We woke up “relatively” early on the 4th of July. The plan for the day was rafting the Payette River, head back to Boise, bike along the Boise Green Belt to the Ann Morrison Park to relax and watch the fireworks. Dave had already completely packed the Tahoe and was ready to go. We packed our stuff, picked out some water shoes (we didn’t bring ours), loaded up and hit the road. We got to the “put in point” around in the early afternoon, inflated the raft, and launched the boat.
The river is rough above the launch. The South Fork of the Payette river joins the main channel just above the launch. I hope to raft the South Fork one of these days. We drove along it on the way back from Stanley, but that’s for the next post.
Below the launch point the water is calm for a bit. The valley is tree covered and steep. It makes for some gorgeous scenery along the river.
Notice that we all have hats at the beginning of the trip…
Unfortunately our hats don’t stay with us all the way down. Fairly soon into the trip we got to a rapids called “Go Left”. Although I’ve done this part of the river several times, I’ve never made it through “Go Left” without spilling. Dave had a new raft though with a different configuration and he promised his wife Wendy that they we would not spill, at least not intentionally. Anyway, this time we managed to stay, just left of the large hole that had gotten us every time before. We went through a couple of more fairly large rapids without problems… just fun. It was a very small rapids that finally got us. We were all taking it pretty lightly, barely paying attention. I was sitting on the front of the boat facing backward. We hit the hole dead center. Although it was a small one, and the boat did not capsize all of us except Dave (and the cooler) were thrown from the raft. It happened so slowly it almost felt like we had a choice. I think if we really had a choice, we would have stayed in the boat! It was a hot day and the water actually felt good. There were a couple more small rapids just down river and we ended up floating these outside the boat. My life-jacket road up a little and I got a couple mouthfuls of water, but I enjoyed the adrenaline rush of being in the water.
We pulled over to the side to reload the boat and decided it was a good place to have lunch. Just down the river about 100 yards on the right was a large rock that is a favorite jumping/diving spot for Dave, so after lunch we floated downriver a bit and had some more fun. I had never jumped from this rock before, but my wife brings out the adventurer in me. I jumped a couple of times and loved it.
Once with Dave’s son Kyle (he’s behind me)…
And once with Jenny. She followed the instructions to turn, smile, and wave a lot better than I did. I was kind of focused on the water…
We also had a couple of show-offs… I mean divers. Dave dove several times. Really got some air time on this one.
And right before we left Jenny went for it!
There were three or four more rapids before the take out point. At one of them a photographer was hanging out under a canopy with his website name on it. We got downloaded these pictures later.
At the top of the rapids named mix master. Yes there are still all 5 of us in the boat. I’m in front and about to get pretty wet!
Near the middle of the rapids, through the biggest of the white water.
Quite a rush… and we all managed to stay in the boat.
After we pulled the raft out of the river and packed up, we headed back to Boise for the 4th of July Celebration. We biked along the Boise River on the Greenbelt to dinner and then back to Ann Morrison Park for fireworks.
This was the closest I’ve been to fireworks in quite a long time, maybe ever. The show was also synchronized to a musical program that was played over loud speakers. We were so close that we got covered in ash by the end of the program. There wasn’t just one finale, there were several timed to match the music. I don’t get as excited about fireworks as when I was younger, but it was a pretty awesome show.
We had a full day and were ready for a good night’s sleep by the time we got home. We would be heading to Stanley Idaho in the morning, but I’ll put that in my next and last post for our trip to Idaho.
Next Post for this trip: Idaho (Part 3 – Stanley Idaho – 5-6 July 2013)