Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Summer :: Hells Canyon Raft Trip

In preparation for our 5-day raft trip on the Snake River, we headed to Mary's friends', Tom and Sandy, to borrow gear and get packed up.  They have a lovely little farm outside of Tumalo.  So beautiful!!  :) 

Beautiful View!


While cleaning out the car, Mary found a petrified french fry (:

Dinner at the BBC - we needed our glasses...the menu was so small!

Brunch at McKay Cottage - delicious!  :)

After many, many hours of packing, planning meetings, discussions, and standing around, we finally got our vehicle all packed and headed east.  Mary, James and I were (if you can believe it or not...) in the LEAD and actually arrived at our destination first.  Unfortunately for our friends Francoise, Chad, and Charlette, their car broke down right outside of Prineville and needed to be towed back in to town.  :(  They
then tagged along with Gabe and Patrick.  Poor guys!!  What a rotten way to start the trip...

Totally unaware of the above problems, we keep plugging along.  Pit stop in Mitchel...

James studies up for our big trip!

Crammed in like sardines

Team Alaska stops for a photo shoot - it's all about perspective!  :)

Next stop: John Day - where Mary finds one of the biggest trucks in the west!

We stayed the night in Baker City (thanks, Casey and Travis for letting me crash with you guys!  It was so fun to see Lilly and to meet Harper!!  Not nearly long enough though!) and then were up and out by mid-morning.  Made it to the Hells Canyon dam and met up with Joel and Kenette - who were already all ready.  Finally got ourselves all loaded up and settled then set off.  Shortly after that we found a spot to camp for the night.  About 30 minutes into the unloading process, Charlette spotted us a bear!  :)

We established the plan of "just whistle" if you see a bear in camp and we'll all come to the rescue and shoo it off.  That night I thought I heard a whistle but there was only one and then nothing else.  I proceeded to quickly fall back asleep.  The next morning I asked Gabe and Patrick if they had heard a whistle, too, but no.  About 5 minutes later, James came out and said, "There was a bear in camp last night!  Did none of you hear my whistle?!!?!?!"  Haha, sorry, James!!

Francoise and Chad had dinner duty tonight - delicious soup!

Mary getting the boats situated

Gabe finds his spot to sleep

I think these are tomatillos - they were scattered all over this campsite.  And there was a mullberry bush!

The next morning there were butterflies ALL OVER!  So pretty!

James, Mary and Patrick discuss the Groover Set-up....apparently the wrong bucket was used so a new lid set-up was needed!!  Crisis averted...

Pit stop for lunch...Chicken Caesar Wraps prepared by Joel and Kenette - another yummy success!

One of our first runs - so fun!

After this fun run, we went through Granite - or rather we swam through Granite.  :)  My first flip (and Mary's first ever flip in 9 years!) and we all came out just fine!  Mary did an excellent pack job and we only lost 2 pairs of sunglasses, one hat, and an umbrella.  Not too shabby...not too shabby at all!! :)

We stayed at Campsite #2 for two nights including a hot and sunny lay-over day.

These airplanes flew by us several times - we think they are "stunt planes".  The first time we saw them, they were flying with their wheels on the water - so cool!  :)

Our first night here was Super Hero night!  :)  This group was so fun - they all brought super hero costumes!
Well, everyone was Super Heroes except Joel and Kenette - they were Super Villains! (:


Francoise & Chad

Patrick and Gabe 

Super Mary 

LOTS and lots of bugs 

Super James and Super Mary :) Haha

All the Super Friends! 

We borrowed a Light Up Bocci Ball set - so fun!  

The layover day included Bocci Ball, river floats, Pass the Pigs, finger nail polish and among many other fun things!  :) 


It was so warm out, we decided to float the river.  It was wonderful!  :)  So nice and relaxing!

Even Roxy got in on the float

Gabe and Patrick

Mary and James

Playing Bocci Ball

While playing Bocci, we were tromping around the grass and weeds and got this dark, blackish pollen all over us.

This was our night for dinner - Tamale Pie and Chocolate Cake in Dutch Ovens.

The next day, we headed down stream again - stopped off at this cool little cabin for a quick look-see! 

On the river again...Patrick tries his hand at fishing. 

James and Mary on the Team Alaska raft! 


Gabe & Charlette 

Chad and Francoise 

We even found a jump rock...

Gabe goes first! 

Then James... 
 Now Mary - excellent form!  :) 


Now Chad 


And again 


Gabe & Roxy 

Team Alaska!  woot woot!  (: 

Scouting out the next rapids...

Mary & Gabe 
 Mary was our incredible guide!  It's amazing how much hard work it is to row a raft all day!  James and I each took our turns but got tuckered out pretty quickly!  We were again impressed with our guides!  :)

Sweet summertime!  :)

We stopped to tour the Kirkwood Historic Ranch - they had a lot of cool things to look at.

Oh, dears! :) 

It was such a hot day!  The Ranch Hosts told us it was 96* - WAY too hot!  Gabe takes a dip in the creek to cool off! 

Our last night on the river - new campsite and new games.  Patrick brought out his jumbo slingshot...epic!

Gabe and James hold the ends while Patrick prepares to fling...


what happened to Gabe?!?!?!  He decided to go for a swim!  :)

click here to see how it all went down!  :)


This big Bull Snake stopped by for a visit

Tonight was Formal Wear night!  Not quite as prepared as the Super Hero night, but, oh well!

Gotta love an excuse to wear a sequin dress!  :)

Team Alaska decided to bring planking back...here's Mary giving a demo

James decides to give it a try, too!

Just a short jaunt on the water the next day before take out...

Team Alaska!!!

 All of us (except for Joel and Kenette who had to work so took off a day early...) at the take-out.  Poor Charlette slipped on the curb and broke her ankle!  :(

 More planking...

Patrick checks the stack as we head out of the canyon.

Squished like little sardines!

The little old lady driving the pilot car TOTALLY drove like a little old lady!  :)  It took quite a while of starting and stopping to finally make it out of the canyon.  They were spraying/treating the road with a mystery oil (seen below on James' leg...eww!).  We heard later that the mystery "gunk" would burn through hair and skin...so we stopped in White Bird to clean the cars, boats, and the boys.

White Bird was kind of like the Twilight Zone - it's almost as if the people in town had never seen outsiders.  But they were very nice and allowed us to use their garden hose to clean up the rigs.

Poor Mary slipped on the gravel and gave herself road rash - all of our injuries were happening at the end of our trip!  :(

The night before, while doing dishes, Chad dropped a knife and cut his foot.  Here is a picture of our wounded...

After cleaning up and a beer, we headed to Hoots for lunch.

On the road again - Team Alaska split off and headed our own way, but forgot our tent, so had to divert back to meet up with the pick-up again along the way.  Mary went on a mission to find our tent - so nice and neat and packed away.  She may have gotten stuck and needed outsider assistance!  :)

On the road again - Just Team Alaska...

Mountain Sheep!

Notice the  sneeky "y" :) haha!

We drove the loop back to close to our put in.  We were able to see Hells Canyon right at sunset.  Lovely!

 As we continued our drive toward Enterprise (our original plan was to make it to Joel's house and camp in his back yard...), James and Mary kept getting "curious" about where different roads would lead.  We did not have a great map and the road signs were discouraging the use of "passenger cars".  The voice of reason from the back seat (ME) was ignored.  I proceeded to curl up in a sleeping bag and ignore the madness.

HOURS later, I woke up in front of a bar (the Stubborn Mule) where James and Mary were asking for leads on where to stay for the night.  We decided to go to Wallowa Lake - I fell asleep again, but apparently the campground was full.  Again, I woke up hours later, again in front of the Stubborn Mule.  This time, the bartender directed us to the Ponderosa Motel.  Mary had an in-depth conversation with the woman (after we finally woke her up...everything closes early in Small Town Oregon).  Sadly, the woman thought we were homeless...but it was mighty fine of her to offer us "resources".  We got the last room in the place - it changed from "welcome" to "sorry"

I don't know why she thought we were homeless :)

Poor Mary's wounds the first night...

James sleeps like Count Dracula

The next morning, Joel had to work so we played in Joseph for the afternoon - first up: shopping and mini-golf at Wallowa Lake.

In Joseph...

Now on to Enterprise to meet Joel for dinner and a brewskie.

After dinner, we stayed at Joel's house.  Mary and Joel fell asleep...strike a pose. :)
Fresh snow fall

Did a little thrift shopping on the way out of town - James found a Mary Sign

Mary found another pair of roller skates

Packed to the brim

Photo op

And another planking opportunity

As we drive along, we stumble upon a herd of 100s and 100s of sheep...all over the place, SHEEP!

Another photo op...

We stop off at Ritter Hot Springs

As we left the Hot Springs we were faced with another difficult decision of "left" or "right" - we chose right - we chose WRONG and found the end of Grant County 15!

Hmmm, where to now?  We turn around and double back - only an hour or so of wasted daylight...

Our next destination is the John Day Fossil Beds - again right at sunset.  Breathtaking views!

We stumble across this little gem - James Cant Ranch!  :)

But of course, none of the spots we see in the daylight are acceptable campsites so we continue on...in the dark...looking for a campsite or a pull off that is big enough to pitch tents.

The search continues until full-on dark time.  We FINALLY find a trail head with space for us.  

The next morning, in the daylight, we see a prime planking place 

Notice the air freshener!  We were starting to get a little smelly

Finally made it to Prineville - the waitress was giving James alot of teasing!  :)  She told him not to steal the jam

Back in Bend

common sense...

Super Moon!  So cool!

Such a great trip!!  Thanks, Mary, for letting me tag along!  Loved nearly every second of it!  :)