Friday August 16th, 2013- We arrived in Cambridge, Idaho about 5 pm….a 3.75 hour drive….plus losing an hour to Mountain Time. After checking into the Frontier Motel, which was about what we expected for this small town of about 306 people, we dropped in at the Pioneer Restaurant for a bite of dinner. Then we gathered at 7:30pm, the appointed time for our orientation meeting with ROW, and waited. Well….we were just a tad early, but everyone else in the group was running late. They had just gotten in at 6:30 pm, and all 15 of them went out to eat….which overwhelmed this little town! While we waited, we also started to get to know two of our guides, Eric, and Britt, who would be giving the orientation.
There would be 18 guests and 6 guides on this trip. When all of the guests had finally arrived, we nervously eyed each other, trying to figure out who belonged with whom. After all, these were the people that we were going to spend the next 6 days with….. But, there would be plenty of time to get to know each other once we got on the water.…After a brief orientation, we were given our dry bags, one large one for our sleeping bag and personal gear and a smaller one for our day bag, which would be accessible while we were on the rafts. We took them back to our rooms to pack, and then headed to bed.
The next morning, we sipped a cup of coffee that we fixed in our room, checked out of the Frontier Hotel, handed them our truck keys (They would be shuttling our truck back to Lewiston), and boarded the bus with everyone else in the group. We would be driving about 2 hours to the put-in point just below Hell’s Canyon Dam, with a stop for breakfast along the way.
The bus ride helped to settle the question of who was with which family group…..but everyone was a bit nervous and quiet. I had that anxious/expectant feeling that one gets before a trip or long hike…..hoping that I had everything, and wondering just WHY I had signed up for this in the first place……
The stop for breakfast was lovely – a quick affair of eggs and bacon and French toast served family style, then we were back on the bus.
We arrived at our destination…..and, with little fanfare, hit the rest room and wandered down to the river.
There we all sized up the situation…..
And grabbed the sunscreen from our day bags, for a last bit of protection….
While Eric, our main trip guide directed everyone into the boats…..
And, before you knew it, we were off on the water! Our rafting trip on the Snake River had begun…….