Middle Fork of the Salmon - Sheep Eater Camp

Day 3 Wednesday (14.4 miles) to Pungo Creek Camp

Up at 7:00 and had coffee and muffins for breakfast. It rained all last night but stopped just before we had to get up. There’s a good chill in the air today but most of us did not make the jaunt back up to the hot springs.

It was easy paddling down to Artillery rapid and Cannon, which had some large waves. We got out and scouted Pistol Creek rapid which had a large hole in the middle of the S-bend. There was a kayak sneak on the right and a raft and very squirrelly kayak run on the left. I ran left and got caught in a powerful seam that squirted me vertical and around and around towards the undercut cliff on the left, but I managed to pull into the eddy on river left above the hole.

We had lunch at Indian Creek Guard Station where we also got boat permits and had a twenty minute ecology talk from Ranger Rick in the cold rain under a large ponderosa.

Back on the river, we stopped with the shredder and Ron’s raft to gather driftwood for the evening. At about that time the other rafts eddied out in the tiny eddies below. Unfortunately, as Dave was jumping out of Midnight’s raft he landed in chest-high water and dislocated his shoulder. We ran down another mile in our boats and to camp and setup a fire for Dave. We tried to set his shoulder by the hanging rock method but it did not work. An EMT (from Taos in another boating party) stopped by and twice tried to re-locate Dave’s shoulder with a “scapula push”, but again with no success. Meanwhile Jim C ran on foot the 2.5 miles up to the Indian Creek Guard Stating with one of Ron’s radios.

Six of us hiked up to the air strip with Dave and got here 5 minutes before the single engine Cessna arrived. Marty rode out on the plane with Dave to the hospital.

Back at camp, we had a great dinner of clam chowder, salad and tamales with margaritas for dessert. Most everyone got a little sloshed. We sat around the fire until around 11:00. No sun today.

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