In the wilderness lies the preservation of the world.
Henry David Thoreau
Day 7 – July 16, 2017 – Traveling with gigantic rafts through the rivulets of the upper Snake
Everything goes quickly in the early morning. Tents are broken down and packed, breakfast eaten, and we make our way down to the Snake River. We load the boats and after a thorough introduction to whitewater rafting, we launch out into the river. But the first leg proves to be an extreme challenge. A labyrinth of tight channels makes it almost impossible to choose the correct arm of the river, and the huge trees on the banks, looming over the water, threaten to injure some of the participants as we pass. The river widens, and flows with little water through the Rock Gardens – a collection of medium- and large-sized boulders. These force us to jump out of the boat and lift and pull it through the obstacles.
When we cross the canyons the rafts often get stuck, and demand the guides’ full physical effort, and they are often up to their necks in the ice cold glacier water in order to lift the boats over the rocks.
We are completely exhausted when, after eight hours, we reach our camping spot for the next two nights: the shore of the crystal-clear glacier river Reptile Creek. A dense drizzle all day has cleaned the air of the smoke from the wildfires, and around midnight the summer sun tears open the clouds. Together we celebrate Kai’s birthday and we can’t wait for the next 280 kilometers of paddling on the Snake River.