Headed to Marsing about 7AM. Got to the boat ramp in less than an hour, parked and walked thru town to get up to the other end where I could miss what town traffic there was. Immediately got a ride from a rancher who was headed up into the Silver Peak area to deliver a load of Rams to his Ewes. His family runs about 3,500 head of sheep and 2,500 head of cattle. He was also going to try to find and shoot two large black bears that had been killing his sheep and beating the hell out of his sheep dogs. Very nice guy, took me right to the kayak, he was going right by there. Side note, a cousin of his, an investment banker just bought a huge ranch just up out of Mitchell for $22M.
I figured I would get back to Marsing probably around 3 in the afternoon, actually it was 2:45. Went up and got a pizza and got on the computer. Then went and got some ice and went back to the park where the boat landing was. Relaxed all afternoon. Got the kayak ready and tied it up at the dock. About 7 decided to go ahead and drive on down to Nyssa, I knew where the boat ramp was and knew I could spend the night there. Only takes about an hour or so to drive it. Police patrol thru here often so spoke to them and asked them to keep an eye on my rig and trailer and went to bed.
FRI 8-15….. Got up early as usual, covered the boat and walked across the bridge to start hitch hiking back to Marsing. Immediately got a ride with a guy headed to Boise to go to court for his daughter as a witness. Once to the junction that headed to Marsing, I did have to wait a while, longer than usual before I got the next ride. Nice guy who owns a huge ranch there, a dairy in Adrian and a 1,000 acre hay ranch in N. Nevada stopped and gave me a ride. Very nice guy. We talked a lot in such a short period of time. He owns a nice Beaver Coach and goes to Bend to have it serviced. He knows the Owyhee well and probably so far other than the lady that gave me a ride out of Alpine, he is one of the nicest people I have met. Next ride and last ride was a guy who I filled up his gas tank and he went ahead and took me all the way to the kayak. He didn’t have anything else to do I guess.
It is always nice to get back on the water. Doing the kayaking and floating is not he the most challenging part of this trip. It is obviously getting from point A where the kayak is, to B where I leave the rig, then back to A. Long day to be sure. I thought late in the afternoon I night make it back to Nyssa in one day, but not possible. The river goes a lot further south down around Adrian than one thinks it does just looking at the map.
I stopped about 6, set the tent up and started to read a book I had with me about homesteading in an around Glacier Park in the early 1920’s. Had Beef Stroganoff with tuna fish for dinner, glass of cold chocolate milk and went to be just before it got dark.
SAT 8-16…. Waited till the sun came up to get up. No question I was as tired last night as I have ever been so far on the trip. I figure I have about 4 hours to get to the boat ramp in Nyssa. I had a banana, protein bar and orange juice for breakfast.
One thing that I have noticed for quite some time now. There is nobody on the river. No fisherman. No boaters or wave runner riders, nobody canoeing or kayaking. Also nobody outside at the houses. I do hear the farmers or the workers above out in the fields up off the river but that is all. Very few migratory birds, a few deer, did see a couple coyotes this morning. Strange in my opinion. Just no activity of any kind. I find that odd.
Got to the boat ramp at 11. Fixed a good breakfast of hash browns, two eggs, fried summer sausage, a couple of warmed up flour tortillas and orange juice. I keep every now and then having to blow up one of the sections of the raft, it must have a minor, slow leak. I am going to just take it easy the rest of the day, get ice, get the kayak ready to do the section from Nyssa down to Ontario then on to Weiser. I think I will just go ahead and kayak on down to Ontario, tie up and then hitch hike back a short distance to get the van. Drive the van on down to Weiser and then hitch hike back to Ontario where the kayak will be tied up, should take me but a couple of hours.
I will spend some time today on line getting some information on the next 3 reservoirs and Hell’s Canyon.
I went down to the grocery store and got to talking to the meat cutter, looking for some Italian Sausage, I am tired of Summer Sausage and one thing led to another and he said since he lives in Weiser, he would pick me up in the morning at the boat ramp at 4:50AM. So I waited until about 7, headed to Weiser, had a quick Hamburger at the Chinese Restaurant in Weiser, found the boat ramp and got squared away. It was sooooo Hot I couldn’t get to sleep, then a bunch of kids showed up and partied on the bank of the Weiser River until about 1:00. Needless to say I hardly got any sleep at all. But Brandon was right on time, turned out he lived 3 blocks away. I was back in Nyssa at 5:30. Had to be patient and wait around until about 6:30 until it was light enough to get on the water.
SUN 8-17…….. Once again, it was a long day paddling, but I made it to the boat ramp in Weiser about 3:00. I met a really nice guy who was fishing on the river just about 1 mile upstream from the boat ramp where my van was parked. He wanted me to stop and talk to him, which I did. We went up and sat on the front porch and talked and had a glass of Iced Tea. Gave my butt a good rest, needed it. Retired airline pilot 77, nice wife and beautiful house. He also still fly’s and trains pilots in wilderness flying. Fly’s into Shepp Ranch all the time. Hope to see him again, might take him over to the cabin on the Owyhee chucker hunting. He does real well for 77.
I plan on getting up early, wash my clothes at a Laundromat I spotted, go to the local Forest Service office to make sure I understand where the boat ramps are up on the Reservoirs. Good 100 miles of paddling just to get to the Brownlee Dam, the first one. Two more but they are short 1 day paddles, then the put in for Hell’s Canyon. I have a situation worked out already on how I am going to get the van out of the Hell’s Canyon and get it down to Heller Bar. Well explain it all when it happens, which I am sure it well.
MON 8-18…. I got up early as usual, washed my clothes, went to the local Forest Service office and confirmed that there was no issues with kayaking from Weiser to Brownlee Reservoir. Stopped and had a quick breakfast, bought groceries and got plenty of ice. Dropped my computer off at a computer shop, I had “neglected” to download an “Anti-virus” software when I bought this laptop in March in Minot, ND and I had “issues”. Also, having trouble “keeping” my I-Phone charged. Doesn’t have any problems charging when plugged into my laptop when tethering.
Left for Brownlee Reservoir about 1:00 in the afternoon. It is about an hour and 1/2‘s drive. Once there found a place to park in the boat ramp parking that was in the shade. Talked to one of the Idaho Power employees who takes care of the campground/boat ramp area. He said he would keep an eye on my van/trailer and no issues in parking for days.
Got out on the road about 3:00 immediately got a ride from a shuttle driver who took me down to Hwy 95. Then it took about 30 minutes and got a ride from a school teacher right to my Kayak at the boat ramp in Weiser. I was back on the water by 5:30. Paddled for about 2 hours, found a good spot to camp and was pooped to say the least. Read for a while and wasn’t long before I went to bed and was asleep by dark.
TUES 8-19….. On the water as the sun was coming up. I normally have a breakfast smoothie, yogurt, protein bar, piece of fruit, and a banana. Stayed on the water until the wind came up and it was apparent it was going to rain. I didn’t pick the best spot, had the tent up, but had to drop it down and go up and sit under a tree until the quick storm by passed. I ended up having Fettuccini with canned shrimp, cold bottle of milk and a couple of cookies for dinner. Saw a lot of does with their fawns today, they are down along the bank eating the new green grasses growing as the river/reservoir drops. Don’t see them but hear them just before dark, lots of Coyotes eyeing the fawns I am sure. Once again, I don’t have any problem getting to sleep.
WENS 8-20…. The wind blew all night, and it was still blowing in the morning. I had to sit and wait until about 10 and the wind started to slow down. Went ahead and got on the water and once I got going, the wind laid down and paddled for hours and miles. Very few people fishing in boats and along the bank. I have read that the Brownlee Reservoir is one of the best warm water fisheries in the country. Wouldn’t know that with the amount of people fishing. At the end of the day, the wind came up and I used the $6 umbrella from Family Dollar until a gust of wind took my hat and the umbrella did a Chinese U Turn. Once they take the U Turn they are no good, they can’t be fixed. Once the wind died down I found a good spot to stop. Had to ask a couple of does if I could use their bed, they were laying down just where I intended to put my tent. No wind tonight, but took no chances and put a heavy rock in each corner of the tent and tied the top down. Had some Italian Sausage, cheese and crackers and a bottle of water for dinner. Looks like I will make the boat ramp tomorrow about 3:00, better I am out of food and water. Two bottles left.
THURS 8-21…. Didn’t get with it as early as I normally do. This is a long paddle and I am getting tied. My arms and the back of my legs let me know it, but surprising enough I am having no difficulty keeping this pace up. There was a strong breeze up river that makes it difficult. Any breeze up river/up reservoir adds to the energy needed to set a pace and get any amount of miles paddled. Fortunately about noon it laid done and was at the boat ramp within minutes of 3:00.
The first thing I do is get the gear out of the kayak. It the kayak all cleaned up, everything ready to load on to the trailer and put it away, no matter how tired I am. Went up and unlocked the van, it was in the shade, so that really helped. Got up in the boat, got a cold coke and sat down in the seat in the boat and relaxed for a few minutes. Went down, backed down the ramp and got the kayak and all the gear put away. Went directly up and found an RV spot. Since I am VA Disabled, had to only pay half fare, $8 a night, so paid for 2 nights. Got the trailer unhooked, and immediately went and took a shower. First one since leaving Cam’s house almost 4 weeks ago. I have taken river baths but not the same since the river/reservoirs are so filthy dirty. However, as I progressed up Brownlee Reservoir the water has become much cleaner.
There is a little store and café up the road about 2 miles, went up and had a hamburger/fries and bowl of ice cream and bought a couple of bags of ice and head back to the Van. Started another book and read until I couldn’t see any more, got my bed made and went to sleep, fortunately it has cooled down and had got lucky and found a spot in the shade which helped.
FRI 8-22…. Headed to town about 7:00 and arrived in Weiser at 8:30. Picked up my computer and went and had a quick breakfast. Drove to Payette where the computer lady had sent me to find out why my I-Phone wasn’t charging. Come to find out, the I-Phone nut told me it was the Plug In little box that was bad. Go figure, how could that be. Went to King’s a Dept./Hardware store in the area and found a new plug in and the box and it works fine. It was charging while plugged into the computer but not the inverter I use in the van off of the battery, so I knew it had to be something simple and it was.
I am parked in a church parking lot in Weiser, getting caught up. Texted and emailed Debbie but haven’t heard back from her. Also called Cam and left a message, nothing from anybody else. I am close to making my plans and decisions on what I am going to attempt to do for the winter, will finalize them before I hit Lewiston so I know when I get to the Columbia exactly what I am going to do. Obviously I don’t think I will have any issues or difficulties getting to Bend by the 14th, to take care of the taxes that extensions were filed on and make the 50th Class Reunion on the 19th.
I will get some more supplies/drinks and pick up ice just before I get back to the van and that little store/café I ate at last night. Computer is working fine, the phone is charging so all is good.