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The Gearboat Chronicles

The Art of Siestas on the Salmon

We all have places that are special to us. Part of the reason they grow to be special is that we only get to visit them rarely. The Lower Salmon is such a place for me. I only get to – wait . . . no, I’m a river guide. I get to float the Lower Salmon all the time. I’ve been making laps down there for the past three weeks. And I’m going again in a couple days.

Seriously, I just . . . my job is to float on a river I love. I mean, this is bordering on ridiculous. I don’t even deposit my paychecks anymore. I just dump the Salmon River sand out of my duffel bag after a trip, make a fire ring and burn my paycheck, laughing and laughing until the neighbors call the cops. Law enforcement shows up, asks what this is all about so I show them pictures from the last trip and pretty soon the cops and me are all circled around the fire roasting S’mores.

Here are some of those pictures.


Above: view from the wing at Frog Pond Camp.

Below: A Death Star Melon, sometimes known as a Jenga Melon, is that thing where you de-seed a large, spherical fruit and then painstakingly cut it into intricate bits and place it lovingly on a platter. This is an advanced technique. The Force is strong with our latest crewmember Nolan, who pulled off a better Deathstar than I ever have, and I’ve been trying to make those things for years. Good job, Nolan. Seriously. I’m happy for you. For real.


Having all that fun can tucker a person out, as seen here by the faceplant nap being taken in the nose of a ducky.


And then there’s the Jump Rock. Wakes you right up.


Speaking of waking up, Caitlyn Ecklund got all artsy with the pancakes last trip. I would frame that skillet if I could.


We set a new world record on the last trip for most students from Eastside Prep School in Seattle who could claw their way onto one inflatable kayak. Check out the wake behind that one kid motoring to the scene.


And back to taking siestas. Here’s Caitlyn, catching a snooze while protected by SPF Umbrella.


Love me some summertime on the Lower Salmon.