August 24, 2012 - September 2, 2012
What better way to end a vacation than meeting old friends in Missoula,MT and starting another vacation paddling down
the Middle Salmon River. Missoula and the Salmon River are always unbelievably and indescribably good.
Back to the Salmon River
Forest fires and thick smoke surround us as we drive to the put-in on the Middle Salmon River. We are escorted by a fire crew in a truck with flashing lights. It remained smokey in places during the first day and a half of the trip. We finally left the forest fires behind for the most part, and had clear days to float. Ocassionally, depending on the direction of the wind, the smoke would blow back in for a while.
This rapid didn't have this name until after we popped the floor out of one of the rafts going through it and most of the chairs fell out.
Not Pedaling :-) and Not Paddling :-(
I'm not biking today; note the smile. Don't think I sat on my butt most of the trip, I spent every moment I could paddling in a duckie, and only sat on a raft when there weren't enough kayaks to meet demand (and I certainly had had more than my fair share of paddling).
Sarah - my best trip buddy - in her kayak, in front of an oar boat. Later she let me borrow it. I squeezed in and had a blast ! She also put up with me writing a sad country song. Thanks for the hug, Sarah!
Another Hectic Lunch Hour
The Lightness of Being...on the River"
Playing at the end of the day. I think it was Wes who thought to bring the polyethelene and see if we could make a slide/ski jump off the steep beach and fly into the River. It worked.
View from the Polly Bemis Ranch
And a nice spot for volleyball, too. Polly had an incredible life story; read A Thousand Pieces of Gold. She worked hard all her life, but while here, she stopped every day at 3 pm to go fishing. Later in her life, two neighbors, Charlie Shepp and Peter Klinkhammer, rebuilt her house after it burned down and watched over her in here old age.
Up river from the Polly Bemis Ranch is another interesting place. Sylvan "Buckskin Bill" Hart's place. Buckskin lived by himself and got a little crazy. He added a few turrets and gun ports to his cabin. I was amazed to be talking with a friend back back home in my back yard about this trip, and finding out Buckskin Bill is his great uncle. Small world.