FDX Middle Fork of the Salmon `14

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
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.
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