Middle Fork Salmon River, Sunday


Sunday, July 22, 2018

Sipping coffee, I watched these amazing kids carry their heavy bags, sleeping bags, day bags and water bottles to the boats. By now everyone had the routine down. Too bad it’s the last day with two of the biggest rapids. Ron got into the boat with Ty. It was the only day he didn’t fish. Hmmm, how big were these rapids? Apparently they are below the junction of the Main Salmon with the Middle Fork, or what they call the Main and the Middle. Why would it surprise me that Sarah, Llydia and all the girls were in the paddle boat with Bob and Dog. As we came to a gorgeous spot that reminded me of Half Dome in Yosemite, I asked Ty for my Nikon, which I had kept in a Pelican case when we were on the water, only taking it out mornings, evenings and some lunches. I found if I strapped the cast to the bed pad I was sitting on, I could get to it quickly, then put it back in rapids. Geez, it took 6 days to figure that out! By the time I got it sorted out, we were passing the photo opportunity. Next time I will know better. 2020, God willing.

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Then Ty said, “There’s the road.” Damn! Civilization! I looked back at the paddle boat behind us as we entered the second worst rapid on the river. Was that Llydia riding on the front of the paddle boat???? “The Bronco Seat”, Ron said. They were too far back to get a good look, but then we came to the second rapid. With the camera strapped down, I got on the floor and grabbed the rope. Ty handled it expertly as all the guides had done the entire week. We eddied out the watch the paddle boat in case something happened. There was a dark-haired girl in the Bronco Seat now, with a GpPro on her head. Sarah! The story goes she asked her parents if she could sit in the Bronco Seat for this rapid. Her father, Chris, said, “We all make decisions Sarah.” Her mother said, “Good luck” as they kept fishing. These girls are my heroes, and they were from the first day! As the boat floats past, Sarah just flashes that beautiful smile.

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There was a great lunch at the landing. Jess was there. I had a great talk with Carla, who helps with driving, loading and whatever else is needed. She told the story of riding a bike across the country from the Oregon coast to Virginia in the 70’s. She talked about the roads, the difficulties, but mostly the people she met, and the generosity of them. As I have seen time and time again, the adventure is one thing, but the people we meet make it special. That is certainly the case on this trip.


We loaded on a very nice bus for a one-hour drive to where Ron had his car shuttled. I could easily have fallen asleep, but the entire drive followed the Main Salmon River. It was too pretty to sleep, and I shot a few pictures out the window.

Group photoOur group


Here’s to you, all my new friends. That FireBall is darned good! Thanks for sharing!

  6 comments for “Middle Fork Salmon River, Sunday

  1. Willy Sydnor
    July 28, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    Reminds me of paintings by Frederic Church – you must have had the best time even though you were swimming across rivers and running up and down mountains. Remind me to never travel with you!!! I’m glad you lived to talk about it.

    • July 28, 2018 at 5:14 pm

      You are so right Willy. I thought this was signature picture of the trip. I just didn’t get there fast enough with the Nikon. Next time I will be better prepared. I thought of it as seeing Half Dome in Yosemite.

  2. LeRoy Adam Bruton
    July 28, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    You have suffered enough. Sorry you didn’t have a good time. Cruel and unusual punishment.

    • July 28, 2018 at 8:00 pm

      Ha, ha. Yeah, it was tough, so tough I would love to turn around and do it again, and again, and then go up Big Creek for a couple of weeks.

  3. Mark Zablotsky
    July 30, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    Looks like you had an awesome trip pal… Glad it ended with you in one piece. Safe travels home… You know you can come down here anytime (but you’ll need to drive through fire country now). All the best.

    • July 30, 2018 at 7:09 pm

      It was great Mark. For a change I flew out and back, so I am back home. Hate to be all the way out there and not do more in the area, but next time. Be well my friend.

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