Bad PR in Bailey
A group of us were paddling Bailey yesterday and saw a raft oar jammed vertically up through one of the low bridges in the first mile or two. When we got to the "dream house" the owner motioned us over and explained that local land owners were furious because of this rafting mishap that happened on Wednesday.
Apparently this raft got jacked up in the bridge, along with the people on it. The land owners were pissed because the rafters finally stopped downstream, started a fire (those folks are very sensitive to fires these days), and initiated a search and rescue response that crossed their land. We saw the raft downstream and got the name and number off of it.
The guy was actually from Bailey. I won't post the number here and can't fully remember his last name- Koud...? The raft was set up more for fishing than running class V so it could have been a matter of missing the take-out. Starting a fire might have been a smart thing to do if someone was in the water for a long time and hypothermic. Still, the locals are pissed and are in the position to make things itchy for paddlers if they want to. The guy at the dream house was sympathetic to paddlers but pointed out that most others were not. If you are the rafters whom I am writing about, please PM me and I will give you the guys contact info. I think some communication could go a long way toward smoothing things out. The rest of us need to remember that all of the scouting and portaging we do is on private land and we need to continue to respect it. I don't think I've ever seen an errant Clif bar wrapper or any other signs that paddlers have been there before.
Vaya Con Rios!