My brother-in-law is visiting from Highland, Illinois this week. Since he lives in the flatlands, he is pretty interested in the mountains and canyons that we have around here. My Mother-In-Law asked if I would take him up Hell’s Canyon on a jet boat tour this weekend.
Jeez, twist my arm.
So on Saturday we headed down through Lewiston, Idaho to the launch at Heller Bar, and ran almost 40 miles upriver past Dug Bar to Dry Creek. In the process we navigated a dozen Class II whitewater rapids, two Class III, and one smaller Class IV.
The Class IV was actually on the Salmon River, a tributary to the Snake that dumps into the Snake at mile 22 of the trip. It is called “Eye of the Needle.” Here is a Youtube of someone else running it at calmer water levels than we ran it this weekend.
Needless to say, Mrs. Goober and her mother were clawing holes in the armrests of their seats as we navigated some of this stuff. Brother-in –law was enjoying himself thoroughly. As is typical, because of the technical nature of piloting a boat through the rocks, riffles, and rapids of this section of river, I took exactly zero pictures. Mother-in law took some, but I haven’t gotten any of them yet. I’ll post them when I get them.
Saw some more Bighorn Sheep, which B.I.L. thought was pretty cool. We also stopped at the Cache CreekHistoric Ranch for a picnic lunch. This Ranch is run by the National Park Service, who employs retired folks for one month stints to get boated or flown in to run the check station and maintain the grounds.
No fishing, because the Steelhead runs are pretty much over, the Chinook Salmon runs haven’t gotten far enough upriver yet to be in the canyon (hence, the reason that I drove to Portland two weekends ago to fish them there on the lower river), and even though the sturgeon and catfish fishery is in full swing, my passengers were not interested in fishing so much as they just wanted to go site seeing.
Good times were had by all.