Hitting the Wall

After 17 days of paddling I have finally reached the slackwaters behind the first dam on the Snake River. I pulled into Lewiston on Friday August 25th, tired and ready for rejuvenation.

I left Salmon on a beautiful sunny morning, only getting a couple of odd looks from passers-by. Shortly after leaving the ramp I realized that I had forgotten to recharge my camera battery and it was running low. I was planning on passing North Fork and heading down river and just finding a place on the riverside to camp. I knew that there were a couple of campgrounds along the river so I pulled into one and paid for a place to put my tent for the evening. They let me recharge my batteries and got a good nights rest.

The next day I encountered the area where Lewis and Clark decided to take a different route to the West. Thus the sign noting "rapids ahead!" It was a fun filled and exciting day of rapids after going through an area aptly named "Deadwater." This area was full of Great Blue Herons fishing the shallow waters, waters that fisherman have not been able to fish since 1978 due to the lack of sustainable fish coming back to spawn.
On August 16th, I joined the OARS-Dories crew and guests/members of Idaho Rivers United and went down river on the section known as "The Main." We spent 6-days having a blast on the river, soaking in a hot springs on a chilly morning and having some really great discussions about salmon and the issues surrounding them.

I had a nice run down to Riggins spent the night in a bed with a pillow! Such a novelty at this point. I had 4 days of big miles and rapids to deal with so I rested up. From Riggins I paddled 34 miles to Hammer Creek and camped out for the night, just above the Lower Gorges of the Lower Salmon. I was given a wake up call in the form of a little Class II rapid flipping me over! Must have been tired. That day I ran into a trip with Sundog Expeditions and Save Our Wild Salmon, I ran Cougar Canyon with then and enjoyed a nice Bean Salad lunch, thanks guys. I paddled hard downstream and did a quick scout of Snowhole Rapid. Ran it with no issues and eventually caught up with a Oregon River Experiences trip. They feed me a wonderful dinner and an even better breakfast to go! Day three out was the big one from the top of the oxbow on the Salmon, around River Mile 21, I paddled all the way to Heller Bar on the Snake River, 41 Miles. It was an eventful day running the last rapids of the Salmon River and having to say goodbye. The confluence of the Salmon and Snake is a very amazing place, powerful. My friend Heather picked me up at Heller Bar and drove me into Lewiston.

Once in Lewiston, I had a nice dinner and crashed out early. The following day I took the sea kayak up to Heller Bar and ran the remaining 28 miles back to Lewiston. All was going well and then I hit Asotin, WA. This is where the current ends and the work begins. It is a long 5 miles into Lewiston. My shoulders are pretty hammered right now and have been taking advantage of the rest days I have scheduled here.

Today we had a nice BBQ and Boat Race, put on by Idaho Rivers United and Save Our Wild Salmon. Thanks to the OARS crew for pitching in and helping out.


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