Middle Fork of the Salmon - Big Bend Campground
Day 2 (20.9 miles) to Pungo Creek Campground
Up at 7:00 for a breakfast of grits, cheese and honey. We got on
the river and paddled down 1/2 mile to a hot springs on a gravel
bar next to the river with two shallow pools. We hopped into the
pool closest to the river (105 degrees F). The more hardy of us
then moved to the upper pool at 113 degrees. This is at Trail
Flat campground which looks to be very nice.
All warmed up and
on the river again, we ran the chutes, which has a large center
channel with several good surfing waves. After this drop, the
weather turned nasty and it rained and drizzled for four cold
hours. Powerhouse rapid is a long triple drop that continues
past an old broken down powerhouse. A mile further is sheep
eater hot springs up 100 yards from the river in the woods. (101
degrees F). The remains of on old cabin built directly over the
springs can be seen. After a warming soak, we had lunch in the
cold drizzle under the protection of some trees and jumped around
to keep warm.
This day had some excellent play spots, many of
which we passed by because everyone was cold. Pistol Creek Rapid
is on a sharp S-bend with a large hole on river right. Probably
the toughest drop so far. Very fast water continues to Pungo
Creek Campground. The river has at least doubled in size since
the put-in. Apparently good cliff diving at Dolly Lake CG and
also at Pistol Creek, although we were too chilled to find out.
Apparently, Pistol Creek CG is on of the nicest on the entire
The sun came out briefly when we got to the Pungo Creek camp so
we could warm up and get into dry clothes before it started
raining again. We ended up barbecuing and eating chicken under two
large tarps in the middle of the campsite. Dave managed to
smoke out the camp by "doing dishes" which consisted of burning
his paper plates and plastic utensils, and any other plastic that
he could get his hands on.
Pungo Creek Campground is located in the trees, up about 10-15'
from the river. This campsite is in the midst of large trees,
with a creek separating the camp from the outhouse. Not much sun
after getting off the river in the afternoon.