Same Ole River, New Perspective

Although the city limits of Podunk hug the banks of the Salmon River, Iron Chef and I had not floated the wilderness stretch of the Main all the way through to the West side of the state for more than 10 years. Her Royal Highness and Odd Number were little tikes then, and we kenneled them back at home.
So the beauty and tranquility of the Salmon had a whole new twist when my peeps and my sidekick Lucy’s family took our family vacations to the river this summer. The Main Salmon (as we floated it) goes for about 80 miles. Its numerous rapids at July’s water level didn’t get above a Class 3; but taking 4 teenagers ages 13, 14, 15, and 16 certainly merits a rating much higher than that. If Class 6 is a waterfall, this should be Class 7 — a waterfall that is dry at the bottom.
Here are some of the things I noticed about my wilderness experience w/ the teenage twist:
– When the kids were little, every hotel had to have a swimming pool. Beds were optional, swimming pool not so much. Our 4 camps were rated by their swimming holes. And we were on a 5-star roll.

I have no idea why we ever left this beach. Stupid.

I have no idea why we ever left this beach. Stupid.

– Having your own private beach is a very fine thing.
– Hornets and yellowjackets are the great equalizer. For all of Her Royal Highness’ coolness, she could not compose herself in the presence of these insects. Her freak outs — spontaneous zig zag patterns, flailing arms, and high pitched screams — frequently disturbed the peace.
– Therma-rests can double as watercraft. Odd Number is somewhat phobic, so I at first questioned his decision to follow Lucy’s strapping 15-year-old son down Rainier Rapids on his sleeping pad.
– Bridges are diving boards. Odd Number is somewhat phobic, so I at first questioned his decision to follow Lucy’s strapping 15-year-old son as he jumped off a bridge some stories above the water line. It turns out, I should have questioned my sidekick Lucy’s decision to follow her strapping 15-year-old son off the bridge, but that is another story. Fear of Heights
– The Main Salmon River wilderness stretch has no cell phone service. This feature has a whole new meaning when you are traveling with a 13, 14, 15, and 16 year old. Nothing googled, posted, tweeted, or snapchatted. I swear if we ever get a cat, I’ll name her Frank Church.

5 thoughts on “Same Ole River, New Perspective

  1. What an absolutely terrific backyard we have here, especially downriver. Floating is truly next to godliness, IMO. Wilderness and catered dinners … what more can one ask for? Oh yeah: an absense of saturating electromagnetic waves!

    I’m torn between telling folks everwhere how fantastic the river is and hoping the masses never show up on my part of the river.

    Pack it in, drink it up, pack out the empty! Nice choice of adult beverage (but wrong mountain range). As always, nice smile – and Ruby looks great as well.

    – Don

  2. I love this post and sent to Rosanne, she floated with us a couple years ago. What a great summer this has been for everyone. Wow you got to have a dog with you on the river. Denise

    Sent from my iPhone

  3. Amen and Hallelujah. Having just done this trip I am in complete agreement. I felt sad when we were still on the river, but left the wilderness. There is nothing like it! And I am proud of Lucy!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s