whitewater

My buddy BT navigates a perfect line over Black Rock Rapid (III+ to IV) during our recent Salt River trip. Moments later, I went with a less-than-perfect line: over Black Rock, sans boat. Classic.

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We lived like savages, and other tales from the Salt River

Rule No. 1 of a whitewater trip: rig to flip.

We sacrificed a little whiskey to the Salt River at the put-in as a show of respect. Not quite satisfied, she devoured our entire kitchen set a day later—pans, stove, fuel, cutting board, spatula, utensils, dishes, and even a fire pan my buddy was bragging about just a few hours earlier.

The last piece of equipment I remember seeing as I was floating feet first down Mescal Falls Rapid—and there were quite a few miscellaneous items in the frothy mix—was our poor, poor kitchen set, formerly rigged to my boat, now slowly sinking to the bottom of the Salt River like a dying ship lost at sea.

"Feed me!" The Salt River will gladly accept anything you have to offer.

I reasonably expected a disappointed response to my minor mishap. But being the relatively gnarly dudes they are, my buddies actually seemed rather excited by the idea of a primitive wilderness experience.

So we lived like savages.

Forced to be creative, we cooked chicken and vegetables on tamarisk skewers one night. Then we started cooking brats and peppers over a makeshift stone grill the next night, only to get impatiently hungry and skewer every last brat in sight. We used a flat rock as a cutting board, and fashioned a spatula/serving spoon out of a piece of driftwood.

All in all, we made things work. And we had a damn good time while we were at it.

The best part? No dishes. Something to think about next time you’re cooking dinner for the family.

When spontaneity pays off

Any of you who follow along regularly (and I sincerely thank you if you do) might know how I feel about spontaneity. In short, you should be open to spontaneous possibilities at all times.

Well, a buddy called yesterday asking if I’d be interested in a 5-day Salt River trip starting Wednesday. You bet I am.

So I’m driving from Carlsbad, CA to Globe, AZ today:

If you have a second, check out the rapids we’ll be floating here. I’ll be sure to tell you guys all about the trip when I get back. In the meantime, here’s hoping you have something adventurous planned soon!