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The Gearboat Chronicles

Hey there, Salmon River, how you doin’?

We’re getting ready to cut the ribbon on our 2011 Salmon River season. Just think of all the brand new sand down there on those beaches ready to be tried out, put into sandcastles, have volleyball played on it, be the base of operations for kicking back and reading mystery novels….

The number of things you can accomplish with a wide expanse of sand next to a clean-running river start adding up pretty quick. I’ve never reached a full count. Got close, but after a rough day of tallying up ducky jousting, rock walking, riding the hippo eddy and all manner of things, I was just adding: “doze by a crackling fire” when I nodded off and lost track.

Item #438: draw designs in sand.

Then there’s the other lower Salmon attractions. Like clambering up that staircase of columnar basalt that’s just begging to be jumped off….

Oh yeah, then there’s all the super-fun class III and IV rapids. Which may look something like this at times:

The water’s been flowing so well this year that the Slide Rapid toward the end of the lower Salmon run has been big, burly and keeping boats away — but Ma Nature has finally withdrawn enough out of her snowbanks that the Salmon season is just about upon us.

Lower Salmon River with Winding Waters River Expeditions makes for a great family trip, easygoing rapids with fantastic camping. One of my favorites.

In other news, this week in the Wallowa Valley the Chief Joseph Summer Camp is running, not too far down the hill from the Winding Waters boathouse at the Buhler Ranch just outside of Joseph. Lots of kids having lots of fun.

Here’s my favorite picture so far from this week, taken by my crew who are putting together the camp newspaper:

Get out there and enjoy the summer, whether by raft, stilts, unicycle, unicorn, whatever it takes.

….wait…this just in…..little Linden got on her first river trip today. Not even a year old yet and running the river — in the cutest little lifejacket you’ve ever seen, by the by. I’m guessing she’ll be guiding full-time by sixth grade.