On September 15, we closed operations on the Yellowstone River in Gardiner for the season. A few days later, we left for a 5 day trip down the Main Salmon River in Idaho. Although we have canoed and rafted the Main many times before, this trip was really special because we were able to bring my Mom - Brenda Wilson from Toronto, my Auntie Dee from Vancouver and Baby Teebird (age 20 mos).
We brought 2 oar rigs - one for me (Margot) and one for Bill. We packed for two days, trying to make SURE that we had everything to make the trip perfect. Upon arrival at Corn Creek Put In (6 hours from home), we realized that we had forgotten our cam straps. If you know anything about rafting, you know that cam straps are as important as oars. They are for tying your gear into the boat. We were paralysed. Brenda - Grandma - had put the bag of cammies in the shed, thinking she was Helping us Put Things Away. She said - "You seemed to have so many of those things, I couldn't imagine that you would need more". She felt so bad. She had really screwed up the trip. We might as well turn around.
Well, obviously, we didn't. Within 30 seconds of sending a message to the Great Goddess of Cammies, a cute guy named Dan arrived in a Jet Boat. He just happened to work at the Salmon River Lodge.He loaned us a ton of cammies - WOW. What a cool guy. He didn't want any money but Bill had some tips falling out of his lifejacket so we tipped him. What a honey.
The first day was gorgeous. The last day was gorgeous. The days in between were rainy, cloudy and gnarly! The class III rapids provided enough excitement and we portaged Baby Tee on 3 of the biggest rapids. The rest of them, she either slept through or yelled "wheeee!"
On day 4, after 3 days of rain, Mom and Auntie Dee were over it. Wet, sandy tents and sleeping bags were just too much for these civilized ladies. Neither of them had slept a wink, even when dry. Dee stopped talking. Brenda went delirious. Late that day, we stopped at Shepp Ranch. Perfect Timing! They had rooms for us and were preparing a shrimp and steak banquet for a Hunting Guides Birthday Party. Wow. Shepp Ranch, right across from the Buckskin Bill Museum, is such a friendly place!
Luckily, the last night was sunny and warm and everybody ended the trip with comfy, dry clothes on.
It was a blast! Grandma even cried when it was over.