing was a bit off. The water level had risen a bit and was a little off-color. This trend continued throughout the float. I did OK, but I wish we would have had better fishing.

We set up camp and had a wonderful meal. All meals on this trip were amazing and no one went hungry.

We floated the next two days and took off the river at a bridge just above Troy, Oregon. Fishing wasn't great, but being on a river is always the best.

Takeout was easy and everything went well. We loaded up and said our goodbyes. We caravaned for the first part of the drive home but after a couple stops, Ryan and I passed the others and beat feet on home.

Sunlight on Ryan's butt.

My tent on the second night.

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