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July 2007 Archives

July 6, 2007

We're Off!

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The time is finally here!

A year ago I went ahead and booked a trip I have been dreaming of ever since I read an 1988 article in Gourmet Magazine - white water rafting down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho, which happens to be one of the most pristine wilderness areas in the U.S. (and when I say pristine I mean that nothing goes in without coming out...nothing). After booking the trip, I got so excited....and then realized I had to wait a year for the trip! Well, we are here.

We fly into Boise Saturday, July 7 where we will overnight in a hotel, have our orientation, and meet others who are going on the trip. Then Sunday we fly into the wilderness and board the rafts. Our group will be made up of approximately 24 people plus the guides. I believe the rafts take 8 people. You can also elect to "float" down river in an inflatable one- or two-person kyack. Harry Karn and his friend Sandy will be joining John, Julie, Patrick Heather and me.

For the next 6 days the schedule will be coffee and a pastry (I believe) for we early risers, breakfast at 8:00, pack up our sleeping gear, shove off at 10:00, midday lunch (already set up when we stop), more rafting down river in the afternoon, stopping late afternoon where we will find our tents set up, drinks, dinner and perhaps a game of Beruit?? And don't forget... there will be hiking and fishing in between.

Yesterday our wonderful friend, John MacArthur, came and matched up rods and reels for me and so we're set with two fly rods and one spinning rod. This area is a catch and release area so we also won't be consuming what we catch (if we catch)! Today Julie and I had a stressful moment when we realized the airlines probably would fail us whether we checked or rods or took them as carry-on (if we we allowed) and so decided to UPS them (made a verb out of a proper noun) out to Idaho to ensure they got there in one piece. Sad commentary on the airlines but I have to tell you...they are my only worry about this trip.

We have been packed and ready to go for two days and this short wait has almost been worse than the year-long wait since I made the reservation. Everyone is excited about the trip. I have to say, I am looking forward to being together as a family as it will probably be one of the last times we take a "family" trip without wives and grandchildren.

Look for my post-trip entry around July 17! Hopefully you will see photos more spectacular than these (taken last year when Julie through Idaho and discovered the mouth of the Salmon):

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(cold water)

and not this.....
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July 18, 2007

Take Me to the River

Coming home from a vacation is supposed to be a welcoming thing...as you get closer, you begin to let go of where you've been and what you've done and look forward to getting back to normal. While, you may have enjoyed the time away from home, you begin to look forward to getting into your own bed, seeing familiar surroundings, and tackling responsibilities with renewed vigor.

Forget it. Not this time.

End-of-trip depression set in as our boats turned the corner and entered the confluence of the Middle Fork and the Main Salmon rivers where we could see civilization - boats being removed, other rafters, vehicles other than rafts and duckies, and our bus waiting to take us to the airport. The realization set in we had to say good-bye to our guides, a great group of guys whom we lived and connected with during the week. All the fantastic scenery, fishing, eating, drinking and comradarie was done. It was a quiet ride to the airport and to the plane that would fly us back to Boise. All the way home we recounted the stories of what made the trip so great. And here it is five days after we arrived home and I am just beginning to ease out of my post-river funk. Working for several days on the photos of the trip hasn't helped.

It also didn't help that I came home to a sick dog, a whopping bill and perhaps some serious decision making in her regard. I have also heard of cats and dogs being peeved when owners leave them and doing nasty things, but a chicken? Today as I fed the gals, the rooster clocked the back of my leg with his spur when my back turned! (I clocked him back.) Now besides having a sprained wrist (war wound from the trip), I'm hobbling around on a sore leg.

There used to be a saying to cope with such events (taken from a an old commercial for Calgon bubble bath), "Calgon, take me away!" However, now my mantra will be, to borrow from Bert and John Jacobs of Life is Good t-shirts fame, "Take me to the river!"

All of this to tell you, the blog about our trip is coming. It was the most extraordinary week in many ways, the best trip we, as a family, have taken. We all loved it and would do it again in a heartbeat. So hang on....I'm working on the blog (as are the girls). If you haven't received my Kodak Gallery photo album, email me and I'll send it along as I can't post 500 and some photos on this blog!

How's this for a teaser.......

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July 22, 2007

Nineteen Years Coming

It all started with a magazine article. In July of 1988 I read a story in Gourmet Magazine, "Rafting on the Salmon River", describing a trip down the Salmon River, complete with descriptions of scenery and good food. That article was to stay with me (mentally and in a file drawer) for 18 years before I acted on my dream. Last summer Harry Karn and I were talking about it and when he indicated he, too, had always wanted to do the trip. The decision was made - in 2007 we would raft down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, known for it pristine wilderness, stunning scenery, great Cutthroat Trout fishing and fun rapids.

A recommendation from a parent at school provided an outfitter, Mackay Wilderness River Trips (no, not the outfitter mentioned in the 18 year-old article) and my year-long relationship with Jackie in Mackay's ofice began. She could not have been more helpful, answering all sorts of questions that continued to pop up right up until the trip.

July 7, 2007, after a year of anticipation, the McCurdys took off - Julie, Heather, John and I from Hartford, Patrick from New York. We flew into Boise, had our trip orientation that night in the hotel, met our fellow rafters, and got our wetsuits and waterproof bags for the trip down the river. The next morning we headed of to the airport again to fly over the mountains to join our guides.

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Harry Karn and Sandy Washburn joined us for the trip.

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Safe to say, we were all excited.

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We spotted Indian Creek, our launch site, from the air (note the dirt airstrip).

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and from the ground.

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There were a few steps to go down...

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or back up to fill our water bottles (thank you, Joey, for all those lunges and squats).

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Guy, our head guide, told us about the boats and gave us saftey tips for the "duckies."

A word about the boats: there are three ways you can get down the river. First there are the paddle boats with a guide in the back and up to four people on each side of the boat whose job it is to paddle when the guide says "Paddle hard!" and stop when the guide says, "Stop!" Second are the oar boats - the guide uses oars and sits in the middle of the boat with two people in the front and two in the back. This boat is for people who want to fish or those who want an easy cruise down river without having to paddle. Next are the "duckies," the inflatable kayaks that take those brave enough to tackle the rapids on their own. The duckies follow a paddle boat, Mother Duck, and stop before each tricky rapid to get directions on how to paddle through them.

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A paddle boat, John and Heather up forward.

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The duckies. You are instructed on what to do if you or a fellow duckie get dumped by a rapid.

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Oar boat

There are two gear boats that head out in the a.m. with the rest of the boats and go straight to the overnight campsite, set up and wait for us to arrive. These boats are loaded with everything for the week.

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We start off together, Harry, Sandy and the five of us, in a paddle boat.

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Our first view of the spectacular Middle Fork. The scenery of the Middle Fork will change daily.

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Another outfitter's gear boat heads down the river also. Note the pirate flag. It becomes an important part of our week.

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We started out with Guy, the Mother Duck for the first day.

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The ducklings follow.

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First stop - The Pungo Mine - mined by Ed Budell for fluorspar.

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Tight fit....where is my headlamp when I need it?

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Guide Kacey gives us the history of the mine.

Then it was back to the boats to get to our lunchsite. But first...

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Patrick saves a tired squirrel swimming across the river.

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We stop for lunch at Little Soldier and the guides set up the tables. This will happen daily...a different, delicious lunch that is prepared at the same time as breakfast.

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Sandy and Kathy (photo by Julie)

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Some people take a rest....on rocks and stones....

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tree trunks...

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or the rafts.

After a brief nap Heather makes like a salmon and tries to swim upstream. Click on the arrow:



Then we're off again til our next stop - the hot springs!

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(photo by Julie)

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We then set off for our campsite, passing the Middle Fork Lodge and the other outfitters' (remember the pirate flag?) camp at Stateland Left and finally reaching our destination at Stateland Right. We disembark, grab our waterproof bag from the beach as well as our sleeping bags and pick out a tent for the night.

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Heather decides sleeping in her hammock is the thing.

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While Bobby starts dinner...

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Guy teaches Kathy the elements of fly fishing.

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Meanwhile Pat fishes downstream.

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The ladies get to know each other.

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We have dinner and get to know the rest of our rafting family and guides.

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Pat Kohnke, Chris Welch, Tony Bushi, Bobby Seaman, Kacey Montgomery

More about the guides and Day Two in my next post.

July 23, 2007

The Games People Play

(Thanks to Heather for many of these photos)

Day 2 we awoke to hot coffee, fruit and granola for early risers and the Flahertys' "coffeemate" at the end of the table,

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bright sun on the river,

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Tim Flaherty chipping in and making pancakes for the 8:00 breakfast,

and the pirate flag. The pirate flag? How did that happen?

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Well it seems every year, this is the little game the guides play with one and other. One outfitter has the flag, another steals it. Guy had even encouraged us the night before to get involved. As the summer goes on, the game intensifies. And so, Pat (the guide) hiked over to the rival camp in the middle of the night and pinched the flag.

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Chewy from the other camp was not happy....

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Perhaps due to Heather running along the bank, waving the flag and taunting, "We've got your flag. Whatcha gonna do about it?" as they were all sitting and having their breakfast.

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Rubbing it in further as they sailed by us later probably wasn't a good idea either.

And so the flag adventure begins. I must admit, we flew it proudly that day.

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Guides and Guests

The success of a group trip largely depends upon those that go along with you. This becomes even more important when there are only 24 people in your group and 6 guides. It becomes even more important still when you are without the usual conveniences that surround you in your daily life.

I think I will refer to our good fortune on this trip as being the "luck of the Irish." Hmmmm....why? Well, let's start with the other major family group - the Flahertys.

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Ray, John, Pat, Tim, and Dan

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Dan (photo by Julie)

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Ray (photo by Julie)

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Pat (photo by Julie)

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Tim (photo by Julie)

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Tim brought his wife Margo

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Margo brought her sister Vicky

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lifetime Flaherty friend Jerry Richter

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Margo and Jerry

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John brought his father-in-law Don Henrickson

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(photo by Heather)

Then there were the McCurdys...do you see where I'm going? In fact on day one I believe a comparison was made by Guy as to which family had brought more beer.

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Our attempt at an all family Chirstmas photo didn't quite work but the "Life Is Good" t-shirts look good

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Kathy and John

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Julia

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Patrick (photo by Heather)

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Heather

Harry and Sandy came from North Carolina

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By the way, the all time whopping camping award goes to Sandy....this trip was her first time camping!

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Harry (photo by Julie)

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What the heck!?

Next was the Akansas/Kansas group...

Dwight and Cindi

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Dwight watches Guy fish (photo by Julie)

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Phyllis and Cindi

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Dwight and Cindi's daughter Becca and her husband Nick Simon (photo by Heather)

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and family friends, Dale and Phyllis Smith

We loved Cristina and Amanda from Idaho

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(photo by Heather)

After Dwight, Cindi, Dale, Phyllis, Becca and Nick leave us, we are joined by

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Bruce Davis

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and Kurt Karst.

Then there were the guides...our wonderful guides...

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Guy Robins, Tony Bushi, Pat Kohnke, Kacey Montgomery, Bobby Seaman, Chris Welch

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Guy (photo by Heather)

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Kacey

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Chris (photo by Julie)

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Tony (photo by Julie)

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Bobby, baker extraordinaire....

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as well as guide (photo by Julie)

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Pat


That was our group.

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When it came time for Dwight, Cindi, Becca, Nick, Dale and Phyllis to leave on Wednesday, we were all sad.

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For the McCurdys, the week would not have been the same without these people. We laughed, had fun and all clicked as a group. The individual connections we made were wonderful. When I returned home, someone said to me, "There's always a bad apple in every group." Remarkable to say but for us, there was not.

And that's what made leaving the Middle Fork at the end of the week so hard. Yes, we were leaving the beauty of The River of No Return (look for the next blog) but were leaving friends.

The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness

People keep asking...."Exactly where were you?"

Our response: The Middle Fork of the Salmon River within 2,366,757 acres of pristine wilderness. For those of you who want to know more, I've copied the following off the internet and added some of my own photos.

"Few places in America, and nowhere outside of Alaska, provide a Wilderness experience to match the sheer magnitude of the Frank Church-River of No Return, the second largest unit of the National Wilderness Preservation System in the Lower 48 (second in size only to California's Death Valley Wilderness). This area combines the old Idaho Primitive Area, the Salmon Breaks Primitive Area, territory on six national forests, and a small swath of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Senator Frank Church played a key role in the passage of the Wilderness Act of 1964, and his name was added to the Wilderness in 1984, shortly before his death.

It is a land of clear rivers, deep canyons, and rugged mountains. Two white-water rivers draw many human visitors: the Main Salmon River, which runs west near the northern boundary; and the Middle Fork of the Salmon, which begins near the southern boundary and runs north for about 104 miles until it joins the Main. Reaching 6,300 feet from the river bottom, the canyon carved by the Main Salmon is deeper than most of the earth's canyons--including the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River--and this fast-moving waterway has been dubbed the River of No Return. In the northeastern corner of the Wilderness, the Selway River flows north into the nearby Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness (see below). Trout fishing usually rates from good to excellent, and I've had some of the best fly-fishing trips of my life here. The Middle Fork, the Selway, and a portion of the Main Salmon are Wild and Scenic Rivers. Unlike the sheer walls of the Grand Canyon, these rivers rush below wooded ridges rising steeply toward the sky, beneath eroded bluffs and ragged, solitary crags.

The Salmon River Mountains dominate the interior of the Wilderness. Without a major crest, these mountains splay out in a multitude of minor crests in all directions, and rise gradually to wide summits. East of the Middle Fork, the fabulous Bighorn Crags form a jagged series of summits, at least one topping 10,000 feet. The Bighorns surround 14 strikingly beautiful clearwater lakes. Hiking up from the rivers into the mountains brings sudden elevation changes.

Great forests of Douglas fir and lodgepole pine cover much of the area, with spruce and fir higher up and ponderosa pine at lower altitudes. The forests are broken by grassy meadows and sun-washed, treeless slopes.

A dry country, as little as 15 inches of precipitation falls near the rivers. As much as 50 inches may fall on the mountaintops, but much of it is snow. Despite the dryness, wildlife abounds. As many as 370 species have been identified in a single year, including eight big game animals. A network of 296 maintained trails (approximately 2,616 miles worth) provides access to this seemingly endless area, crossing rivers and streams on 114 bridges. This is a paradise for horsepackers. Thirty-two Forest Service Roads lead to 66 trailheads. Despite the extensive trail system, an amazing 1.5 million acres remains trail-free. Small planes are allowed to land on several primitive airstrips dating back to the days before Wilderness designation."

So here are some of our photos of the Middle Fork. We saw a little of everything in terms of landscape - forest, sandy dry areas, rocky cliffs. Our guide Chris said it would just continue to get better as we got further down the river and how right he was. How I wish these photos could accurately show what we experienced. They do not do the beauty of the river justice. It was hard not to take beautiful photos of the landscape but Julie's were really spectacular (be sure to check the Kodak Gallery album you received).

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(photo by Julie)

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View from Pungo Mine site (photo by Julie)

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campsite 2 (photo by Julie)

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campsite 2

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Dry and sandy (photo by Julie)

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Near the Flying B (photo by Julie)

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Near Tappan (photo by Julie)

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nearing the end (photo by Julie)

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(photo by Heather)

July 24, 2007

Wildlife of the Middle Fork

(With thanks to Julia McCurdy for the following photos and video!)

While rafting down the Middle Fork, we passed few sites of human civilization - a couple of bridges, the Middle Fork Lodge, the Flying B Ranch (quick, Kacey, grab the flag!), a man and his pack horse and for 2/3 of the river a hicking trail. After that it was just the wilderness and her inhabitants.

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Don't you just want to just want to break into song.."I'm an old cowhand....from the Rio Grande...." (photo by Julie)

Our first siting was of a bear on the walking trail and thus we were introduced to guide Pat's "storytelling" ability.

"Oh, that's a fake bear. Sure, his mother was killed by hunters and the Rangers found him and fed him. Now you see him every day walking down to the Flying B Ranch where they will feed him. Then he goes back to the wild until he gets hungry again the next day."

Heather got him back though when she saw a second bear a day later: "Yea, Pat, I could tell it was a fakel bear again."

"Really? How could you tell?"

"When I waved at him, he waved back!" Gotcha!

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Fake bear


Bear video by Julie - click on the arrow in the center of the photo.

Clearly the river was filled with beautiful trout.

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Trout (photo by Julie)

But along the banks, there was more to be seen.

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Bighorn (photo by Julie)

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Bighorn sheep (photo by Julie)

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Grouse (photo by Julie)

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These little guys walked through the entire camp our last morning and could have cared less about the humans around them.

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Otter (photo by Julie)

At the last camp, people spotted a rattlesnake in the rocks but I decided I really didn't need a photo.

Meals on the River

So, what was the food like? One would think, out in the wilderness we'd be eating simply or even "fishing for our supper." Well, it was neither. The Middle Fork of the Salmon River is a "catch and release" river; whatever you catch, you must release. In fact, we marveled at Guy's ability to dehook the fish in the water with the least amount of tauma to the fish. And as for eating simply, that wasn't what the guides had planned for us.

When you rise at 6:00, you find hot coffee, fresh fruit and granola (on my way to Cosco to get me some) to tide you over until the 8:00 breakfast, in the case of day 3 frittata and cinnamon rolls.

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Pre breakfast table.....great granola (photo by Julie)

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What Bobby and the others can conjure up on the little propane stove, campfire and Dutch ovens is amazing.

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Bobby working his magic with just the right number of briquets top and bottom.

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Serving a breakfast (photo by Heather)

Here are the breakfasts we enjoyed that week:

pancakes w/ chokecherry or maple syrup, scrambled eggs, bacon
Frittata, sausages, cinnamon buns
trout, potatoes, eggs
French toast stuffed w/ cream cheese
breakfast burritos

Like any good vacation where the food is good, you sometimes start thinking about what's for lunch right after breakfast! Luckily for us, our guides had thought about it also, preparing our lunch while they were also preparing breakfast. That way, after a morning on the river, we would all pull over, tables with tableclothes would come out, food quickly appeared, and in 15 minutes, voila...another wonderful meal.

Our luscious lunches:

make you own sandwiches, those big cookies
Greek salad, pita bread w/ hummus, those big cookies
cheeses, French bread, salmon spread, fruit, those big cookies
taco salad, fruit, those big cookies
curried chicken salad, fruit, those big cookies
pasta salad, fruit, those big cookies

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Don't forget the cookies (photo by Julie)

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There are always those who can't help but play with their food. (photo by Julie)

Dinners in the great outdoors were fantastic. When the gear boats arrive at camp during the day, tents are set up but so is the dinner table. When we arrive after an afternoon of rafting, we grab our sleeping bags, night bags, pick out our tents and wait for the "Hors d'oeuvres" call from the guides. Then we descend upon the table for those little bits that will keep us happy until dinner. My favorite hors d'oeuvres? The chicken sate on the last night.....or was it the portobello mushrooms in sauce on french bread slices?

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The long table (photo by Heather)

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Cocktails

Dinners for the week were:

chicken and vegetable medley with rice, strawberry shortcake
salmon
pork loin with Guy's spicy sauce
chicken breasts, pineapple upside down cake
prime rib, smores cake

(If you can fill in some of the desserts or meals, send me a comment.)

Each meal we are called to the table by the guides shouting out "Breakfast," Lunch" or "Dinner!" On our last night, they seranaded us in three-art harmony...lead by conductor Guy.

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Dinner on the river day 4

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Day 5 Prime rib? Cooked perfectly and however you want it. Awesome!

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And for dessert....a smores cake.

Then it's back to breakfast again

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the leftover prime rib ended up in a breakfast burrito the next morning.

Ahhh...take me back to the river.

July 26, 2007

Day 3

Another day of big decisions...should I paddle, duckie or fish? While getting granola and waiting for breakfast, we all notice that the pirate flag is gone!

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Empty branch where the day before we hung the flag. (photo by Julie)

Well, it turned out that the rival camp sent one of their guides in the night. He had to hike 3 miles and cross a bridge to get to us. Then he had to wait while some of us stayed up drinking, talking and looking at stars through the Sky Scout. After we all went to sleep, he stumbled around camp looking for the flag for about an hour, eventually waking up 2 of our guides. They showed him where the flag was, invited him to have a drink and eventually gave him the flag for his efforts.

After breakfast, we packed our sleeping bags and green overnight bags and got them to the gear boats by 9:00. Meanwhile the guides broke down camp, loading all the kitchen gear, tents etc. and we were underway by 10:00.

This morning the McCurdys and Amanda choose to go with Chris in a paddle boat as we were impressed the night before with his knowledge of local history and wanted to learn more.

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Patrick decided to duckie.

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Chris and Amanda

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Chris teaches us a river trick - a back flip off the rubber raft.

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In he goes

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Heather gives it a go

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So does Patrick

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But it's Bobby who shows us how it's really done. (photo by Julie)

Let's see that again.....

At lunch we stopped at Uper Grouse and visited the Tappan cabin which now looks like a hunters' cabin.

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(photo by Julie)

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Another attempt at a family photo

It was a day of smiles:

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Julie

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Harry and John

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Julie and Kathy

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even from Chris who wasn't feeling well...

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and more great scenery.

During the afternoon there were rapids

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hitchhiking...Amanda sneaks a ride on the back of the raft,

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fishing,

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well....some people were serious about fishing (Jerry and Dan),

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and looking up...seems like we were always looking up at more glorious scenery.

When we got to camp,

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we saw our first bear,

Amanda gave us a talk about her organization, Idaho Rivers United, who work to protect and restore Idaho's rivers and fisheries. They are committed to returning salmon to the river.

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Amanda

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One of the dams that needs to be breached to help the salmon smolts get to the ocean. As of now 50-90% don't make it because of the dams.

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Heather decided to climb this "hill."

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See her under the tree?

She tooks these fantastic photos from her perch.....

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The campsite from the top of the hill.

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July 27, 2007

Campsites

The campsites on the river offered as many beautiful sights as our trip down it.

Getting to raft down the river is an interesting deal. Only 10,000 people are allowed to make the trip each year and it requires a permit. The outfitters are granted the first permits and when those are doled out, the remaining permits are given out by a lottery system. It's unclear to me whether this is only for Idaho residents or whether anyone can throw their name into the hat (guides can email me and set me straight here). So I supppose it is equally possible you could put your name in the ring every year and be granted a permit each time as well as never.

After the outfitters have their permits, they draw for lunchsites and campsites on their trips down the river. For those thinking of making the Middle Fork trip again, one's experience could be somewhat different because of different campsites.

The following photos are a reminder of our campsites, each unique for the wonderful locations and views.

Campsite 1- Stateland Right

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view from Heather's hammock

Campsite 2 - White Creek Camp

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Some tents out in the open; others in the bushes (photo by Julie)

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On the bench above the campsite, Native American camp depressions (photo by Heather)

People liked sitting there looking down on the campsite.

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Kathy and Heather (photo by Julie)

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Margo and Vicky (photo by Julie)

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Or reclining

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View away from the river (photo by Heather)

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Remember the robin? (photo by Julie)

Campsite 3 - Sheep Creek

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Heather climbed the large hill for this shot.

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(photo by Heather)

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View down river

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View up river

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Behind camp Pat Flaherty and Harry

Campsite 4 - Grassy One

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Julie climbed a hill for this shot

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(photo by Julie)

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View of rock mountain across from the campsite

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Pat's view

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Dinner table (photo by Julie)

The last night - Tumble Creek

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(photo by Julie)

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Julie and Heather's tent

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Pat's tent

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Sun rising on the mountains opposite the camp (photos by Heather)

Rollin' Down the River

We really loved and miss floating down the river. At the start of the trip, it was fairly calm.

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(photo by Julie)

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(photo by Heather)

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(photo by Julie)

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(photo by Heather)

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(photo by Julie)

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(photo by Julie)

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(photo by Julie)

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Farther down river, things picked up.

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Pat showing rock climbers "nails."

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John enjoys his last float

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(photo by Julie)

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Nearing the end

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Confluence with the Main Salmon


Thanks to the video features on digital cameras, we could preserve some favorite moments on the river.


Floating down the river nearing the end of our trip.


Julie loved this waterfall.

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Our last look back upstream

July 28, 2007

"Come Along, Ducklings!"

The duckies were the blow up kayaks and everyone had a ball trying them out. A paddle boat or oar boat is "Mother Duck" and the duckies must follow "mother Duck" and take the rapids just as she dos. For the larger rapids, Mother Duck pulls over to go over how to get through successfully.

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"Come along, Ducklings!"(photo by Julie)

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John

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John

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Patrick

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Julie playing Mother Duck?

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John, Kathy, Patrick, Julie McCurdy (photo by Heather)

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Pat Flaherty

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Pat goes for a swim (photo by Heather)

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John Flaherty

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Ray Flaherty with Heather and Dan

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Tim Flaherty

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Dan Flaherty

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Jerry Richter

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Kurt Karst

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Heather really loved it.

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She tries to surf the rapid. (photo by Julie)

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Kacey gets in the duckie to give her advice.

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They both go over....hmmmm...some groping going on?

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Who is this?

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Bobby gives it a try. (photo by Julie)

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Does it.

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Dale

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Amanda

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Becca

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Becca (photo by Heather)

Group shots:

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(photo by Heather)

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Jerry, Dan and Kurt

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The Bighorn sheep don't seem to mind

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Duckies were even used for resting up out of the hot sun.

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My apologies for not getting photos of everyone who duckied. If you didn't see yourself here, go to the next blog for videos of duckies going through the rapids!

Rapids!

Getting through the rapids was exciting if you were on a paddle or oar boat, but particularly exciting in a duckie. We begin this blog with some videos:



Ride 'em, Cowboy - Patrick, Heather, ?, Amanda


Mother Duck leads the ducklings


Hancock


Devil's Tooth - two in the water


Still photos can be just as exciting. The following series of 11 fantastic photos were taken by Julie:

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Mother Duck approaches the rapid

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Other photos:

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July 29, 2007

Day 4

We awoke to one of my favorite breakfasts -

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trout, potatoes and scrambled eggs.

After breakfast, we were saddened to have to say good bye to the Kansas/Arkansas group - Millers, Smiths and Simons. There were hugs all around and promises to keep in touch. Guy took them to catch a flight from the Flying B Ranch airstrip.

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Patrick and Sandy

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Pat Flaherty and Jerry

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Pat introduces us to his Vineyard Vines mermaid shorts

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John and Tim

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We say good-bye to our campsite - Grassy 1. (photo by Heather)

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(photo by Heather)

We followed shortly after, stopped at the Flying B Ranch and sat in the shade...

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picked up Bruce Davis and Kurt Karst...

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bought an ice cream treat...

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got a backrub...

oh, yes....and stole the flag back. While resting under the trees, Julie came to tell us the rival gear boat with flag had pulled up on the beach. the three outfitters, seeing none of our guides down there to remove the flag came up to get their ice cream. They didn't count on our gear boats, steered by Patrick and Kacey, showing up after us. No ice cream for them. They saw the unattended flag, took it, and took off!

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Kacey takes off with the flag

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Their flag is gone.

IMG_3628.JPGWe say good-bye to the Flying B.

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The McCurdys duckie

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John

We stop for lunch but can't remember the name of the site. Email me if you can.

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We arrive at the campsite to find the flag is gone again, captured from napping guides.

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It's hot so we stayin the shade on the rocky beach to stay cool.

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The girls stay cool by sitting in the water.

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So does Pat.

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Harry and Sandy

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Sandy and John with cocktails.

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Dinner and a story

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Patrick recited The Song of the Wandering Angus by William Butler Yeats

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I turned to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

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Later, while some play backgammon...

Heather, Cristina, Tony and Amanda head down river to Grassy Flat II to recapture the flag.

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They return in the dead of night, victorious (headlamps and flashlights).

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The hill they had to get over to get to Grassy II.

And with that we look forward to another blissful day ahead.

Fishing on the Middle Fork

For this entry, I really have to thank my friend John MacArthur.

Just days before the trip, John came by my house to look at some of my father's fishing equipment and set me up with two complete fly rods (with reels) and a spinning rod. Then he sent me off to the fishing store to get new line and leader. In Idaho, Patrick used my father's Abercrombie and Fitch fiberglass Featherwieght and I used a fiberglass Shakespeare Wonder rod which drew comments like, "Boy, it's been a long time since I've seen one of those!"

Thanks also to my brother-in-law, Warren Moran, who sent me about 35 handmade flies. The stimulators worked, Warren!

The fishing on the Middle Fork was idyllic, as these photos will show.

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Getting Ready - perhaps my favorite photo (photo by Julie)

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Guy teaches me to cast

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Patrick gets rid of my barbs. (photo by Heather)

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Jerry

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My first day out, I hook Patrick, Julie, Guy and myself (check the fly under the right side of my brim). Only Harry was spared. (photo by Julie)

On land...

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Getting better

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Had 3 strikes but couldn't land him. (photo by Heather)

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Patrick and Guy
(photo by Julie)

By boat

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(photo by Heather)

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(photo by Heather)

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(photo by Julie)

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Kurt's fish (photo by Julie)

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(photo by Julie)

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(photo by Julie)

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Father and son (photo by Julie)

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(photo by Julie)

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(photo by Julie)

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(photo by Heather)

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(photo by Julie)

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(photo by Julie)

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(photo by Julie)


About July 2007

This page contains all entries posted to KathyMcCurdy.com in July 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

June 2007 is the previous archive.

August 2007 is the next archive.

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