Friday, April 18, 2014

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Summer adventure-Salmon River rafting trip!

Salmon River Rafting Trip 2013!!!
One of our best trips we've ever taken!
I have to preface this by admitting that I was not even the slightest bit excited about going on this trip.  I mean, I was at the very beginning, like 2 months before when we committed but then as it got closer, I started freaking out a lot and wondering why I had agreed to do such a thing.  No. 1, I hate leaving my kids, No. 2, the thought of asking someone to take my kids for 6 whole days just stressed me out completely, No. 3, white water rafting makes my heart race just a little bit (okay, a lot), No. 4, the lack of bathroom facilities, i.e., pooping in a rocket box, peeing in the river, etc., just didn't excite me!  No. 5, DJ's dad fell and broke his hip a week before we left so I was stressed about that.  But, can I just say that I am so thankful that I put everything aside and went because it was an amazing 6 days spent with my very best friend in beautiful surroundings with 24 of the funnest people (2 of which are my sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Ann and Val Garn!  Thanks to the two of them for not letting me back out and for inviting us to join them on the adventure!

Day 1 was just a ton of driving but we finally made it to our destination, about an hour past Salmon ..I think the name of the campground was Corn Creek.  We got there and the guys immediately went to work unloading everything, pumping up boats, loading boats, while we started setting up tents and campsite...just in time for a rip roaring wind storm to sweep through. We were lucky that we didn't lose our tent and Ann and Val's came through it with a small rip that just got bigger and bigger as the days went on...more wind and more rain!  That was the exciting part of the trip!

 Ann and Val-(DJ's sister and brother-in-law) Val was an awesome guide on the river. I was  so grateful that we were on his raft because I knew we'd make it through the big rapids just fine since he knows what he's doing.  He kept making fun of me though because every time we'd be approaching something big, I'd look back at him and ask him if he was sure he knew what he was doing...I'm sure he didn't appreciate that! :) What a patient guy!
Here's DJ getting us some fresh water!  We really came to appreciate having clean water, bathroom facilities, showers, etc. on this trip! There was a big scare of a nasty flu bug that was circulating on the Salmon River so the forest service gave us all a lovely spill on washing hands, food prep, watching where we stepped, not touching face, nose, etc. so we were all a little more cautious, I think!  No one got sick the entire time so we all felt pretty blessed! 
The guys loading the boats and getting ready for the 80 mile trip ahead of us!   
My handsome husband stapping down the gear.  Something he got really good at over the course of 5 days. :) 
Ann and Val- such a fun couple!  Look at the view in the beautiful!

We totally enjoyed being together with no cell phones, no computer, no obligations, no kids, no appointments, no Bishop duties, you get the idea.  It was just so nice to enjoy the peace and quiet of the outdoors and to visit with one another with no interruptions. And, I have to say that my appreciation for my Heavenly Father and his many creations grew so much as we saw such beautiful scenery.  

Day 1, heading out for our first rapid--and anticipating our beautiful mystery campground :) I will say that part of the fun was wondering what the campground would be like and how tricky it would be to pack all of our gear up for the night.  Thank goodness Ann and Val knew all the tricks, like, be the first raft to the campground so you can hurry off the raft and stake your claim on a place to set up your tent!  We got pretty good at that!
I couldn't get enough of the scenery...even though it was smokey and hazy some days, it was just so beautiful!
Ann and Val relaxing until the next rapid.  Sometimes we'd relax on the really calm water and sometimes we'd water fight but my favorite was jumping in the water and floating a bit to cool off (oh, and to relieve ourselves :)  remember, no peeing anywhere but the water!  
One of the families that came with us have an inflatable kayak.  Their kids have been rafting since they were tiny so they are super experienced and comfortable on the rapids.  It was so much fun to watch them maneuver through the big rapids!  

Since our group had 7 rafts (5 paddle rafts and 2 oar boats), we stuck together for the most part. As soon as one of us went through a rapid, we'd try to pull over to the side and watch the others come through in case they needed help and just for the fun of watching!

More beautiful scenery.  Love the rocks, the water, the trees, the wildlife, the calm and peacefulness!

The best group of rafting people we could've ever been with!  Seriously,  for a group that big, we all got along so well and everyone worked hard and did their part to make it a successful trip.  Thanks to Alan Hunter, (darn, no picture) who made the whole trip possible!  He's been rafting for 30 + years and has everything imaginable for camping, rafting, etc, not to mention, he's kind, patient, and happy to do anything for anyone.  

Val, Ann, and DJ preparing the raft for another day of rafting.  Notice how chocolaty the water looks. We had a couple of crazy storms roll through that caused a lot of mud in the water.  
Ann helping me with my "hot shower" for the week! :)  Nice pic of my backside!   Thank goodness for her portable shower that she'd fill up in the morning and hang over the side of the raft to get warm during the days trip.  
Here we all are getting ready to hunker down for one of the craziest storms of the whole trip! Val and Ann got smart really soon as the wind would start and the dark clouds rolled in, they laid down their tent (with Ann in it) and put a few heavy rocks on the sides.  
This is one of the sandy beaches that we stopped at for lunch.  Have I mentioned how awesome we ate the entire week?  The food was amazing and DJ and I were constantly laughing that we eat better camping than we do at home! :)  
Chillin' on the river! 

The yellow jackets were out in full force this year which made it a little interesting as we tried to prepare the food and enjoy a nice meal.  Some of the people we were with decided that we should bate them and come to find out, they are meat lovers!  YUCK!  We put this slice of roast beef out on a plate and within an hour, the swarm of yellow jackets had devoured it!   
When we weren't putting up and taking down camp, we had fun playing dice and card games together! 
Dinner time!  Did I mention we ate like kings???  These people made us some amazing fajitas stuffed with peppers, onions, and yummy seasoned chicken along with the yummiest rice dish!  Then, to top it off, they grilled fresh fruit dipped in glaze!  Yes, we gained a few pounds on the trip...and it was worth it! 

This pretty waterfall was just a short walk from one of our campgrounds! 

Loving the blackberries we came upon while having our lunch!
We had to show Jordyn, our fruit lover, what we got to enjoy on our river trip! :) 
One of the sweetest couples on our trip, Debbie and John Craner  
We stopped off at this beautiful ranch along the river..can't remember the name of it but it was gorgeous!  
The view from the bridge 

Our crew--the ones with the most muscles! :):) 
This was my favorite campground--minus the tree falling on the mountainside right during dinner!  We all heard a loud sound and then saw a huge cloud of dust on the mountain....sure made me want to move my tent closer to the river! 
We enjoyed a nice relaxing swim right down by the boats (out of the current).  It was the closest thing to a bath available and felt so good!
This was another cute couple (Matt and Jamie) that were part of our group!  
Here I am getting my daily workout!  We all got pretty good at packing and unpacking our wet bags and lugging them up the sandy beaches. 
Breakfast on the river...yum! favorite part about the trip...the infamous "rocket box!"  Yes, this was our bathroom facility for the week and after a few days, I came to appreciate that we actually had a tent around ours! :)  We'd be making our way down the river when we'd look over at some fellow campers and one of them would be sitting right out in the open on the rocket box reading a book.  Ha Ha!  Anything goes in the wilderness, right? :)

After 80 miles of beautiful, relaxing, stormy, exciting, wet, windy, sandy, fun...we made it to our destination!  
Thanks to Ann and Val for giving us such a great many great memories!