Stranded on the Middle Fork, a Rafting Party “Self-Rescues”

By Ray Brooks

“There‘s not supposed to be a lake here!” I exclaimed. 

It was midday, July 24, 2006, mile twenty on our eight-day, hundred-mile Middle Fork Salmon float trip. As we rowed farther down this large new lake, we could see other rafts ahead on its western bank. Bequi Martel, our kayaker, sprinted ahead and returned with the news: the lake had been caused by a “blowout” the previous night, and there was also a huge logjam downriver one-half mile, in Pistol Creek Rapid.

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Ray Brooks

About Ray Brooks

Ray Brooks is a native Idahoan. Beyond retirement age, he remains an active rock-climber, river runner, and hiker, who keenly appreciates Idaho history. His climbing career started in central Idaho in 1969. To support his outdoor habits, he worked on Forest Service helicopter fire crews, was a Middle Fork Salmon boatman, ran an outdoor shop in Moscow, and became a sales representative for outdoor gear.