If the theme of our first Middle Fork trip in June was “reunion”, the July trip was “girl power”. A few of the women that had met on our Grand Canyon trip the year before wanted to keep the fun going, so they joined us in Idaho. In addition, we had a good number of gals from our local river join us. Tessa Sibbet headed up the ECHO crew again and six-year- old Jamie was nice enough to bring along her mom. The guys were out-numbered and, in some cases, out paddled- I didn’t hear a single complaint.
We also had more guitars per capita than I have seen in a long time, which made for some good times/tunes around camp. Am I getting older, or does the music start later? I was always hearing about late- night jam sessions that started after my 9:00 p.m. tuck in time.
*Guitar playing- kayaker tip: Make sure you have a guitar specific dry bag lined up before the trip. Yes, some folks did a bit of last minute scrambling.
The Marble wave was still happening so we all got a lot of
roll surf practice. Deb went from a hyperventilating -Lamaze- style of surfing to that of a smooth veteran. Now she’s working on her poker -face so she doesn’t appear so surprised when the ride is still going long after she expected.
Tappan Falls was the site of a lot of activity with folks running, carrying back up, running again, carrying back up….. you get the idea. Some were settling a score from their first run, others just wanted to explore different lines.
Alex takes an alternate line at Tappan.
Over the past few years we’ve had the good fortune to have our friend, neighbor, and yoga and kayak instructor, Dennis Eagan help out with the trips. Once many in the group found out Dennis taught yoga and loved to share his knowledge, we had more than one pre- paddling yoga session going in the mornings. Some folks had to get up a little earlier to fit it in , but in the end it was well worth it. Check out some of Denny’s other yoga offerings at his site Wild Yoga.
Our last afternoon on the water saw a storm brewing . Idaho is known for it’s spectacular weather displays and, with luck, they are usually short lived events. It makes for great skies and the always fun debate amongst the guides, “Do we put up the tarp or not?”. In the end the tarp went up, which was a good thing, because the skies opened up and the rain fell for half an hour or so. Being under the tarps in the kitchen or the dinner area just brought the group closer together. “Excuse me, your elbow is in my fajita.”
Paddling into an approaching storm.
On the Main Salmon Cramer Creek, a rapid that formed about four years ago, saw us all out for a scout. Once above the rapid the line became obvious and all headed back to the boats for on last face full of water before the take out. One fellow in particular decided to try the “meat” (purely optional) and checked into hotel Cramer for a ride and astronaut training before exiting his boat. When we saw him surface with his hands held over his head flashing Nixon style “I am not a swimmer” dual victory signs and a big grin, we knew he was fine.
A kayaker lines up for Cramer Creek rapid on the Main Salmon.
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