July 25, 2014
Selway River Trip Day 4
The advantage of the previous day's marathon was that today would be short. In fact, we only had about three miles to paddle until our next campsite. Nevertheless, because we were now aware of the other rafting groups, we got an early start to ensure that we would have first dibs on the Selway's best campsite.
After paddling for 200 yards, we reached the biggest rapid of our trip: Wolf Creek. We scouted it, and there appeared to be several runnable lines, but none would be easy. I was especially concerned about a hole near the top that looked sticky. After thinking about it for a long time, I decided to walk it. I figured I had a good chance of running it clean, and indeed, absent the previous day's swim, I would have tried it without much thought, but mentally, I just didn't have it in me. Better safe than sorry.
Most of our group ran Wolf Creek, and we got through it without any major issues. The river then became narrower and deeper. It was still crystal-clear – we could easily see the bottom, about twenty feet down. Less than an hour later, we reached Tee Kem Falls, our final rapid of the day. All of us ran it and stopped at our campsite, one hundred yards downstream.
It was only noon, so we had the rest of the day to relax, cliff jump, fish and watch the looks of disappointment as the other rafters passed us (the happy campers actually existed, and they were hung over). Several of us also passed around the Cosmo and Crystal finished her book, 1000 Days Between (I heard it was pretty good). At one point we decided to figure out how many people we could fit in the ducky. We started with eight, but capsized about ten feet from shore. We took five on our second attempt, and we actually made it all the way to the rapid before getting thrown off. It was about seventy-five degrees and sunny all afternoon. Despite the name of the Selway's put-in, this campsite was truly paradise.
For our final night on the Selway, we played bocce ball using rocks (no Brahman cattle were on the beach), played cards and drank our remaining alcohol. I woke up in the middle of the night, and the stars of the Milky Way were so bright, I almost thought it was morning.