June 02, 2012

Snake Boatin'

A bunch of friends and I extended Memorial Day weekend to Tuesday and spent three days rafting the beautiful and mellow Hell's Canyon section of the Snake River.  The vegetation in the canyon was greener than I've ever seen it.  When we were rained on for much of our first day on the water, I figured out why.

The Crew (minus Steph)
Characters on this trip included Jake, Steph, Sara, Ken, Megan, Evan, Craig, Melinda, Sheri, Andrew, and me.  We made our way pretty leisurely down the river in one paddle boat, two gear boats, and two kayaks.  With flows around 14,000 cfs, the river was noticeably lower than last year when it was closer to 20,000 cfs.  In comparison, these lower flows seemed to make the two biggest rapids (Wild Sheep and Granite) a little mellower but compensated by creating a few interesting rapids further down river that I didn't remember.  One of these rapids further down river was the culprit of our only carnage of the trip, where the paddle boat tipped all the passengers out except for Steph, the paddle captain.  With everyone else downriver, the swimmers were quickly picked up and I don't think we lost anything except for maybe a pair of sunglasses.

Loading the Gearboats at the Put-In
Perhaps my favorite picture of the trip
Mr. Bacon Squared
The Greenness of Hell's Canyon in late May
This was the first raft trip I'd ever organized, and I had a great time doing it!  Thanks to help from Jake and Steph, we were able to gather all the gear we needed and we didn't seem to forget anything too major, or minor for that matter.  Much thanks to Steph's dad, as most of the gear we borrowed was his.  And yes, like all the other recent raft trips I've been on, I now want my own boat a little more than before.

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