I am back from the “River of No Return,” and before I return to writing about the toxic algae crisis, I’d like to share my experience…
Camping? Are you kidding me?! I had not been camping since my parents took the family to Boy Scout Island to see the full moon over the Indian River Lagoon ca. 1978. Five nights, six days camping and rafting in Idaho with friends, the Wigleys, was great fun, but I am certainly aware that I am in no condition to survive in the wilderness!
Let’s remind ourselves – Where’s Idaho? Far out west, just east of Washington and Oregon, and just west of Montana and Colorado. Although a different world, dealing with fires not hurricanes, we do have a connection. We both have federally protected scenic rivers.
The Middle Fork of the Salmon River, A.K.A. the “River of No Return,” was one of the first eight rivers to be protected under the federal Wild & Scenic Rivers Act in 1968: (https://rivers.gov). In Florida, we have two designated Scenic Rivers: Indian River Lagoon neighbor, the Loxahatchee River, and the north central Florida’s Wekiva River: (https://www.rivers.gov/florida.php). Only a handful of U.S. rivers hold this special, protected status.
The Middle Fork of the Salmon with clean, clear water, challenging rapids, and spectacular mountain and desert scenery flows free for 104 miles. Nonetheless, due to dams along the connected Snake River, the salmon, for which the river is named, are far and few between compared to the pre-gold rush times when the native Shoshone “Sheepeater” people could “walk across” this river of salmon.
There is much talk in Idaho about removing dams, and of course a huge conflict with stakeholder farming entities. Sound familiar? Whether is the Florida Everglades’ River of Grass diversion to the St Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers, or Hells Canyon Dam in Idaho, people are looking for ways to undo some of what has been done to kill the rivers of the United States. Water is meant to flow, and when it does not, eventually sickness sets in, not only for wildlife and fauna, but for people too. It was Stuart’s famed environmentalist and Stuart News editor, Ernie Lyons, who said it best: “What people do, they can undo…” and this I believe is our journey, everywhere.
Since pictures speak louder than words, I will stop here, and say that even though the river was beautiful, and I was super excited to sees two bears, mountain sheep, eagles, and a plethora of other awesome animals – the most memorable experience I have no photo of, ~just a memory~ of endless stars in a black velvet sky with the Milky Way so thick and bright I felt like I could touch it, that I was it…
Remembering that we all are but a flicker in the grand scale of time, and most certainly, part of something much greater than ourselves.
USDA, Salmon River – Middle Fork, IDAHO: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/scnf/recreation/wateractivities/?cid=stelprdb5302105
The Middle Fork of the Salmon River is not dammed ~running free, but connected to the Snake River that is: Dammed Rivers of the US: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dams_and_reservoirs_in_United_States
11 thoughts on “The River of No Return, Idaho”
We just passes through Idaho in our RV…. Headed to Burning Man. Very beautiful country..!!!
Thanks for saying hello and have a GREAT time!
Looks like this posted as anonymous, but it is John and Melody from Salerno. We are now at Mount Hood in Oregon, on our way to burning man.
Looks like a trip you two will never forget. Am sure the great pictures don’t do it justice. Love the little sombrero!
Thank you Janet! Yes the little sombrero looked quite natural and fitting on Ed’s head! 🙂
On Mon, Aug 20, 2018 at 1:17 PM, Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch wrote:
> Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch posted: ” I am back from the “River of No Return,” > and before I return to writing about the toxic algae crisis, I’d like to > share my experience… Camping? Are you kidding me?! I had not been camping > since my parents took the family to Boy Scout Island t” >
TY Nic! Know you have had great travel adventure this year too!
Wonderful that you got to do this! My wife and I did this rafting trip with friends a few years ago and enjoyed it immensely. I would recommend it to anyone. Thanks for bringing back the memory.
Thank you Pete. It is definitely to be recommended even for the non camping type. The beauty pulls one through!
Jacqui So enjoyed spending time on our crown jewel river with you, Dr. Lippisch and your great friends from Florida and Kansas! Thanks so much for the photos–great memories!
David! Thank you so much for writing! Your river is a crown jewel for the world. Keep is safe, clean and protected! The way to go. 🙂 Memories for a lifetime. Jacqui