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The Gearboat Chronicles

Hells Canyon rafting, whirled chickpeas and Wallowa River stone flies

River trip enjoyment index and Chickpea futures

Early reports indicate the 2012 river season with Winding Waters is exceeding analyst’s projections for fun-had and best-vacations-ever.

Harvard whitewater economist and gearboat driver Todd Kruger attributes the higher-than-normal enjoyment index to unparallelled natural splendor in Hells Canyon and the scenic Grande Ronde River, along with everybody just having a “super-great time.”

“The Lower Salmon River season will be kicking off soon,” Kruger said in a phone interview from his Joseph, Oregon office, “and recent studies suggest that white sandy beaches, sun and beautiful surroundings on the Lower Salmon are looked favorably upon by everyone in the whole-wide world.”

Kruger cautions that excessive fun on the river can result in fluctuating employment figures, as more and more river rats are created who desire to leave their regular jobs to become river guides. “I’ve seen it happen,” Kruger adds. “To me.”

Artist’s rendering of Mr. Kruger.
Camera’s rendering of Mr. Kruger.

In related news, whirled chickpea futures skyrocketed at the close of trading yesterday, fueled by intense satisfaction with hummus veggie platters served by Winding Waters crews last week. Red bell peppers also enjoyed a surge, while cucumbers and pita bread held steady.

Scratch and sniff.

Wind in the river willows

One little tidbit we try to encourage on the river is to clip your flotation vest to something when you’re not wearing it. Handy things to clip it to include trees, the boat, or perhaps the bowline securing our boats to shore. It looks like this –

Macy doing an inventory of jackets.

Securing your vest comes in handy when a wind kicks up like it does in this next picture. Notice my shirt being blown sideways and the large rock weighing down the not-exactly light sleeping pad.

That was a spicy little breeze that visited us last week on the Grande Ronde. It arrived just after Silje and I had chopped up some fruit and veggies, which the wind did not care for and made its opinion known by lifting up the table and turning it over. Hence the straps holding the table to the tree. Outdoor cooking. It can be an adventure.

Riverside chefs Tammy and Silje.

Fishing report

Stone flies are still out in force but check with Paul or Tom at the Winding Waters fishing hotline to see what conditions are like on the Wallowa. It’s been on the high side, but fishable. Tom knows the good spots so give him a jingle for guided trout fishing.