Friday, July 17, 2015

Day 30--A Day Off the Bike and On the River

What a fun day it was today! Since I'm still on Mountain time, I woke up at 5:45. I didn't need to leave to go over to the jet boat place until 8:30 or so. A gal named Vivian came to the RV park with her cute little Midget trailer. She was also doing the jet boat ride. We rode over to the place together in her car.

Since Pittsburg Landing is 17 miles away, both Vivian and I signed up for the shuttle. Dustin was our shuttle driver. Really nice guy (has a 15 week old baby boy at home). The road to the Snake River in Hells Canyon was pretty intense in its steepness. I certainly wouldn't have wanted to ride it! The Snake River pretty much runs parallel to the Salmon River...just gotta get over that ridge! There were about 7 of us on the shuttle. The rest drove themselves.
We arrived at the landing about 9:45. That's Dustin cleaning the windows of the boat, "Happy Hour".
This is Kurt, our driver, and half owner of the company, Kilgore Adventures.

Everyone got on the boat. I think I counted 36 plus Dustin and Kurt. Vivian had gotten the scoop on the best place to sit (left side, mid-back). We sat together, and I was sitting next to David and his son Corwin from London (they actually live near Crystal Palace where I stayed when I was in London last summer).

We started up the Snake River. It was great fun, and we hadn't even hit the big rapids yet! Here's some photos.
Calm water.

Our first stop was Kirkwood Ranch. It was an old ranch turned into a museum of sorts. It is staffed by a Park Ranger who stays there for a week alone.
The Museum (Spalding Cabin)
The Hanna Cabin
The potty shack cabin (actual flush toilets!)

Back on the boat, we continued upriver.
A little bit rougher water.
There were tons of rafts and other various watercraft.
Yes, that's a Stand up Paddle boarder.

Then we were coming to the bigger rapids. We had to don our lifejackets. Here's a selfie of Vivian and I in our lifejackets.

Of course the still photos are not going to do justice to the white water (I filmed with my GoPro, but I'll have to wait until I get home to upload).
The Granite Creek Rapids (class 4 if I remember correctly).

As we approached the Snake River Dam, we pulled over for our lunch break. They provided us with huge sandwiches (I had turkey and swiss) with a quite good macaroni salad and a chocolate m&m cookie. There was a wide beverage selection. Vivian and I ate our lunch up near the Visitor's Center.
Top of the stairs to the Visitor's Center. There's the boat way down there.

After lunch we continued up to the dam.

The bypass tunnel they used when they built the dam, to divert the water.

The ride back downriver was fun because the opportunity to get wet was pretty high. There was this one lady sitting right in the front in the middle. I commented to Vivian that she was like a sitting duck. Sure enough, we hit this one wave, and she got totally dumped on. Actually, we all got pretty wet from that one.
Before the dumpage.

On the way back we stopped at Sheep Creek Ranch. It was similar to Kirkwood with one exception. As I was taking a photo of the cabin, we looked up and saw a snake slithering along the edge of the roof. Then it slithered back into the attic area. I did not go into that building!
Can you spot the snake?
How about now?

There was also this "Antler Garden".
Betcha didn't know you could grow antlers out of rocks!

Our final stop was at a beach called Fishtrap. It's because when the river is high, the water flows over the beach and fish become trapped behind it when the water recedes. Then the eagles and bears have a feast.

What a great tour this was! It was kind of expensive, but worth it! 

Tomorrow I will continue on my way. Here's a photo of me with my favorite Swiftwater gals, Anna and Barb.
Thanks so much for everything, ladies!

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