Wed Sept 2nd- Our mornings began to fall into a comfortable rhythm. Fred and I would usually wake around 6:30 am to the dawn light and the quiet stirrings of our guides around camp. We would then pull on our warm clothes (it was getting pretty chilly at night) and pack up our sleeping bag and sleeping pad. Then, we would venture forth in search of a cup of coffee. Our amazing guides usually had coffee ready by 6:30 each morning and were busily working on breakfast by the time we emerged.
THIS is the true luxury of this kind of trip- amazing meals appeared three times a day (plus snacks!) and we did not have to even concern ourselves with what was on the menu! : )
After coffee and breakfast, we would finish getting ready for the day - teeth brushed, face washed, hair brushed? and our rafting clothes on. Next, we would take down our tents, and pack up the rest of our stuff in our dry bags and be on the beach ready to get in a raft.
Meanwhile, the guides would be packing all the camp gear onto the rafts and getting ready for the day.
The guides said that today was going to be a good day for those who had a bit more skill with the duckies and wanted the thrill of the larger whitewater. Fred was all in!
I, on the other hand, did a realistic assessment of my ducky skills and decided to just ride in the raft with Koni..
Inger joined me in the raft, while her husband Dave jumped at the opportunity to take on a couple of rapids in the ducky. Note the rain suits with the hood pulled tight. It was CHILLY this morning and the wind was whipping!
Just a couple of miles downriver, we came to Tappan Falls. All the rafts and duckies stopped to scout this rapid and talk about how to safely run it. Inger and I climbed the rocks just above the rapid in order to take some pictures.
Fred smoothly navigated this rapid …..
Looking like a pro!
Inger and Koni and I got a bit splashed, too!
The morning held a good bit of exciting water – with Tappan Falls rapid as well as Tappan I, II, and III rapids.
We stopped around noon at Camas Creek and went for a hike before lunch. There are a number of forest service trails that extend out from the river. Also, the Middle Fork trail system follows along the river and crosses it from time to time over foot bridges such as this one. We would pass a number of these foot bridges as we made our way down river.
We hiked into the canyon along Camas Creek, finally hiking down to the creek level before turning to head back.
When we got back to the beach, we had lunch and listened to Sam give us a talk on some of the Middle Fork history.
We rafted on a bit…..This is a good picture of the river with Landon in her raft. Note that the weather had warmed up a bit. Short sleeves felt pretty good if you were not soaking wet.
We stopped for a quick look at an old hermit’s cave. It was small and cramped, but once had a sturdy door to keep out the weather.
Last set of rapids for the day – Aparejo Rapid. Fred was still going strong!
We stopped right after Aparejo Rapid for the night at Trail Camp – mile 64.5. I took the picture of the view from inside our tent because it was so beautiful to lie there looking up at the bluffs across the river (though the picture really does not capture it).
We settled in for snacks and a nice glass of wine and enjoyed the scenery before a wonderful dinner of lasagna baked in a Dutch oven and a Caesar salad..