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Waking up in the bottom of the deepest canyon in North America is wondrous.

Before the sun peaks over the towering canyon walls in Hells Canyon, the smell of coffee brewing floats into the tent on the warm morning air. After rolling off the cushy sleeping pad and out of the warm sleeping bag, you make your way down the sandy path to the river kitchen. There waiting is the largest pot of coffee you’ve ever seen and some fresh Idaho fruit to nibble on. Other early risers sit in the riverside dining room all staring at the opposite canyon wall, hopefully searching for the white fur of a mountain goat and it’s baby to pop their heads out of the dark lava rocks. A break from phones and internet feels great while getting a chance to spend time with friends and family. With the smell of bacon wafting in the air, breakfast is served: banana bread french toast, real maple syrup, thick crispy bacon, scrambled eggs, yogurt and homemade granola. The sun breaks over the canyon wall and the day immediately starts to heat up. It’s time to get rafting on the Snake River.

 

 

8000 feet below the peaks of the Seven Devils and Blue Mountains, the rafts float the wide river for long stretches of calm meandering water leading to Class II-IV rapids with big splashy rowdy waves. Fishermen (and fisher kids) pluck smallmouth bass and trout out of the Snake River with excitement.

Lore of 8…10…12 foot toothless dinosaur fish called sturgeon is told as your guide gets ready to drop a line that looks like it’s ready to pull in a small whale.

Jokes and laughter fill the boat until the whizz of the