Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Going down the River

Today is our big Jet Boat trip. Savannah will be staying home. We'll be gone all day and so this will be the longest she has stayed alone. We put her bigger outdoor crate inside so she has more room. We drove with Ernie and Tara. The drive to the launch area took about an hour and half. The longest was the last 17 miles and it went up and down and had a lot of twists and turns. I think just about the whole group went on this trip. There are three boats taking us all. The company we used for this trip and the upcoming white water rafting trip is River Adventurers. Our guides were just great. The driver, whose family has been in the Riggins area for generations, was very informative and had lots of great stories.



     We take off from Pittsburg Landing up the Snake River which goes through Hells Canyon. Hells Canyon is a 10 mile long canyon that is located on the border of eastern Oregon and western Idaho. It is North America's deepest river gorge at 7,993 feet. Most of the river is inaccessible by road.




The river supports a great diversity of fish and wildlife species. Fish in the Snake River include Steelhead, Chinook and Sockeye Salmon, trout and others. The giant white sturgeon is to be found here and is part of a catch and release only fishery. We saw deer, elk and big horn sheep as well as a Bald Eagle.



                                                     
You just see the horns on the sheep at top of mountain on the left
I didn't have my long lens and don't think it would have been able to get this close up. Thanks to Walt, our HOP leader, for the pictures he took which included the one of the Eagle above.                                                                        
   One of our stops was to Kirkwood Historic Ranch, which was the former home of the State Governor of Idaho, Len Jordan. It gives you a taste of life in the 1930's.










We got to pick cherries from the trees at the ranch.


We had lunch at another spot while some tried some fishing and were successful in some cases




Abby, one of the boat captain's dog/helper


                                                                    
     We continued on our ride which got a little wilder with class 3 rapids. We could only go as far as Granite Peak as the water is still pretty high for this time of the year and not safe for the boats or us.





Just spectacular country.   

We all had a great time, enjoying the landscape, seeing wildlife and getting wet as we went through the waves of the mighty snake river. WOW, great day.                                     




                                                                                                                
. Weather was cool, then warmed up and then got cloudy and a little cool during the ride.  Just as we got back to shore, it started to rain but was short lived.   Driving home, we talked about the trip, noting how many animals we saw, except for a bear. Not much later, who did Tara  see, but a brown bear in a tree. Joe and Ernie got out to take pictures but were too late as the bear ran away. Well, at least we did get to see one, if only his backend as he ran away. We had to stop to take a few pictures of the view from up above they canyon. Ernie also took some pictures for a gentleman who had stopped as well. He is handicapped and so asked Ernie to help out, which he was glad to do.





     We got back to kisses  from Savannah who was a very good girl when we were gone, but was very happy to see us back home. We went for the catered dinner, which was chicken, potatoes and some vegetables It was better than the previous dinner. We didn't stay long as it was cold and we all were tried from our long day.                                                                                                                                                                                       

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