Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Series: Things that are pointless on river trips, #5

Your Expensive College Text Book

Do not ever bring your $250 college text book on the river. This would be pointless. First of all, you're probably not ever going to open it. As much as you would like to believe that you are a great student... you're not. Sure, you legitimized going on the trip by bringing your text book, but that doesn't mean you're going to open it.

Instead, you will pull it out just before you go to sleep (because it's on top of your tooth brush), you'll set it in the tent next to you, and then you will fall asleep. Little do you know that at 1:30 in the morning there will be a torrential downpour and, because you drank too much beer (instead of studying), you're tent is not adequately prepared. You will wake at 4:00 AM to find yourself in a three inch puddle of water. Your text book will be floating next to you, completely ruined. You will not be able to sell it back to the school and you are now thoroughly disappointed in yourself as well as broke since you had to purchase a second copy.

OK - been there, done that, moving on now...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Series: Things that are pointless on river trips, #4

Cast Iron Pans and Cast Iron Dutch Ovens

Do not bring cast iron on a river trip. Ever. This would be pointless. It weighs a ton and really doesn't make a difference when it comes to cooking, even with dutch ovens. Use kitchen stuff that is aluminum and light... or just anything that is lighter than cast iron. If you are worried about getting Alzheimer's because of aluminum then stop drinking beer out of aluminum cans. If you do bring cast iron then clean it yourself by whatever magical method you have of cleaning cast iron. And then carry it down to the boat yourself. HINT: cast iron dutch ovens are great to tie your boat off to... but keep them out of the kitchen!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Series: Things that are pointless on river trips, #3

Trying to be "green"

Don't try to be "green" on a river trip. This is pointless. Often times boaters drive hundreds of miles in gas-guzzling trucks to float a fraction of the miles we've driven. We use equipment that is made of plastics (paco pads, boats, paddles, etc.), which is often shipped a great distance to reach us. On the river it's better to have too much than too little so a fair amount of food normally ends up thrown out. On popular over-night trips, the same camps are used night after night causing considerable impact. If you want to be "green", what's the best advice? Stay home.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Series: Things that are pointless on river trips, #2

Flip Lines on Heavy Oar Boats

Do not put flip lines on your heavily-rigged oar boat. This is pointless. If you turn a heavy oar boat over and try to flip it upright midstream with your flip lines... good luck. Chances are you will have to get the boat to shore and have some more folks join you in the re-flip. In which case, you might as well spare yourself some cash, get your boat to shore, run a throw bag through the d-rings, and flip it back over. Even though your flip lines make your boat look cool and synchronized, they are worthless. Enough said.

Series: Things that are pointless on river trips, #1

This is a new series titled "Things that are pointless on river trips"... obvious enough. I'll refer back to the series title whenever I make a post about things that are, well, pointless to bring on a river trip. We'll start our first one off with...

Shish Kabob Skewers

Do not ever bring shish kabob skewers on the river with you. This is pointless. Cut the stuff up, season or marinate the meat, and cook it in a pan over the stove.

If you find yourself using shish kabob skewers you are most likely doing two other things:

1) Wasting a ton of time to put things on a stick that you will later take off the same stick.
2) Touching / massaging raw meat, which is stupid.

If you ever find yourself on a river trip with someone who has brought shish kabob skewers simply grab them all and use them as kindling. You can't eat the sticks so you might as well use them for something positive... like creating a warm camp.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New trip report on

After a summer working on Southern California's Kern River for Kern River Outfitters, I was very excited to go to Idaho in early September to work one commercial trip for Idaho River Journeys followed by a September 11th private trip. The group we had was a mix of California, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana guides. Scooter and I have both spent many summers on the Middle Fork, but this was my very first private trip.

We arrived at Boundary Creek the evening of the 10th and rigged our boats. No one else showed up - we had the eddy to ourselves. Incredible. Hiked up to Dagger Falls and then it was time for some sleep. The next morning we loaded up and pushed off. It was a beautiful day on the river. Water level was around 1.7 feet at the Middle Fork Lodge. We did some rock dodging and sliding but not too much pushing..... Read the full Middle Fork of the Salmon trip report.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

It's a wet day in Idaho!

It's been dumping rain here in Salmon, Idaho, for most of the day. A great lightning show and thick clouds rolled into town around 3 PM and was preceded by a drizzly morning. All this rain has the Middle Fork of the Salmon on a slight rise up to 2.05 feet at the Middle Fork Lodge (at 6:42 PM) from about 2.8 feet yesterday.

The Beaverhead Mountain range this morning, covered in clouds:

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Middle Fork of the Salmon - big storm coming?

There's a storm hitting Idaho right now that has potential to blow the charts away. Check out this image of the North West River Forecasting Center's Middle Fork of the Salmon River gauge:

The Middle Fork of the Salmon, as far from what I can find, has never hit five-feet on the Middle Fork Lodge gauge in August. We'll just have to wait to see what happens... The NWRFC has been known to be off, but nevertheless things could get exciting.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Forks of the Kern Rafting

Kern River Outfitters of Wofford Heights, CA, did a Forks training trip a few weeks ago. Got some great footage and pictures, which are viewable on their Facebook Fan Page. Here's the video:

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Upper Wind River Rafting: March 29, 2009

The Upper Wind River is a fabulous southern Washington run. It's a great read/run stream with many Class IV+ish rapids. Continuous and steep, the Wind makes for a fun day! Zach Collier of River Hardware was on the water with us and was kind enough to snap a few photos:

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Middle Fork High Water Contest

Check this out! There's a chance to win river stuff... That will always lift your ears, right? Ok, so the Middle Fork of the Salmon, for those who don't know, is the major tributary to Idaho's Main Salmon (longest free-flowing river in the lower 48...

If you can guess what day/time the river will peak, plus guess the peak flow closer than anyone else... YOU WIN. Here's the link, go wild:
Oregon Rafting on Facebook