Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Idaho’s Salmon River is home to some of the best whitewater rafting in the United States. It’s the best for a collection of reasons: spectacular rapids, un-matched scenery, exciting history, and unique remoteness. These things add together making a rafting trip down the Main or Lower Salmon an experience of a life time.
If you’re thinking about experiencing this whitewater heaven for yourself plan on getting the full experience and filling yourself with some knowledge of the area before you come. I suggest tracking down some of the best books on the Salmon River so that when you arrive you have a deep knowledge of the areas history to give you the richest experience possible.
The must have books for a rafting trip on the Salmon River.
This is a must have book for anyone planning on floating into the Frank Church Wilderness. In the pages of this spectacular Salmon River guidebook you find drawings of the rapids and how to run them, detailed overviews of the areas unique geography, and some well written accounts of the history surrounding some of the Main Salmon’s more unique historical landmarks. The full color book comes printed on water resistant paper allowing years of splashing. If you come on the Main Salmon with Orange Torpedo Trips you don’t need the book, but we find the people who have it are always glad they do. Find the book on their website here. Tell them you are an Orange Torpedo Trips customer and you will receive a signed copy.
THE history resource for the Salmon River canyon. If there was anything you wanted to know about the Salmon River canyon the story will be in here. Learn how some employees of a government agency accidentally blew up the Lance cabin. Find out all you would want to know about Buckskin Bill or why the Killum family literally built their house on the river trail so anyone passing had to walk through. Reading this book in the canyon brings the history alive and adds another dimension of enjoyment to the float.
#3. River Tales of Idaho by Darcy Williamson
This is a fun collection of tales from throughout the massive Idaho river system. The rivers of Idaho have always been a powerful player in the development and economy of the state. This book tries to capture the tales which best describe the atmosphere of this development. Stories like “First boat down the river of no return” and “Winter Journey Down the Salmon” accurately describe the adventurous nature of Idaho rivers and the development of the state surrounding them.
This book is just simply fun. Idaho was one of the last stands for the back country life style in the continental U.S. This book does a fabulous job of helping the rest of us understand and meet some of the more known members of this last stand of living in the wild. This is a fun resource to learn about the famous “Buckskin Bill” of the Salmon River. Other characters covered in the book include Wheelbarrow Annie, Hermit of impassable canyon, Wildhorse Cowgirl, Free Press Frances, Dugout Dick, and many others.
While this book is not specific to the Salmon River it makes a great companion on a rafting trip down the “River of No Return”. Reading the book and sitting on a riverside beach in the canyon you begin to better understand why some of them chose the isolated lives they did.