There is an age old saying; a picture is worth a thousand words. With that, I’ll avoid text this post (at least for now) - and share the following photos to tell my Selway River story. Enjoy.
Desolation Canyon. A wild treasure of the West, and most recently a worthy designation to the Wild & Scenic Rivers System. First descended in 1869 by a crew under the leadership of John Wesley Powell himself, the canyon spooked and stirred the following claim; “We are minded to call this the Canyon of Desolation”. Yet, I can’t help but think of the “Deso” as paradise - and not that desolate at all. Good company will do that.
A rowdy team of thirteen, we set forth for 4 nights and 5 days - searching for ancient secrets and satisfying vision quests down a remote section of Utah’s Green River. Days were greeted with hot coffee, hardy breakfasts, and good luck shotgun launches to tackle whatever river miles were ahead. Four boats, led by our fearless long-haired leader Jacques Boiteau, formed our troop. High water made for distance covered with a swiftness and a few aggressive beach landings. Nights were met with rotating cook crews dishing out salmon dinners, steak fajitas, and banana boats, followed by campfires and rounds of Mafia and stick game under a waxing moon. A successful river trip, echoes of constant laughter, a group of friends in one of the most isolated places in the lower 48.
A dream trip come true - two weeks in Alaska skiing and seeing as much as we could squeeze in. Blessed with unusually warm and sunny weather, we took advantage by boat, ski, plane, and foot. Friends old and new, we united in Whittier Alaska - a town situated on the Western edge of the Prince William Sound. We headed out on salty waters aboard the Babkin in search of snow, vistas and unicorns for the first days of the trip.
Hesitant to leave the beloved Babkin, we headed to Girdwood for basecamp #2. Turnagain Pass and Hatcher Pass provide - we found Alaskan steeps, powder and corn to easily remedy our yearning for life on the boat.
Headed up Lost Couloir - Hatcher Pass.
Seven days, too many miles and vertical feet to count, and we finally take respite in Talkeetna, north of Anchorage. Priorities shift to hammocks by the river, food, and Denali. With the weather still in our favor, it was obvious the best way to see Denali was from the air. Boom shakalaka - it was a 5% visibility day. Other 95% of the time, Denali is in a shroud of cloud. Lady luck is still at it!
For a proper finish we headed south, way south. A stay in a fishing town seemed like the cherry on top for this trip. One flat tire, a friendly Midas tire center and a whole bunch of moose later, we arrived in Homer Alaska. Off-season in Homer did not keep us from meeting great people, eating fresh seafood, or enjoying all that Katchemak Bay has to offer.
Meet the locals - they’ll give you rides in their boats to otherwise unreachable places.
A beautiful hike in Katchemak Bay State Park.
Local legend, Mike the Spoon Guy. Great conversation, a few portraits and hand-crafted spoons - the perfect Homer souvenirs.