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A Grand Day On the River


7/24/12, 10 Miles N.E. of Lowell, ID - I was on the road fairly early this morning. I had the two Belgians hitched as I had to force Doc to have some time off.  Bill had an attack of the lazy’s this morning, so it was a real struggle to maintain a 3 mph pace. 

The river valley continued to breathtaking in it’s beauty. I took the following two photographs at my first morning break.  The first one shows the river upstream, the second downstream. This time of year, the river is fairly low and calm. But evidence such a driftwood, cast 10 feet higher on the bank shows that it is a raging torrent during the spring runoff.

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The river rapids are now fairly mild (class 2 and 3).  But, I would imagine that in springtime, they would challenge the most experienced rafters and kayakers.

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Driftwood on the riverbank provides and idea about the height of the river during spring flood.

Today, I had an opportunity to meet two local law enforcement officers.  Both were extremely courteous and helpful.  First, an Idaho State Trooper came to say ‘hello’ while I was stopped for a break. He told me about my present camping spot.  I would have never seen it from the road, so it was a great tip!  Later, an Idaho County, ID Sherif’s Deputy stopped while I was at lunch. He also offered some great tips on potential camping spots. Both of these guys were super.

At lunch, I decided to give Billy a break and changed him out for Doc. (A three mile an hour pace is great, but a toe-kicking little boy step can even try my patience.)

Not long after lunch, I had a ‘first’ for this trip - an irate motorist. After a guy had to wait 90 seconds while I negotiated a blind curve, he sped by me, shouting obscenities.  I figured the elastic band was probably too tight on his undershorts, or the anger management class was filled up; so, as the singer Jim Stafford put it, ‘I just smiled and waved ...’

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The volume of water flowing downstream has increased significantly.  Feeder streams, like the one shown above, abound and I passed dozens throughout the day.

Tonight, I have a great camping spot next to another nice mountain stream, about 300 yards from the road. The lads have good grazing and all is sweet. Just before I settled in here, I met Randy Powell, a Teamster from Wisconsin.  He and his wife were on a motorcycle and scouted out my camping spot for me.  Randy has the distinction of having met both Lee the Horselogger and Ron Dakota, two old-time, long distance Teamsters.

After Randy left, a group of people fishing the creek stopped to say high. For being off the road, I’m meeting some nice people. 

Tomorrow, I should reach the first piece of civilization that I’ve seen in several days. The small town of Lowell (I think just a store and cafe) is only ten miles away.  The day after tomorrow, I should regain phone and internet service for a short while as I travel through the town of Kooskia. I’ll have a few back blogs to upload when I do!