June has been my month of firsts. Although I have already spent 3 years at C of I and am about to enter into my senior year, there are a lot of things that I had not discovered until the end of last month. The first new experience for me is that I am still in America. This may seem strange, but I have never spent a summer in the U.S., preferring normally to fly home to Australia. However, the cold winter months of June and July in Australia did not seem appealing this year (the seasons are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere) as I was sick of living in an eternal winter. So now I am still here for my first summer in Idaho. This is also the first year I will be taking care of the garden and chickens and this is also my first blog post for the year! But my favorite first of June would have had to have been rafting the Salmon River.
I have never really had the opportunity to go rafting before (in Australia we tend to stick to the coast and enjoy the surf) so I was very excited when I got the chance to go on a weeklong rafting trip down the Salmon Main. I had been rafting once or twice down the Payette River with the College and the Outdoor Program, but I had never been on a trip that lasted more than a few hours. But this time I was in for a long and beautiful trip. Although I stood around confused and feeling quite helpless while setting up the raft, I soon got the hang of things when we got on the water. I soon learnt that everything has to be strapped down, the water is really cold and the competition for dinner is fierce.
The Salmon River was beautiful to say the least. We arrived on a cloudy day and jet boated upstream, but once we set off the following morning we had a week of sunshine. After each day of rapids we set up camp every night on a different beach and hung out and had some good food and drinks. We also stopped at different sites along the river including ancient Indian rock art, hot springs and a museum celebrating an old hermit called ‘Buckskin Bill’ who used to live along on the river. The infamous Frank Church “River of No Return” Wilderness did not disappoint and we got a chance to see some wildlife such as deer, bighorn sheep (which was very exciting for me) and countless ‘river dogs.’ Although I was thrown off the boat a few times, I has an awesome experience which I could not have had anywhere else.
- Natasha Rooney