MAIN SALMON RIVER, IDAHO:  26 Jul – 15 Aug 2017

So, a few weeks ago my friend Dave M. from the Dayton, OH area asked if I was interested in a rafting trip in Idaho.  His wife can’t make it this time and he is between projects so I must have been his last choice…  I used to work on a defense program with Dave for some foreign customers and we have traveled together to a number of meetings all over the US and world.  Since all I have been doing so far this summer is working a lot on some property I own and my house, I said yes, I was interested.

All the permits for the summer were already taken so we started trying to nab a cancelled permit.  Most days a permit or two would be cancelled for the upcoming weeks.  The only way to get the permit is to log on, and at exactly 11:00am the next morning, they would open the permit to be taken.  Well after 2-3 weeks, Dave managed to grab one for August 2, 2017 for the Salmon River, Idaho.

For those familiar with the things I have done, this is borderline Glamping.  The closest I have come to something like this is doing Mt. Kilimanjaro last year where we had 20+ Porters and Guides for 5 clients!  Most of my hiking experiences have been solo or small self-supported groups.

While we will be self-supported, the amount of room to bring stuff is staggering to me!  Luckily, Dave is really into rafting and has all the gear.  We will have two boats/rafts and will pick up enough food for 7-8 days on the way to Idaho.  At the last minute, he convinced another friend who we both worked with on the same program to come…so, Jay and is daughter Beth joined us.

More details on the river, etc. are at this link:

https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/scnf/recreation/wateractivities/?cid=stelprdb5303132

On Wednesday, Jul 26th I drove (around 7 hours) to Rochester, NY to stay with my buddy Don and his girlfriend Holland for the night.

On Thursday, July 27th I drove (7+ hours) to near Columbus, OH and saw some cousins and my Aunt and Uncle who I hadn’t seen in years.

On Friday morning, July 28th, I drove (1 hour) to Yellow Springs, OH to Dave’s house.  I also found out that Jay and his daughter Beth were going too be joining us for the trip.  Most of the day we packed gear into his trailer and Jay’s pickup.  From the pictures below you can see we have a lot of gear and supplies!

Dave and Jay below test fitting some gear onto the raft.

Dave enjoying his brand new trailer.  A bunch of gear and coolers were in the back of Jay’s pickup too.  Otherwise, this trailer would have been fuller.

Friday afternoon, after packing gear all day, we started driving two vehicles heading West.  The plan was to take both vehicles and dump mine in Cheyenne, WY so on the way back I could stop in Fort Collins, CO (about 45 minutes south of Cheyenne) and see my sister before working my way back to NH.

Friday night sunset…a long way to go!

Stopping to leave my vehicle in Cheyenne, WY.

We stopped for dinner at a Culver’s (similar to a Five Guys) around 7pm and then drove straight through to just east of Yellowstone National Park.  We drove 29 hours straight from the Dayton, OH area to a camp site near Yellowstone with the only stops being for bathroom breaks, snacks and to get gas.  We also spent a little time in Cheyenne setting my vehicle up in a storage facility.  Our goal was to get breakfast in Cheyenne but when we got downtown we found out it was the Cheyenne Frontier Days festival and we just caught the end of it.  The picture below shows the old John Deere tractors from the 1930’s.

Wyoming scenery.

7/29/17  Saturday night we arrived at the Buffalo Bill campsite, about 30 miles east of one of the Yellowstone entrances.  As a bonus, they had restrooms with showers.  Imagine how good a shower feels after packing all our gear for 7-8 hours and then driving for 29 hours!  

Jay and Beth very happy with their palatial suite!

7/30/17  On Sunday, we drove into YellowStone National Park from the East entrance and stayed at the Indian Creek campsite. Hot showers, 45 seconds for each quarter. Nice!  On the way in we stopped for a late breakfast/early lunch on the shore of Yellowstone Lake.  We spent the day driving around the park and exploring the hot springs and other sites.  

A bison itching itself…check out my video page to see him in action.

Next two pictures are of Mound Springs.

These next two pictures are of the same spring from different angles.  The first picture is actually the left side in the second picture.

These next pictures were taken on the way out of Yellowstone in the town at Mammoth Hot Springs.  After buying a couple things we noticed a bunch of people near some buildings taking pictures.  As we pulled up, we realized there were 20-30+ Elk hanging out right in town.

Lunch break in Yellowstone…eating from the cooler.

Below is Canyon Falls in Yellowstone.  Check out the video page for more of this.

7/31/17  On Monday, we left Yellowstone and drove to Idaho Falls and stayed at the Snake River RV campground.  They had showers and laundry facilities which was nice since I have been wearing most of the same stuff for 3+ days.  In Idaho Falls we also picked up more gear and provisions. I was able to take 2 hot showers and they had an all you can eat pancake breakfast for $3.00!

8/1/17  On Tuesday, we drove to the Corn Creek campsite and boat launch which is where we will put the rafts on the Salmon River.  We camped for the night and started prepping gear for Tue morning.  As you can see from the picture below, it was clear that Dave was not building the raft right so I had to correct him.  

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