Sunday, July 30, 2006

Snow Hole


We set off from White Bird.

The tiny hotel room there was a welcome rest,

from a day and late night of packing and driving.

We were lucky that the nail in the tire only made our tire low.

After a brief rest and sleep,

Some of us went to have the flat fixed and the others

went to inflate our rafts and make the final preparations.

As we put our two heavily supplied rafts into the river,

An onlooking river guide said that our Maravias were the best.

Each of the rafts had tubular steel racks that held our three dry boxes,

and our three coolers.

We had plenty of food and supplies for our 75 miles and four days on

the River of No Return.

The Salmon River is cool this time of year, not as cold as Bartons.

It is clear enough to drink, which we did for the last two days.

There are many many class two rapids, plenty of class threes,

and a class four rapid called Snow Hole that will give you that

funny feeling in your gut when you first see it.

We rode the Salmon until it merged with the Snake.

It was as if two great moving seas came together.

For several miles after the confluence of these two great volumes,

the waters gurgled and swirled as the two became one,

Creating giant whirlpools and upwellings,

one, strong enough

to almost suck the raft and us,

down into its depths.

Five men and 2 women rode for four days on these waters.

And the war,

and the climate,

and the likelihood of a peak in oil production,

quietly crept into the backs of our minds,

while Snow Hole loomed large.


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3 Comments:

Anonymous Major John Wesley Powell said...

"We are three-quarters of a mile in the depths of the earth, and the great river shrinks into insignificance as it dashes its angry waves against the walls and cliffs that rise to the world above; the waves are but puny ripples, and we but pygmies, running up and down the sands or lost among the boulders.

We have an unknown distance yet to run, an unknown river to explore."

9:11 AM  
Anonymous Edward Abbey said...

"One wishes to go on. On this great river one could glide forever- and here we discover the definition of bliss, salvation, Heaven, all the old Mediterranean dreams: a journey from wonder to wonder, drifting through eternity into ever-deeper, always changing grandeur, through beauty continually surpassing itself: the ultimate Homeric voyage.

But for us, for the time being, the dream must end. We wait here on the dunes for the powerboat that will hustle us back to what they call Reality. Well, and with some justice, let's grant them that: We're damn near out of grub, mates, and the catfish are not biting. Put that in your pipe and smoke it- take a deep drag and hold it- you'll see what you thought was unseeable. Here comes the fool moon through the cloudy symbols. Godlike faces gape at the stars. Farewell for now, beloved river...."

9:21 AM  
Blogger OZ said...

I made a few changes to the post on Monday morning.

nice comments JP and EA.

9:22 AM  

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