Over the course of six days we floated about 80 miles from the Hell's Canyon Dam to Heller Bar. With flows hovering around 20,000 cfs, the river was at its prime.
We had many key players with important roles. Molly put together an amazing menu and grocery shopping list. Al was instrumental in acquiring said food, knowing where things were packed in the boat, and generally making sure people didn't starve. Phil manhandled the task of providing a music system as well as being our safety kayaker. Jake performed countless necessary tasks including obtaining the permit and acquiring floating vessels and gear. Most everyone else helped out by cooking and consuming all the edible and drinkable things we brought. I lucked out by having my primary responsibility be to rig, row, and derig the gear boat every day.
We encountered the two biggest rapids of the trip on the first day. After scouting the first one (Wild Sheep), our procession of vessels (kayak, 16' gear boat, kataraft, inflatable kayak (IK), and paddle boat) all went down in fine style. Even the IK captained by Ava and Al managed to make it most of the way down before flipping. During the scout, I picked out the biggest wave and managed to hit it straight on. Not surprisingly, it was bigger than it looked from the bank and felt like we crashed the gear boat into a 12-foot wall of water - good fun, no carnage.
|Boat ahead of us hitting the big wave in Wild Sheep Rapids|
|Camp life - really roughing it|
|Bumble Bee Ava|
|Mel and Ava working hard to get the boat down river|