Lower Mesa Hand Paddle Attempt CARNAGE!!!!
Yesterday day was an epic day on the river. I drove to Rexburg, Idaho, and met up with the Mesa Falls Man Josh Landon. We drove to the put in, and linked up with three Kiwi's one of which looked like Gandolf from Lord of the Rings. We put on for the Sheep Falls run. Everything in there went pretty smooth, we saw tons of bald eagles, blue herons, and one brown bear. Sheep one, and sheep two went really well. Even stayed upright through the usually auto flipper wave. Sheep three was a little sketch, kinda pitoned, but worked it out. Then while portaging Upper, and Middle Mesa Falls the stern of my boat hit a branch, and I lost my footing above a 20 to 30 foot cliff. I stopped my self on a stump, and Josh helped me back up. When we got down to Mesa Josh went first. I was about to put in as he came walking up. I was apprehensive of the line. So I started walking up to Josh to go over the line again. As I got close he lost his footing, and his boat went in between the first, and second drop. My apprehension left me, suddenly it was about getting Josh's boat. I had a great line, but no time to enjoy it. I needed Josh's boat. After getting it to an eddy we had to hike through a basalt rock jungle, and it was miserable. Josh was feeling sick so opted out for a second lap on Mesa. I decided to complete a goal of mine by hand paddling it. I felt good about it. I could see myself stoked at the bottom. I dropped in. Top drop went really well, and on the tier although I got shoved further left than I wanted to be I was able to save it before the lip. Coming off the drop I over rotated, and was ejected upon landing. I swam to shore hoping my boat would drift into the same eddy Josh's boat had. It did not. I started running through thistle, and briars chasing my boat. I jumped back into the water. Swam after it while blowing my whistle so Josh would know I needed help. Josh grabbed my dry bag, and 7D, but had to leave my paddle, throw bag, and pin kit. He linked up with me about a mile down stream. I handed him my tether, and started making my way through a dense thistle, briar, and stinging nettle forest. I found what looked like bear scat, and the trails I was taking I feared were made by bears. It was getting late, and I was about to make a decision on whether to walk to the road or risk getting cliffed out. Then looking down stream I see blue, my boat was obviously pinned, and Josh was working on it. I walked down to where it was, and then had to swim across the river to my boat. We had to then paddle 5 miles out. We came to a house, and ask for help. We were freezing, hungry, and trying to get to a burger place before it closed. Luckily one of the people there helped us, and we got our trucks, and got to the burger place in time. I had the best huckleberry milkshake I have ever had so I consider the trip a success. Driving back was a nightmare filled with power naps, and energy drinks. I arrived at my house around 3:30 am.