Ray Brooks’ first trip down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River was in 1972, as a river guide. Late July 2012, Ray shared his 40th anniversary trip with his wife Dorita and six friends.
The Middle Fork is one of Idaho’s crown whitewater jewels. 100 miles of exciting whitewater, numerous hot springs, gorgeous scenery… what’s not to like! Follow along and see why Ray has kept coming back for 40 years.
Sunday morning, near Stanley, Idaho with the Sawtooth Mountains in the background, as we head for the Middle Fork put-in. ©Ray Brooks
Our cat poised at the top of the steep launch ramp. It takes teamwork to lower a fully-loaded boat to the water. On a busy morning, there can be 30 inflatables tied up in the eddy. The first few miles are tight and rocky at this flow. Boatmen have to be on their game! ©Ray Brooks
It’s big country, and much of it has burned in the past 12 years. ©Ray Brooks
An Oregon group at Marble Creek Rapid on day four. They’re party barging it up in style. ©Ray Brooks
Marble Creek Rapid with Lance, Renae, and Rich, our IKers. We got a lot of practice saving them on the trip. I think we fished them out of the water 13 times. Fun folks though. The permit holder, who’d never run a river before this summer, was one of them, and Dorita’s sister Renae was another, so we had to save them from drowning.
Our permit holder. ©Ray Brooks
Renae ©Ray Brooks
Jerry and Angie at Marble Creek Rapid. ©Ray Brooks
Ray and Dorita at Marble Creek. Our old cataraft carries a lot of gear. Rowing in front is a “wet-ride” for me, but I have great visibility. ©Ray Brooks
Day five featured the challenging Tappen Falls series of rapids. To our great relief, all the IKers and rafts had clean runs. Here Renae watches us make the narrow entrance into Tappen 3 Rapid. ©Ray Brooks
Camas Creek Camp on night five. ©Ray Brooks
Indian pictographs are fairly common along the river. This one appears to be a hunter with bow and arrow. ©Ray Brooks
Ray is our Katadyn water filters rep. Here, he’s using the Katadyn Base Camp Filter to replenish the group’s water supply. With the help of NRS 1” HD Straps, of course. ©Ray Brooks
Jerry and Angie doing some more water filter testing. Ray’s big on that. ©Ray Brooks
Mark, our Super Puma pilot, with a pet butterfly. And yes, he is a pro. ©Ray Brooks
Ray & Dorita, out for a hike at the mouth of Big Creek on day seven, where the downriver trail ends. ©Ray Brooks
Last night on the river, after a brief but intense rain. ©Ray Brooks
Some amazing “mammary” clouds. A spectacular sight for our last night on the river. ©Ray Brooks
Cramer Creek, the biggest rapid on the trip, is actually on the Main Salmon, just before the takeout at mile 99.7. IKer Lance went into the huge hole by the rock at lower right and had a big swim here. ©Ray Brooks
Thanks for joining us on our anniversary trip!
Ray and Dorita Brooks