Day 6: Main Salmon - Mann's Creek to California

Trip Start Aug 11, 2011
Trip End Aug 18, 2011

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Where I stayed
California Beach on the Main Salmon River
What I did
Whitewater Kayaking
sight seeing
Shepp Ranch
award ceremony
skinny dipping
crazy costumes

Flag of United States  , Idaho
Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Apparently I must have been a bit tired because I managed to sleep right through yoga, paddling lots of flat-water sometimes does that. When I got up I wandered over to the fire and talked with some of the guides while they cooked breakfast and everyone else finished yoga. 

We had french toast and bacon for breakfast. We took some group photos and talked, it was a bit more leisurely this morning. We were going to be paddling 10 miles and the water level was at 7,800 cfs. We were going to make a stop for lunch and also at a working ranch for a visit. We were told today was going to be more mellow in terms of rapids similar to yesterday.

We packed up our clothes, tents and sleeping bags and loaded them onto the raft. While the guides finished packing up camp we did some roll practice in the wave trains right aside of our beach. Unfortunately a few of the ladies swam here. I felt so bad that none of them had gotten a roll in this big water and you could see it was playing on their minds.

First we passed Warren Creek Camp, Swimming Hole Camp, Indian Creek, James Creek Camp, and James Ranch before coming to our first named rapid class II James Ranch Rapid, which consisted of large waves before we entered the next rapid class II Pete's Rock Rapid which has table sized rock on river right.

We bypassed Rugged Creek Camp, Rabbit Creek Camp, before arriving at Shepp Ranch and Crooked Creek. We pulled in on river right and got out of our boats.

A cute lab greeted us and wanted to play fetch with a ball in the river, so we played with him a bit before stripping off some of our gear and making our way up the hill to the ranch.

The owners greeted us and told us a bit about their ranch, which is available as a place to stay on the Main Salmon. It is a working ranch and their are horses, donkeys, pigs, chickens and goats. Some of the workers were chopping wood in preparation of the winter ahead.

it was interesting to see a ranch and all the work that goes into it. As always it was fun to see the animals too. The property is lovely and big and has a creek running right through the middle of it. We walked around and took pictures. Afterwards we returned to our boats and got back on the water.

As we passed by Polly Bemis Ranch, Lisa told us a bit about the history of that ranch and the woman who lived there. We also bypassed Alex Meadow Camp, Small Beach Camp and Basin Creek Camp.

Since it was a more relaxing day in terms of rapids we were able to appreciate the scenery more. It looked as if the canyon had opened up a bit more and we were seeing more signs of life in this area, it seemed to be a bit more populated. 

We began to have some water battles on the river. Anna had snuck a water gun onto the trip and was squirting everyone. We had fun doing that. There was a decent amount of flat water in this section. Ofcourse where there is flat water it seems there is wind, we had to fight the wind all the way down river, it never seems to blow down river either! The crazy boils where present even in the flat water so you needed to be on your guard for those as well.

We stopped for our usual lunch of sandwiches and fruit somewhere along the way. As always Lisa told us more river stories and history. 

After lunch we bypassed Whiskey Bob Camp, Upper Bull Creek Camp, Bull Creek Camp, on our way to a small rapid class II Cottontail Rapid. We had no problems here.

We then bypassed Gold Rush Bar Camp and pulled in on river left, we had arrived at California Creek Camp, which was our home for the night.

We stripped off our river gear and set up our tents and sleeping bags and changed into dry street clothes. We sat and talked around the fire while dinner was being prepared. We had salad, bbq pork and sweet potatoes for dinner and carrot cake for dessert. 

This was the last night we were spending on the river so we talked about our trip and what we really liked. We told stories about our lives and then Lisa got out a huge bag and dumped it out. Inside was feather boas, masks, crazy hats and costumes. Apparently Canyons has a tradition of crazy costume night on their trips. After a beer or two we got into the spirit and put on some or all of the accessories and took a bunch of pictures. Thankfully there was no one else near us on the river or we would have looked like a bunch of lunatics.

Afterwards we were sitting around talking when all of our guides including the GAP staff disappeared. They came back and asked for our attention. Canyons has another tradition that GAP eagerly adopted. It was an award ceremony. Each woman got an "award" of some type. Our awards were rocks or wood that were picked up along the way and decorated. There were all sorts of awards from most adventurous to best laugh, most carnage. I got the Combat Queen Award because I was the only lady to make a combat roll/s in big water. It was a fun way to bring a close to our night on the water. I still have my award.

Once the award ceremony was over we decided it was a perfect night for skinny dipping so we stripped and jumped into the water. Thankfully we had a roaring bonfire to warm up with on the beach.
Main Salmon River Info:

Girls at Play:

Canyons, Inc.:

Main Salmon River:


Salmon River Guidebook:

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