A successful day on the water!
Hey all--just a quick update. The electricty, internet and phones are all currently OUT at Moyer Base, so I'm in town for a few hours, using the internet at the library. No idea when power will be back, or why it's out.
Last week was spent out on a survey hitch with Matt Boyer. The very first evening, after work, we were asking the local ranger about some hot springs we'd seen on the map (she didn't know anything about them), when another guy who was hanging out at the ranger station overheard and offered to bring us 25 miles downriver in his jetboat to some very remote, awesome hotsprings right on the river! We of course accepted his offer, and ended up not only skimming over the rapids (including getting airborne over Salmon Falls!) in his boat and relaxing in the aptly-named Bathtub hotspring, but also spending the night for free at the lush, green Arctic Creek Lodge, perched in the rocks above the river, complimentary dinner and breakfast included.
The rest of the survey hitch wasn't nearly as exciting as the first night, but we did a lot of reading and a good amount of hiking. One of our surveys was cancelled, so we got to hike to Sawtooth Lake again (where Claudia and I had gone in July, when it was still frozen over) and to Lookout Peak (where I gained 2,500 vertical feet in under two hours and got horrible blisters!).
I had yesterday off and spent the entire time fishing and swimming in nearby Camas Creek, where the Chinook salmon were spawning! It was incredible to watch these huge, scarred, two-plus foot long fish swimming and fighting and playing in this fairly shallow local stream--especially when you think about how far they'd traveled to get here. The andronomous fish run from the Pacific ocean to the tribuaries of the Salmon River is the second longest in North America (after that of the Yukon) and encompasses four dams. It's pretty crazy to think about.
In addition to TONS of huge Salmon, the trout were also present! I stopped keeping track of how many fish I caught, but throughout the day reeled in a bunch of good-sized rainbow and brook trout, and a 15-inch endangered bull trout.
Gotta run--job hunting, then going to get icecream!
CAN'T WAIT to come home for the wedding--I'm counting down the days!!