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 Middle Fork.

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.

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