For the first time in 3 seasons we have snow to support a decent flows in Eastern Oregon on this classic run. The last two years we ended up heading up to the Grand Rhonde due to the lack of water. The Grande Rhonde is also a great trip but I am supper psyched to get back in to canyon country. The melt has started a bit early this year but that is working to our advantage this year as we will be on the Grand Canyon for all of April. We normally plan on heading east for a dose of the desert the third week of March but that is our prep time for The Big Ditch.
I am looking forward to the opportunity to get some good pics of our newly available equipment including or “Lighten up” Fire Pan. The Owhyee’s Green Dragon Canyon is the heart trip and always feeling like were coming home. Part to the draw to this trip includes the many natural hot springs that provide an incredible oasis in an often hostile environments that boasts hurricane force winds that can drive sideways snow. I have a friend from Boise that had a trip the he refers to as the Rome to Rome trip because after half a day of battling wind they were literally blown back to the put in.
On our first trip on from Rome to Leslie Gulch we instantly fell in love with the trip and even got a second trip that year in 2009. However our first trip, ended on a bit of a sour note when we buried the truck and trailer in the mud at Leslie because the lake level was very low. The water was a few hundred yards from the end of the concrete boat ramp and lake silt was the only surface to get close to the water. We also we rain the night before making the silt turn in to bottomless pit. Owhyee Tip #1. Don’t try to dunk your trailer with low lake levels when you only have one rig. After a few hours of wallowing in the mud to put chains on all four wheels and still sinking it became obvious that we would be enduring a very long walk. After a quick 18mi walk over a pass and a bivy in a cow pasture we were able to use the phone the one room school house to call be a tow.
A few hours after the call and few kids snacks that the teachers offered up our rescue rig arrived. A white 3/4 single cab ton pick-up truck rolled up to the school and we put the dog in the back and Maryanne and I piled in still covered in mud with our rubbing rain gear and xtra-tuff boots. The driver greeted us and moved his 30/30 rifle to make room for us. He then spent the remainder of the drive telling us stories about rescuing “River Hippies” over the years. We took in the local culture and were thankful to not be walking. When we arrived back at the scene of the crime he realized that our truck was bigger than his. The “River Hippy” talk wound down fairly quickly. In less than 10 minutes with a winch and snatch block (pully) we were on our way. What a deal for $300.
We are now the proud owners of an Irridium sat phone. I like a good walk but 18mi was a bit much. We had the discussion about what communication devise would best serve our needs and the sat phone won out because neither of us were enthralled about activating a 911 responses and making the front page of the Boise newspaper because we got out rig stuck.