FDX Middle Fork of the Salmon ‘14 August 21 – 28, 2014 You've heard about it, your friends and your mom have heard about it, and so we going to Idaho again, but this time we’re heading upstream. The canyons of the Middle Fork of the Salmon are the result of an ancient mountain building orogeny. And this years FDX Middle Fork is, in no small part, the product of the ever-expanding community of those whose lives have been touched by cancer and then positively impacted by First Descents. This trip is being made possible through the generosity of The Canyons River Company. During this week long expedition, we will bisect the largest roadless section of wilderness in the lower 48, you'll get to experience warm late-season water, hot springs, beautiful scenery, and all of the usual FD shenanigans you’ve come to love. In addition, this trip is open to caregivers, so bring your mom (or whoever you want to share this experience with) and get ready for an epic adventure. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ FDX Middle Fork of the Salmon ‘14 Canyons Inc. on the “River of no Return” Sandy beaches, warm water, fun rapids, backcountry flights, and superlative vistas epitomize the Middle Salmon. You will spend six days and five nights improving your river skills as you enjoy a trip down the 'Wild and Scenic' section of the Middle Fork of the Salmon. This class III+/IV- section of river flows for nearly 100 miles through one of the deepest canyons in the United States and cuts its path through the Frank Church, Gospel Hump, and Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Areas, the largest combined wilderness in the lower 48 states. Your guides on the Middle Fork are resident experts, having operated there for nearly 30 years. This trip will offer a multitude of ways to experience being on the river. For seasoned kayakers the Middle fork in august offers a technical environment in which to hone skills. For those with less experience/river prowess, Canyons will also provide the means for an alternative, but no less thrilling adventure. This trip is raft-supported which means that after a day of paddling (however you choose) you can relax at camp on beautiful beach while a delicious meal is prepared. The combination of expert guiding and a classic wilderness river trip makes for one of the best weeks of paddling anywhere. The Trip This FDX is being held in August when the water is warm and manageable and the weather beautiful. Our adventure begins in the capital of the great state of Idaho, Boise. We will be meeting there on August 21 in anticipation of our backcountry flight into the canyon on the morning of the 22nd. For the following five nights we will be living on river time. We return to Boise on the evening of August 27th and fly out the following morning. On the River A typical day on the Middle Fork begins with a hearty breakfast to order. After breaking camp, we offer an a.m. stretch session and give a short talk about the day’s plan. After figuring out each person’s choice of craft for the day, we travel an average of 15 miles each day. Generally, we are on the water between 9 and 10 am, stopping for a mid-morning break, followed by lunch and a mid-afternoon snack break. Side hikes and hot springs stops may also be part of your daily routine. Heading downstream, there’s a lot to see: pictographs, abandoned miners’ cabins, waterfalls, and wildlife. Mid-day lunch stops may also include a scenic hike or beach volleyball. Each afternoon, our guides will transform an empty beach into your camp for the night. We typically pull into camp between 4 and 5 pm. While hors d’oeuvres and dinner are being prepared, there’s always time for a hike or a chance to hook a trophy fish. And of course, as night falls, campfire stories abound and stars fill the vast canvas of the sky. Skill Level One of the many great things about this trip on the Middle Fork is that regardless of skill, there are several ways to enjoy the experience. The time on the river can be as active or as relaxing as you want. We offer oar rigs for those interested in taking in the scenery or fishing, a paddle raft known as our “social boat” that allows for a bit more activity, or our inflatable kayaks, “duckies”, where you get to be master of your own craft for our more adventurous types. Experienced whitewater canoeists and kayakers may choose to bring their own boat or paddle one of Canyons. (no extra charge; reserve in advance). What kind of kayaker do you need to be to enjoy the Middle Fork of the Salmon from your own cockpit? If you are comfortable in a kayak, Have a reliable combat roll and can make maneuvers (ferries, eddy-turns, peel-outs) in class III+ water, you will have a great time on the Middle Fork. Team FD page FDX Middle Fork of the Salmon ’14 My name is Greg McFadden and I am the owner/outfitter of Canyons. It has been a vision to work with First Descents for me for some time now. At Canyons, we have it as part of our philosophy to work with nonprofits each year to share the powerful energy and magic of river life here on the Middle Fork and Main Salmon rivers. The river touched me in a life altering way at a very young age and truly made me who I am today. River trips create an environment like none other. They show us a way of living out loud in a life without mirrors and watches, and tend to connect us in ways that are hard to define. Rivers teach us so much. And the great flow of life seems to be a tangible entity out there. For this reality, I am incredibly drawn to working with FD. The river heals. Cancer seems to touch all of us in some way or fashion these days. And my story is no different. Indeed my most formative experience in life was the loss of my mother just 5 years ago. I had been river guiding in Idaho and Grand Canyon and gave up most of my career to be a caregiver for my mom for nearly 2 years. At age 39, I moved back in with my parents and spent part of my year at the Hope Lodge in Baltimore near Johns Hopkins. Not only was I deep into the advocacy of my mother’s disease, but I also felt like I was in a graduate program where all there was to learn about was the process of understanding cancer. My mom had been given only a few short months but defied that diagnosis and lived another 22 months before she passed. Being there for my mom in her passage was perhaps the most amazing experience of my life. Not a day goes by where I don't feel her inspiration and bravery to combat and live gracefully with her disease. She inspired me to not just chase my dreams but manifest them into reality and taught everyone she met that anyone could defy the odds. Her journey lent me to transform my passion of guiding into owning the company where I had worked for nearly 2 decades. The healing that I received form returning to the river and the chance I had to give back has put me here on the FD pages. I am honored that this idea of a cancer fighters and survivors trip on the Middle Fork is now becoming reality. All people involved with cancer are so brave, be it patients, caregivers, doctors, and nurses. It is with humble gratitude, that I knew one day when I became an outfitter and I could share the healing power of the river with those touched by this disease. It has been a vision to share these healing waters and vibrant life on the water with those who have and are experiencing some of the same flow I have known with my mothers beautiful journey. Please help us make this trip a reality for 20 young adult cancer survivors and fighters by donating now.