Floating the Middle Fork in September is a treat. The water level is lower, the air is cooler and things are a bit more quiet and relaxed than earlier in the season. Lots of time to reflect on the scenery, time to hike, take photos, explore and get to know everyone. Our trip was full of interesting folks from the very young to the very experienced. We had guests from Massachusetts, Indiana, Texas, New Mexico, Oregon and Idaho. New friendships formed quickly, perhaps lifelong ones.
Big Jim, Emily, Keri, Johnny, Shane and George skillfully guided us and kept us well fed through the beautiful rugged wilderness for five days, camping at Whitey Cox, Lower Grouse, Woolard Creek and Otter Bar. Beautiful sites for sure.
As Bev said, "it was a fabulous trip. Met a lot of nice people, ate like kings, and saw the most beautiful, rugged scenery we have ever seen. I had no idea Idaho was so beautiful! Idahoans are lucky to have all those mountains at their back door."
Our first thrill was flying in to our put-in at Thomas Creek where our guides had our boats all ready to go.
A typical lunch of delicious sandwiches, fresh fruit and cookies.
Four oar boats, a paddle boat and three inflatable kayaks.
Brittany, skilled at scull racing, loved the kayak.
and so did her brother, Cameron.
It's interesting to see how peaceful and relaxed one can get after just a few hours on the Middle Fork. Elena ponders the meaning of it all.
Away we go, down the river.
hors d'oeuvres - smoked salmon, cheese, fruit & crackers, and some very good wine
A sample of Sheila's famous Dutch Oven cooking - Spicy Pesto Lasagna (p. 135 in her new Outdoor Dutch Oven Cookbook)
Happy campers, Jean & Karen.
Kobe and Clarke practicing their fly fishing skills at Whitey Cox camp.
Cameron from Indiana & Kobe from Idaho quickly became best buddies
Breakfast is always fabulous. Today it's pancakes, sausage & Sinfully Sumptuous Sticky Buns. (p. 33 in her cookbook)
Big Jim, the sausage cooker.
"you know what, hon, this is pretty darn good food!"
Back on the river. This time it's Charles conquering Tappen Falls with Bill & Katie in hot pursuit.
Way to go, Charles, you made it.
Look out, Bill!
That's it! Lookin' good. Bill, you were certainly an inspiration to us all.
back at camp - a rousing game of Right, Left Center. Thanks, Jane!
Bev's river sandals BEFORE they got destroyed in Loon Creek hot springs.
Thanks, Gail for loaning her your extra pair.
Arthur, Rab & Ray relaxing before dinner.
This is grilled Salmon night.
Now what's Emily up to?
It's a birthday cake for Ruth.
WOW! Sheila's famous Camel Gulch Carrot Cake with cream cheese frosting.
(p. 159 in her cookbook).
What better way to celebrate a birthday!
Katie and her cauldron entertains with a scary story around the campfire on a dark and windy night.
A rain and thunderstorm Saturday night didn't bother anyone. Dave and Sheila provide everyone with great tents and bags so we were well protected. Big Jim braved the storm to make sure we were all tucked safely away.
Keri got soaked, too, but was all smiles the next morning.
Johanna, Sandy & Kobe warming up on a chilly morning.
Mary, Karen & Rab get ready for another great day of fishing.
What are they biting on today, Clarke?
No Gary, you can't climb out of the canyon. You have to go down the river with the rest of us!
Shane and his harem of paddlers.
Jean, Elena, Roz, Sandy, Irina and Jane looking good before Weber.
All together now, girls!
They're all in there, somewhere!
Made it! Great job, everyone!
After a cool and windy Sunday it was sure nice to have such a beautiful warm afternoon in the sun on Monday at Otter Bar camp.
Sisters Irina and Elena take a cool dip at Otter Bar. Nothing better on a hot afternoon.
brothers Rob & Charles sharing a laugh before dinner. Tonight it's butterfly filet mignon and Ruby Rapid Rhubarb pie. (p. 169 in Sheila's cookbook)
Karen, Mary, Jane, Arthur, Johanna, Katie, Cam & Kobe spend their last evening around the campfire. Sad to think it's over tomorrow.
Arthur, Charles, Johanna, Clarke, Rob, Jane, Jean & Kobe all dressed and ready to go on our last morning through Impassable Canyon.
Cam & Kobe, new best friends.
And moms, Jane and Sandy, too.
Jane & Gail struggling with the camp chairs. According to Dave, there were supposed to be four chair bags, six chairs to a bag. Who knew!
Irina, Sandy, Roz & Elena saying goodbye at Cache Bar.
and so ends another great Rocky trip. Dave was there to meet us with the bus and another fabulous lunch. Then it was off to Salmon to say goodbye to Sheila, Dave and the guides and then the ride back to Stanley. Several of us went out to Redfish Lake Lodge for dinner. A nice way to spend a bit more time together before heading home.
Thanks Dave & Sheila for a wonderful week we'll always remember!
And thanks to our super guides,