Middle Fork of the Salmon - Pre-trip Preparation
Up till 3:00 AM accumulating gear, cleaning the kitchen, paying bills.
My wife has an ear infection and is dizzy and disoriented in the morning, so I took Coulter to his friend Ryans for a ride to the FRIT Soccer tournament.
I then went Ron’s (a boating friend going on this trip) and helped him and Katy load their trucks. I then drove over to Jim C’s house where Bob and I helped him to load his truck load their trucks also. We met most of the rest of our boating party just North of Denver at a McDonalds parking lot, where unbeknownst to us at the time, Ron lost his wallet. It is weird that when we stopped at a rest stop outside of Ft Collins, we met a guy named Evan with a raft frame on top of his old 4-Runner and it turned out that he is putting on the Middle Fork on the same day that we are. We stopped in Laramie for a couple of hours while Ron frantically called around and cancelled all his credit cards and took care of his wallet business. We drove to the Idaho border and camped East of the highway off ranch exit #32 about 2 miles up a dirt road, just after midnight.
We loaded up with additional groceries in Ketchum, where I also picked up a pile sweater to augment my meager supply of warm clothes. We met the rest of the group at the River Rat Express in Stanley at 2:30 PM. It turns out that an avalanche had blocked the road into the Boundary Creek Launch site, so we discussed our options for an hour weighing the merits of Marsh Creek vs. the normal put-in. We opted (correctly) to try for the Boundary Creek site. Luckily for us, another party came in the morning before us and had cleared the road with chain saws and shovels to clear the avalanche debris off the road. We saw a raft frame sitting on the snow that Katy identified as Evans (to me a raft frame is a raft frame, but to a true rafter). Evan. had clipped a tree sticking out of the avalanche debris and ripped the rack off his truck.
The river is running at 5.1’ and it looks great!
We spent the night at the BC Campground and had a nice fire while midnight played songs on his guitar under a clear sky with a sliver of moon. As usual, I was the last to bed.