Smith River October 2019
I try to tag a multi-day onto the end of a business trip when I can, and this year the stars aligned with a 10/1 Smith permit, in the face of an "apocalyptic" snow storm in the forecast. Feet, not inches were predicted and my group had serious doubts about making it. With a shaky "Plan B" and a heavy dose of optimism, we left White Sulphur Springs on Monday, 9/30 and arrived to an empty Camp Baker in the late afternoon.
We immediately got to making camp, with warmth and a quickly-fading sun racing against us. Two in the party arrived just before dark, the last final two around 10:30 when the temperature dropped to the teens. There was one other group of students and faculty from the Wind River Institute that showed up at camp, but were just there as a lay-over after a Missouri River kayak trip. So, we had the river to ourselves the next five days.
The weather was very cooperative, with cold being the only factor to consider. Flows were above 200 cfs and with only a few situations we had to push/drag, the trip went off without a hitch. Nothing broken, lost, or left. Fish were caught, great river meals cooked, and the opportunity to share the river with family and friends all worked out.