Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Trip Report: July 1, 2010

There is something really great about the July 1st launch date. Maybe it is that the flowers are in bloom, salmon are on their way to spawning beds, plenty of sunshine on our faces, consistent water flows, or the fact that we move from a 9-day turn around to an 8-day schedule, but for some reason once July rolls around it feels like the summer is finally underway.

We were lucky enough to start the July 1st trip with a walk to Dagger Falls to watch wild, native Chinook Salmon driving headlong up the falls on their way to the Middle Fork's headwaters (Bear Valley and Marsh Creeks) and to their spawning beds.

What an incredible show:

The crew at the Dagger Falls observation deck.

Even though high water is a few weeks behind us, Mother Nature threw us a curve ball right out of the gates. Just below TeePee Hole a log blocked the river early on day-1. Thanks to Jon Green and other sweep boat drivers on the river a portion of the log was cut out and we were able to squeak down the left shore.

Big Jim and friends making the tight squeeze.

Besides celebrating Idaho's birthday on July 3rd and our national holiday on the the 4th of July, we celebrated a birthday and a 10 year wedding anniversary on night two at Marble Right Camp.
Mari entered her 21st year on July 2nd and we celebrated with a double layer Camel Gulch Carrott cake. I wonder what she wished for when she blew out her candles?
We don't think that Chris and Nicole could have picked a better place to celebrate 10 years together. Congratulations.

Night 3, River-rita night at White Creek Camp.

With swift flows and short mileage we packed a sack lunch and spent day 4 up Loon Creek enjoying the canyon narrows, the cool creek water, and the springs.

Mari and her father Rob enjoy lunch at the Loon Creek hot springs after returning from the Loon Creek "narrows."

Swallowtail Butterflies feed on the mineral rich sands of Loon Creek hot springs and a young Rocky Mountain Bighorn Ram just below Tappen III rapid.

After a stop at the Shark Fin pictograph panel Jon Green drives the his boat through Aparejo Rapid and Emily Beck and gang enjoy calm waters below the same rapid.

Keri Knudson slides along the canyon wall at Lower Cliffside Rapid (above) and the paddle boat and duckies are dwarfed against the high water mark at the base of the same rapid (below).

No audio this week, but here is a short video segment with Keri Knudsen at Loon Creek hot springs, a pictograph interp session with Jon Green and Emily Beck pushing through Lower Cliffside Rapid.
The summer is finally in full swing. YeeYaaaaa!

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