We got back last night from an amazing weekend on the Salmon River in Northern California. The company I work for, Winzler and Kelly, pay for a rafting trip every year for the employees and Patrick is gracious enough to organize the event. He did a great job of getting all the logistics out there and making sure everyone knew what to expect.
For the Saturday run, Bio Bio Expiditions
brought the rafts and the guides. The two owners of Bio Bio Exp. are Mark and Lawrence, two really close friends of Patrick and it was great to see them all guiding boats together. Today at work Patrick showed me a photo album of himself, Mark, and Lawrence rafting and kayaking all over the world when they were younger. A couple of people drove up Friday after work at camped at Nordheimer campground. The road to the camp took us right past our run for the next day so needless to say it was hard to keep my eyes on the very narrow road. Here are some pics of the river canyon:
In the morning we met the rest of the group at the put in at Butler Creek for the safety talk and the sorting of the gear:
we had four rafts for the day and two kayakers. Teresa kayaked this section which was a solid class 4. It was great to see her do so well. Below are some pics of the first day and some video as well.
This is a shot of Dave running the Big Ike on the Klamath. It's a beautiful rapid.
Patrick taking his crew through Big Ike. I am really lucky to work with a great group of people. Those are my two bosses in the raft. Pat in the white hat and Steve in the front of the raft on the right. They were both on the Mt. Shasta trip with me as well. Below is a video of our boat running the Ikes:
This is a video of a cliff jump we did into the Salmon:
After the run most of the group went back to camp and we had a great time by the fire drinking and eating. Travis and Beth brought an outdoor boccie ball game which was a blast. I went to bed that night with a lot of nervous anticipation for the gnarly Class 5 section we were planning on doing the next day. A couple of the guides from Saturday wanted to kayak, which meant we had more paddlers than guides. Teresa volunteered to guide one of the rafts for the day. She had never guided a raft on a class 5 river, let alone one she had never seen before. It took a lot of soul searching for her to decide that she wanted to do it. I am very impressed with her ability to weigh risk and decide how many chances to take. Neil drove down to the Salmon from Happy Camp and went in the raft with Tony myself and Teresa.
This is Patrick's boat on Sunday with Travis and Beth in it.
Jorge in his kayak running the Class 5 Cascade Falls. He is a guide from Costa Rica and was great to have on the river.
This is the rest of Cascade Falls, a great rapid and a ton of fun.
This is Paul kayaking Cascade falls and boofing a nice line through the middle.
It was a great trip and one of if not the prettiest river I have ever been on. A big thanks to Patrick for putting the trip together and Bio Bio Expiditions for doing the outfitting. I also wanted to thank Teresa for a bunch of the pics and video and for guiding our boat perfectly on Sunday. It was a great time and I can't wait to go back.