The Wild and Scenic Salmon River runs through the 2,366,757 acre Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. Its waters are the purest in the lower 48 states.
In the summer of 1981, our bright new rafting company (New Wave Rafting Company) was faced with a drought on the Rio Grande. What to do? Acquaintances of ours suggested that we accompany them on a trip down the Main Fork of the Salmon River. These were founding and other members of a preservationist group named Earth First! Myself, wife Kathy and son Ethan were thrilled to join them, to experience the Salmon River in the company of kindred folk.
We traveled to Idaho in our 1-ton company van and made a beer stop in Blackfoot, ID. Turns out that one of our party had an uncle who owned a distributorship there, who directed a forklift to load a pallet of beer into the rear end of the van. At the put-in we saw that Dave Foreman’s raft was a self-bailer i.e. he had cut the floor out. His frame was a homemade aluminum affair that exactly fit the dimensions of the main tubes, so that it rested on those tubes all the way around, with all weight suspended from it. The pallet of beer was then transferred to his boat, which is all that he carried. And I must confess that I failed to get a photo of it!
Thanks, Dave Foreman and Earth First!, for the invite!
After our 1981 trip on the Main Fork, our next goal was to run the Middle Fork – perhaps the most prized river destination in the country. With the clearest water and an astounding native cutthroat trout fishery, we just had to get there! And, friends who had secured a permit provided us that opportunity in the fall of 1997. We flew into Indian Creek from Salmon, ID, with Wilderness Aviation.
Our put-in for this fall trip (9-21-97) was Indian Creek, at Mile 25. Seasonal low water in the very rocky stretch upstream of here argued against using the usual start at Boundary Creek (Mile 0).
Thanks, Will and Carol MacHendrie, for inviting us on your trip!
See Part #2, on our 2009 trip: https://wordpress.com/post/believesteve.org/18162