August 17 – 22nd, 2013 - Our days on the Snake River started about the same every day. Fred and I would usually rouse up about 6:30 am and go in search of a cup of coffee. The guides had gotten up about 6 am and the coffee was ready by 6:30. We would sip our coffee and then begin to pack up our personal gear and take down our tents.
We would carry all of our gear to the staging area for the rafts, and the guides would pack it all on the cargo raft. This cargo raft and one guide would leave ahead of the group and go downriver to select a campsite for the evening. The guide with the cargo boat was responsible for setting up camp and all of our tents. This after a long day of rowing a very heavy raft! The guides each took turns with the cargo raft and the other rafts.
About 7:30 or so, we would have breakfast. The guides always fixed a cooked breakfast, with eggs, or pancakes, or a breakfast burrito. This really IS luxury camping!
About 9 am, we were usually loading up on the rafts and hitting the water.
We had our choice between the paddle rafts or the oared raft…Fred and I did take a turn with the paddle raft……
Though we usually chose the oared rafts, as did Ellen and Carol and Norman. This gave us plenty of time to visit and enjoy the company. Plus, it was easier on my shoulder which has been having some trouble.
Here, Norman and Carol have Mikey giving them quite the luxury ride….shade umbrella and all….. Pretty sweet!
The afternoon of the second day, after we were past the biggest rapids, the guides brought out the inflatable ‘duckies’.
These little single or double kayaks became a favorite with the youngest crowd….though, Carol and Norman did give them a try. When you paddled these little boats…..you really FELT the river…..mostly washing over you as you navigated the class II rapids! ;- )
In addition to the two oared boats and the two paddle boats, we had one more oared raft that was dedicated to Logan and his filming (the craft on the right). The ‘video boat’ might scout out a place on an overlooking bluff to film us going through the rapids, or Logan might just use his ‘Go Pro’ camera to film as he rode along.
The Snake River is a pool and drop river, with stretches of calm water broken up by a number of smaller (or sometimes bigger) rapids. By the second day, I had begun to relax on the water and looked forward to the excitement of the rapids.
During the calmer stretches of water…….
We got to just drift a bit and soak up the beauty of the canyon….
Or engage in a bit of a water war…or just watch from a safe distance.
We kept our eyes open for wildlife…..
And spotted these Big Horn Sheep. They were not at all bothered by us drifting past in our raft. These were the largest Big Horn Sheep that we had ever seen….and the closest that we had ever gotten to them!
We saw a number of Golden Eagles and Ospreys along our way, but I did not even try to get a picture of them.
We would usually spend about 3 hours or so on the water in the morning. Sometimes we might stop for a hike, or a swim….but, I’ll tell you more about that on the next blog…..
About 12:30 or so, we would pull over to a chosen spot and stop for lunch.
Our guides would unload a table, and go to work setting up lunch. Each day, we would have a fruit and veggie plate, and some sort of dip or hummus. Then we might have a selection of deli meats and cheeses for sandwiches, or maybe chicken or steak tacos. Cold drinks and juices and water were always available.
After an hour or so break, we would be back on the water for a couple more hours of fun, arriving at our campsite around 4 pm.
I was surprised at how comfortably we settled into this routine. The days passed……and it felt as if we could just keep on going……