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Hell Hike And Raft 2015 Part Four: Whitewater Rafting - Snake River

Posted on November 17, 2015 at 6:15 AM

Hell Hike And Raft 2015 Part Four: Whitewater Rafting - Snake River

 

River elevation is 1,480 feet. The canyon depth is 7,913 feet when measured from He Devil Mountain. The deepest river gorge in North America.  Wallowa-Whitman National Forest


After joining the Epic Social Adventure crew of 2015 for our trip to Idaho and spending multiple days and nights backpacking in the secluded backcountry I honestly thought I had the time of my life, but while that was an exhilarating introduction to the Idaho Mountains and you genuinely had to work for every single mile you hiked, the river was blissfully rejuvenating. The river rafting portion of my solo trip to Idaho for Hell Hike And Raft 2015 was a ridiculous amount of relaxation for one whom primarily cares for three children back home and I literally soaked up every last minute of it.

 

From the very sight of Snake River while standing near Dry Diggins Ridge at 6400’ above I was mesmerized. Mesmerized with a feeling I had been familiar with before. That feeling you get when you are rewarded with beauty beyond anything you ever previously imagined joined by the irrevocable self-regard that comes when you physically earn that beauty.

 

That same feeling struck stronger the following day as we stepped foot from Granite Creek to the Idaho banks of Snake River. Never before had I human-powered my way through days of backpacking for a final 6.6 mile descent I never expected, to a river more than a million years old. Flowing just as rich in history as it does deep with glory.

 

The Snake River can obviously be found in tour books and Idaho maps but it’s also found strung through the history books and as some facts are fascinating others are blunt and brutal. The first known to inhabit the area earlier than the Euro-American were the Shoshone and Nez Perce Tribes. I will let you find the treasure of that on your own and for now I will tell you about the next three unforgettable days spent rafting 32.5 miles of what our nation has proclaimed as the “wild” portion of the Snake River.


Day One of the river was day three of backpacking and the descent through Granite Creek Trail was steep. So steep we lost a thousand feet in elevation every mile. By the time we reached the Snake I was exhausted. The Snake River was reviving and the cold temps refreshing. I knew the moment I would hit the rapids the next day I was officially a whitewater rafter.

The river was like a carrot that had been dangled in our face for three days and now that we had the carrot little did we know we were going to get our fill. America’s Rafting Company had an additional two guides, Hines and Andrew, waiting, to not only greet us with a smile, damn these guys greeted us with craft beer, dinner and dessert. They had cold water, cold beer and a warm 5-course meal! Seriously? Seriously!

Kirkwood Ranch - Latitude : 45.567790 Longitude : -116.497783 Elevation : 1230

 

When was the last time you fell asleep under a moonless sky full of shooting stars and what NASA considers one of only two "best" meteor showers of 2015 (Perseid), without a tent, but only a sleeping pad and sleeping bag on the Idaho banks of Snake River?

I have to admit it has been only three months for me. ;)

 

"Wild River Areas – Those rivers or sections of rivers that are free of impoundments and generally inaccessible except by trail, with watersheds or shorelines essentially primitive and waters unpolluted. These represent vestiges of primitive America."  ~ Rivers.gov

 

Day Two on the river started early, just as early as our backpacking days and was going to be our first day on the water. It’s the busy season, and was important to get our gear-boat loaded and up river as soon as possible. Another compliment of America’s Rafting Company was getting some legit camping spots every night on the river. These guides are serious about giving you the time of your life and they pay close attention to details. Our gear-boat bailed early as we initiated our safety protocol for our first day of rafting.

 

The rapids for day one were going to be the largest we encountered the entire trip and Rick who had been with us the entire trip {and by now dubbed, River Rick},  was prepared to get everyone safely through them, not forgetting to have a raging good time along the way. I rode with Andrew, who was dubbed Shipwreck {not sure why I got on that boat! Obviously, kidding. He was amazing!} guiding the Oar Boat, and coasted along for the view. The day was full of beautiful clouds that drew your eyes to the ridgelines we hiked days before, and I fell in love with Idaho all over again.

That night was spent cooling down in the creeks and spoiling our palate with a divine dinner and dessert prepared by America’s Rafting Company.



The food and family {we are definitely trail family now!} were my favorite part of the river. The flow of the water at night was soothing and the smell of coffee every morning was pleasing, but having the meals that we did and having them with the people we had, truly made for an epic adventure.

 

I’d like to tell a story with photos and below you’ll find the gallery to tell the remainder of this adventure.







 


Thank you Epic Social Adventures for choosing me for this trip and sitting me side by side some incredible adventurers, and thank you to America’s Rafting Company for allowing this opportunity. I’m beyond boastful of my time I spent in Idaho and those that know me have heard all about it. I hope this article brought even just a small preface to the experience both ESA and ARC shall offer.




RELATED ARTICLES:



Hell Hike And Raft 2015 Part One: Backpacking Gear


Hell Hike And Raft 2015 Part Two: The Crew



Hell Hike And Raft 2015 Part Three: Backpacking - Seven Devils - Idaho


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2 Comments

Reply Kovas
9:42 AM on November 17, 2015 
Way to bring back these great memories, hard to believe it's been months and not days. Looking forward to new adventures together in the future!
Reply ★ Owner
11:27 AM on December 6, 2015 
THANKS Kovas- I'm ready to do it again!! :)
Kovas says...
Way to bring back these great memories, hard to believe it's been months and not days. Looking forward to new adventures together in the future!