By Derek Farr

 

On the Main Salmon River, we negotiate dozens of large rapids and dozens of smaller ones. But there are a few that are most notable. Alder, Black Creek, Big Mallard and Chittam are just a few. These suckers really get the blood going.

And there’s no better way to start your day than running one of them.

Luckily, the Main Salmon offers several opportunities to run significant rapids first thing in the morning. No caffeine necessary – I’m awake.

It’s next to bliss. While the rest of the world is stuck in morning rush-hour traffic, we float peacefully toward the big drop. Sunlight touches the top of the mountains and we batten down the hatches, readying for the main event.

On occasion, we camp just above a large rapid, its thunder echoing off the canyon walls. Those are lovely camps. The constant rumble soothes us to sleep. In the morning, we eat breakfast and stare downstream, where the river disappears and splashes of water leap into the air. That’s my favorite way to start the day.

I love the smell of whitewater in the morning.

Derek started guiding rivers in 1996. He lives in Idaho where he and his wife use every opportunity to experience the natural wonders of that great state.

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