This last Saturday, May 21, 2016, was spent paddling nearly constantly for 7 hours on Salmon Falls Creek. We began at a rest area about 3 miles south of Jackpot, Nevada. We “floated” north, until the edge of the reservoir. It was an estimated 11 miles.
I think I should begin with some cautions:
- This is not a trip for novices with a canoe. It is a long stretch, a lot of it through canyon, all of it without close access to the highway.
- The creek may not have been deep, but the water was moving swiftly.
- The water was cold.
- I am told there was a sign warning about the diversion dam and the need to “portage” (walk the canoes a bit along the shore). I never saw it, but I heard the rush of water and it was frightening. It was even more concerning when I saw it.
- The constant bends and turns meant constant steering, especially because the water was quite high and kept the canoe moving.
- One guide book talked about making it a two day trip, with camping in the middle. We did not see any place that looked very nice to camp in. This may have been because the water was unusually high for this time of year.
- One of our group capsized at just over the half way point. This meant a few hours to go being quite chilled, but there was no better way to get to the cars than to keep going down the river to the exit point.
- It was good to be part of a group.
In the video below, you won’t see the several times when current rammed us nose first into thickets or weedy mud banks. That is because I do not have one of those Go-Pro cameras. Yet. Thus, you will also not hear the multiple times that dear hubby managed to yell gently, but still somewhat frantically “DON’T LEAN!” when my face was being whipped by shrubs. You will not hear the panic the couple of times the current caught the canoe in a tipping spin.
You will be able to see the vultures circling and hear some birds singing, because it was during the occasional calm moments when I could grab the camera for a few seconds. Or when we were pulled into a cove waiting, since our longer canoe seemed to really get speedy if we could keep it going in the right direction.
I have to think that I benefited from all my time swimming in the current in my swimming pool. I think it gave me a more intuitive sense of what the water was doing. Also, the moderate weight lifting I did in later winter, combined with gardening and swimming left me feeling stronger to paddle than I was anticipating. It did also help to hold the paddle correctly…
Here is our day long trip condensed into 10 minutes of video –