Saturday, July 14, 2007

Another one bites the dust...

After the incredible Middle Fork of the Salmon trip, Stacy and I headed to the Payette River to spend some time running the North and South Forks. 5 years ago, Stacy and I had paddled the North Fork, completing our first class V run on our own. Now we were planning a reunion trip down the river. I am honestly not sure of the level, but I think it was a bit high this time, at least higher than last time.

We decided to paddle only the top 5 miles the day we arrived. That section was great fun, but we spent a lot of time scouting these really long, continuous rapids.

The next day, we planned to paddle the the next 10 miles to the confluence. After the first mile, Stacy and I got out to scout another long rapid, and as we were looking at it, we see Robin's blue Jefe I had been paddling come screaming down the middle of the rapid on its own. Apparently I had not pulled the kayak far enough out of the surging river. We went scrambling down the bank, but there was no way we were going to catch that boat.

So, to make a long story short, we found the boat pinned a half mile down stream in the middle of the river. We unpinned it and knew the boat was passed the point of ever again floating down another river.

Fortunately my boat from Pyranha had just arrived in Boise, so we were able to pick it up and try again the next day. We put on right where we had taken off the day before and continued working our way downstream. After tons of scouting and some portaging, we decided it was going to take us forever at this pace and we skipped the next 2 miles and put on at the top of the bottom 5.

We met a guy named Ben who paddled these 5 miles with us to the confluence. It was such a great 5 miles, and more melow than the middle 5 had been. So, all in all we had completed 13 miles of whitewater (in only 3 days).

To make up for lost time, we paddled the South Fork of the Payette the next day from the top (around mile marker 30) to the confluence. It is a beautiful deep gorge, complete with incredible riverside hotsprings. At the end of the day, we loaded up the Matrix and headed to Colorado.

one of the more interesting signs we saw while exploring the area

No comments: