Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Shake, Rattle, & Roll

With a convergence of serendipity, we headed for the Salt River again. This time there was a water-proof camera along to supplement my "used-to-be waterproof" camera that now lives in a Ziploc because of the cracked LED. A big thanks to Candice for some of these pictures, including one of the strange weather that we faced prior to launching.

In keeping with the unwritten rule of plastic boats, all five in this group were different colors. Willy is hiding his teal colored Scupper Pro just beyond the yellow one.

I'd discovered that there were a couple caches along the river that were most easily accessible by boat, so I brought the GPS along to see what we could find.

The first was only about 1/4 mile below  our launch point. It's been in place for over 10 years with only 40 recorded visits (before ours...). Seems like a lonely cache deserves a visit. Ended up being a super easy find so we took a picture of the motley crew to add to the log.

BJ paddled one of her small Aloha sit-on-tops. This is the boat she'll always pick for day trips, especially on moving water. It's short (8' 7",) lightweight, and very responsive.

Candice borrowed our original kayak. We were using fingers and toes to figure out how many years we've had this boat in our fleet. I think we decided it was 17 years old.

Kathy paddled BJ's yellow "loaner" Scupper Pro that we've stored at Kathy's house for the past two years. The Scupper Pro is 14' 9" long and is BJ's go-to boat for overnight trips since it will haul LOTS of gear. I kidded Kathy about not bringing her wood boat but she noted I didn't have a wood boat on this trip either - the river gets pretty shallow in places.

Willy was paddling his own Scupper Pro. It wasn't until he bought this one that I realized there were two different molds for the boat. His is the original version and is slightly narrower than the more current version.

My boat of choice for the lower Salt River when it's less than 1000 cfs is my ancient Dagger Outlaw. It's 7' 8" long, very responsive, and can be rolled nicely if you don't have that formerly waterproof camera in your PFD pocket. The weather and the water were warm enough that rolling felt like a really good idea!
We stopped near where the next cache was supposed to be located. This one is a new cache and only had two other signatures in the logbook. It was an excellent "hide" and took us close to 30 minutes to spot it, even though I'd be searching within 2' of it from several different angles.

As we headed back to where we'd parked the boats, Kathy yelped and moved quickly away from the bow of her boat. When asked what the problem was, she just had one word, "snake!" If you look close, you'll spot it at the bottom margin of the picture.

Of course, I wanted a closer picture, but the formerly waterproof camera only has a 3x zoom. BJ thought I was too close, but at this point, the snake still seemed pretty comfortable with the situation. If the snake was there (and I assume it was) when we landed, I'd walked by it, about 12" away, carrying my boat up onto the rocky slope.

As we nearly the end of the trip, we found another group of horse standing around, this time in the middle of the river.

All told, a great trip. A bit of shaking as we thought about how close we'd come to the rattle snake, but no rolls today.

See what you missed, Helen?

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