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Hey Aaron, you and I share that common experience of 1977 being our first season on the Middle Fork, and that year certainly defined "bony." I was transferred to the Middle Fork that year after three full seasons on the Rogue, and I was startled by how continuously technical and busy the Middle Fork ws in comparison to that lovely, gentle river in Southern Oregon. Late in the season in '77 I did a four-boat trip for Hank Miller, rowing 12 foot UDT boats with two passengers in each. We flew into Thomas Creek for the six-day trip, and it took us 12 hours to go 8 miles that first day. Anyway, as you know, it was a really demanding year, and it was hard to get dishes done before dark since the water was so slow and picking a deep enough channel took full attention all day long. I'll look up your outfit's mailing info on line and send you a master print of my Interpretive Program. I've found that even the most seasoned guides have learned a lot from it, and it is structured as a series of study cards that a guide would spend time with before teaching the info to their guests. It is not intended to be handed to a guest and should never see the bottom of the trip library...and it will never be for sale. I'll mail you one, and the instructions for making individual books for each guide are included. Gerry Hughes simply took the master over to Staples and they printed a batch for him. Take care, and may your upcoming season see every slot filled.
And, Aaron, I think you and I had similar childhoods, because both of us had a dad who was not only a river guide, but also owned their own river company. Now, my sister's kids are river guides, third generation. Are you a fourth Generation or third Gen river runner?
Ahh Yes, the long lens threw me, but the rock did look to me to be from the Tappan Series of Gneiss. Yeah, I liked the relaxed rules on the Middle Fork, and I have little doubt that you and your guests have those PFDs on real tight when the river gets high. Hey Aaron, have you seen the "Interpretive Program for Middle Fork Guides" I made? I have given master copies to several outfitters, but I do not know if I gave one to you. I gave a model and master copy to Gerry Hughes, and you might want to talk to him about the little book. They will never be for sale, but I think they will prove to be an cool way for Middle Fork Guides to up their game and knowledge base of the Middle Fork. I rowed about 75 trips through that canyon between 1977 and 2002, all commercial, and I added little bits of that experience into the Program. Email me if you are interested in getting a master. Gerry just took his on over to Staples and they printed a bundle of waterproof editions fro that master copy. The catch phrase on the cover reads: "Be more than a Cook who can Row", but for your outfit I'd add "...and fish." Anyway, talk with Gerry and let me know what you think..they are not for sale, but they do go from hand to hand...Old School. And they are not meant to be held or read by anyone except a licensed Middle fork Guide.
The Helfrich Clan were the first to do commercial river trips down the Middle Fork of the Salmon in Idaho about sixty years ago, and I think they were influential in drafting the rules of conduct for outfitters on the river, too. One rule states that a spare life jacket must be in every craft and that a life jacket must be IN THE CRAFT (my emphasis) for both the guide and each passenger. Notice that the rule does not say that the PFD has to be worn. Good to see this guide is abiding by the Middle Fork guidelines. Now, if this was on the Grand Canyon, he'd get a ticket, and his outfitter would be fined...yikes! Really pretty lines on that drift boat...what river is this?
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