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The Gearboat Chronicles

Plenty o’ water

We checked the storeroom at Winding Waters headquarters and looks like there’s plenty of water and snowmelt in the works for another rip-roaring whitewater season. Back in the fall the snowpack was looking marginal so we sent Morgan into the mountains with a backpack sprayer and he stood on the summit of Mount Joseph to seed the clouds. Seemed to work. Thanks, Mo.

This here is what the GR looks like above 15-thou, looking at the Minam Motel from the ramp.

The Grande Ronde River is feeling its Wheaties right now, running in the 15-thousandish ballpark—which makes a daytrip out of the scenic roadless section that usually requires several rotations of the planet to negotiate.

There’s a two-day trip launching this weekend with our friends from the Wallowa Land Trust, who have been doing good work out here in the Wallowa Country to keep special lands special. Click that link back there in the last sentence to see what they’ve got going on. Not yet, though, wait until you finish reading this . . . attention spans these days, I’m telling you.

I’ve got another recipe to run by the Winding Waters kitchen department for riverside dining. My niece and nephew, Claire and Joe, spent some time fishing in Grandpa’s pond for magnetic plastic fish, which is an invasive species if the magnet falls out and you can’t retrieve them from the pond, but these were nice and healthy.

Brain food

Add some grass, cedar fronds, lava rocks and a handful of dirt, then simmer for a couple minutes and get your Uncle Jon to try it. I wouldn’t normally order plastic fish chowder, but I found the taste is surprisingly powerful, yet subtle, with undertones of landscaping and an enticing, almost magnetic finish. I think it’s a winner.

Claire has trouble talking co-chef Joe into tasting their creation. That gave me pause.

Paul’s got openings for river trips in Hells Canyon, lower Salmon and our backyard favorite the Grande Ronde, so give him and jingle and we’ll get this party started.

See you on the river.