Day 5: “Andy’s” Camp to Birch Creek Take-out (5,030 cfs)
The last day on the river is always bittersweet – sad to be leaving such a beautiful and peaceful place but looking forward (perhaps secretly) to a hot shower (particularly enticing after these colder weather trips). Since we’d camped farther downstream than planned, we got a later start than usual for the short run to the take-out at Birch Creek [RM 51].
The original plan was for all of us – clients, guides, and gear – to claw our way out of the canyon and rendezvous in Jordan Valley for a final good-bye (and ice cream). Unfortunately, the Birch Creek Grade took out the gear trailer’s hitch, stranding Andy, Mike, and Rob in the canyon (temporarily). Those of us who had to catch a shuttle back to Boise from Jordan Valley could only wait so long for them, so we missed out on the final group good-bye. 😥 But we did get ice cream. 🙂 Aside from the hitch with the trailer, this was a great trip, with excellent guides and fellow rafters. Another trip with Momentum is a real possibility for next year. We’ll see… 😀
The river itself, from the Idaho-Oregon border downstream to Owyhee Reservoir, was granted Wild and Scenic River status in 1984. Some of the watershed in Idaho is currently protected as federally designated wilderness, but attempts to secure further protection for the Owyhee Canyonlands (primarily as a national monument) have thus far proven unsuccessful. Now that we’ve had the privilege of seeing it for ourselves, we definitely believe that a way needs to be found to balance legitimate competing interests so as to protect this amazing area for continued enjoyment by current and future generations.RETURN TO FRONT PAGE