It was a bit cooler on Day Five, nearly perfect temperatures…the previous two days were not bad, but a bit on the warm side. The morning and evening temps had been just perfect camping weather…except for that rain we received during the evening on Day One. The cooler temps did bring with it an element that apparently is so bad, that the oarsmen cannot even say it by name…it’s just called “W,” for wind. After a while, what seemed like nice breeze, intensified…I felt so badly for those having to row/oar. There were slower river segments where the boats did not even appear to be moving forward…if it were for the oarsmen rowing, we might have actually lost ground.
To make matters worse (at least for everyone rowing or oaring) was the fact that we did not have a reserved campsite this evening…and everything we passed seemed to be occupied. We would look around each bend with great anticipation to try and give our guides any sign of possible spots to pullover, each time the dejection would zap a little more sprit from their moods.
We ended up traveling an extra 8-9 miles farther than we had anticipated, so needless to say, when we finally found a spot to camp, it was a huge sense of relieve. As each of the guides came in with their rafts, you could just see the exhaustion on their faces. It was about an hour later before we started to see the kayakers come it…some of them nearly rolled out of their boats as they hit shore.
Once everyone had a chance to briefly recuperate and get their tents set up, we enjoyed an outstanding dinner…t-bone steaks, pasta salad, and, an upside down pear cake with pecans for dessert.
Apparently there is some sort of tradition among rafters…the last evening of a trip, those who wish to do so, paint their toenails…men included. You have to check out the video above of Jamie getting his toes painted by his younger brother…classic!
We also enjoyed the wise and inspirational words from Chris (one of the guides), about the wilderness area and how we should appreciate the lands that have been set aside for this kind of enjoyment. That too is included on video, but is currently under development for a future segment.
The last night of our trip was bitter sweet…for many, it was a perfect amount of time to be out in the wilderness and for those it was time to get back to the real world. For others, the awe-inspiring beauty of the Salmon River Wilderness, the night skies so bright with stars, and the serenity of being one with nature will be missed.
To continue reading, click “Day Six” of my whitewater rafting trip down the Salmon River. If you missed the beginning, click here. Click the following link to see more of my pictures of the Salmon River.