July 9, Salmon River

Kevin hasn't been sleeping very well, so he wanted a day off from biking and played tennis.  Kelly, Jen & I left around 10am to do the White Cloud loop in between Sun Valley and Saddle Road.  I think it was only 7-8 miles round trip from the house.  Fun little loop.

Everyone except Maddie, who went to the spa, rallied for river rafting in the afternoon, out of Stanley, Idaho.  We drove about 1 hour north, over Galena Pass, to the offices of White Otter.

Hillary, Hannah, Pat, Larry, Jimmy & Fran in the raft

Jen swimming on "Piece of Cake" rapid - Class III

Kevin with Kelly following - "Piece of Cake" rapid

Kevin goes deep on "Piece of Cake"

And Quickly goes over

Kevin surfaces for air

Kris navigates "Piece of Cake" like a pro.  


Kelly organized the rafting adventure.  Since we were only on a Class II - Class III river, they let anyone over 15 choose to either raft or go down the river in an inflatable Kayak.  The Duckies, as the guides called the kayakers, were Kelly in his own hardshell kayak, Kristin, Jack, Len, Jen and Kevin.  Rafters were Hannah, Hillary, Jimmy, Pat, Larry and Francine.

The kayakers were given very little instruction on how to navigate the river.  I guess the guide said he would point if there was anything special to navigate.  I guess he didn't point much.

There were only two Class III rapids to navigate, the first one being "Piece of Cake", about 10 minutes in.  The sun was out and the rafters sailed right through, swamping Hillary just like she requested.  We pulled over to wait for the kayakers to come thru, as a 50% success rate was considered normal.  We needed to be ready to "catch" them. Jen was the first through, and she swam the entire rapid.  She came thru with eyes wide open, eventually hanging onto the guides kayak.  We weren't sure if she was going to get back on her kayak.  Next was Kevin, who was popped off his kayak before he knew what happened.  He said he was pinned under his kayak for quite a while.  He got out for a second, and was promptly pulled back under.  He eventually surfaced, still holding his kayak.    Kristin was next.  She was petrified after watching Jen and Kevin "swim" the rapid.  She made it thru looking like a pro.  Next were Jack and Len.  Kelly had no problem as he knows how to kayak Class III's with no problem.

After this, it started to rain and things clouded up.  The kayakers wore farmer john wetsuits and dry tops, so they were not cold.  The rafters froze, and unfortunately couldn't wait to get off the river.

The next Class III rapid was about half an hour later.  Jack was the only "swimmer", who swam twice.  We stopped 10 minutes before the end of the 2.5 hour float for a snack and a hot springs warm up.  The rafters did warm up a touch, but were still quite miserable.  Pat says she doesn't need to raft again.

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