Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Milner Mile: Snake River

A couple weekends back my brother and I, though forever in love with our backyard runs, were joanzin for some high water goods. There was little question over where we would go, and on Friday morning we packed up the suby for a five hour drive to Idaho, the whitewater state. On our way to Boise and at about 8:15 P.M. we arrived at the top of Jacobs Ladder. My brother, Brendan and I gazed down through the churning chaos of the 3,000cfs North Fork of the Payette and put on for one crazy ride. Brendan had never before paddled the North Fork, and I had only paddled it once before at about 600 cfs. Luckily I remembered enough of what Seth Stoenner had told me about the rapids a year ago to lead my brother down the much different river. As the night was growing darker we made out a figure on the side of the river, and pulled over to be greeted by Erik Boomer. Boomer, an Idaho native, gave us a ride back to the top of Jakes, and told us of some next day releases on the Snake River.

After a healthy sleep at our buddy Seth Stoenner's house we made our way to the Milner Mile of the Snake for the 10 A.M. to 3 P.M. release. Idaho Power let out something between 12,000 and 15,000cfs of water for us to enjoy through the afternoon. At the take-out we met with the kind folks from Idaho Power. Though thoughful, we did all have a chuckle as over his walkie talkie one Idaho Power representative declared, "Their okay. Everyone has safely made it to the boat ramp."

Seth approaching the edge of "The V-Hole"
Seth, Brendan, and me after "The V-Hole"

Boomer, Seth, Brendan, and me bobbing in and out of the scene

More goods...

Ryan Casey, another Idaho local who had requested the release, showed us all down the Milner. After a few very satisfying laps on the mile long stretch we drove a ways downstream to put in on the Murtaugh section to enjoy another 14 miles of classic Idaho high water. Though short, our weekend trip to Idaho was well worth the drive and I'm only looking forward to our next visit.

Photos by Erik Bird 

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