Born high in the White Mountains the Salt River flows clear and quickly, crashing its way through a wild and remote gorge in the middle of the Sonoran Desert to its ultimate end at Roosevelt Lake. A free flowing and undammed river, the Salt is a true jewel of the southwest surrounded by a very harsh landscape. Unlike any other river I have been down this one moves differently. It just feels different. And its reputation precedes itself; stories of wrapped boats and narrow chutes, sleeping rocks and big holes all cloud my mind the first night. We drink some beers and rig until 2 am, preparing for launch later that morning. I didn’t get much sleep that night at all.
The next 6 days was like a blur. Once we took to the river it never seemed to stop; fighting for time to pull out my camera or even take a drink of water. The first day especially was one for the races as we picked our way downstream through a field of rocks. We hit camp, make dinner and like clockwork we quickly retire to our tents. River time sets in immediately. The rest of the trip fell into suit; it never stopped. Hit the wave in black rock. Thread the boat through the maze. Crush the hole in quartzite.
We saved the best for last however, our final camp at Coon Creek was one of the best around. Like a debriefing meeting of sorts it was a time to relax and take it in, mentally preparing for the return to reality. As quickly as it began soon enough it was over, all too fast and much too soon. Once again I wasn’t ready to leave. None of us were. I don’t think we ever are.
More to come. Stay tuned. We’re just getting started kids…