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Summer Whitewater Fun

div align=”center”a href=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_uazGpGrGm98/TFwcirCoOFI/AAAAAAAAAhQ/G5hTXJknDaw/s1600/8-6+salmon+river+rafters+1.jpg”img style=”TEXT-ALIGN: center; MARGIN: 0px auto 10px; WIDTH: 264px; DISPLAY: block; HEIGHT: 400px; CURSOR: hand” id=”BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5502304226734782546″ border=”0″ alt=”” src=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_uazGpGrGm98/TFwcirCoOFI/AAAAAAAAAhQ/G5hTXJknDaw/s400/8-6+salmon+river+rafters+1.jpg” //aemspan style=”font-size:85%;”Salmon River’s summer colors br /br //span/embr /br //divdiv align=”left”Up until recently, whitewater was feared by average folks. So much so, you couldn’t even find it in the dictionary. But that didn’t mean it didn’t exist. Indeed, all you had to do was go up to the Salmon River to see all the whitewater you wanted.br /br /br /br /Oh, the stuff has always fascinated folks. Indeed, the city of Niagara Falls relies on raging whitewater’s loud, scary qualities for its very existence; while places like the Salmon River Falls Unique Area silently testify to its more subtle artistic merits. But normal folks em(except trout and salmon anglers, of course)/em never dreamt of stepping foot in it, let alone floating it for cheap thrills.br /br /br /br /Daredevils did. Indeed, documentaries showing adventurers on places like the Colorado and Trinity Rivers planted a seed that bloomed into movies like “Deliverance” and “the River Wild,” launching whitewater onto a wave of respectability.br /br /br /br /New York, the most mountainous state in the northeast, is etched in a web of the stuff. I-81 crosses two of its finest strands: the Black and Salmon Rivers.br /br /br /br /The state’s only stream that can boast year-round adventure class rapids, the Black River requires great skill to navigate. Since this is a family-friendly blog–and this mighty stream is for experts only–we won’t go there.br /br /br /br /The Salmon River is a different story. Oh, it has its dangerous moments, like during the spring thaw and when it’s swollen to a rage by a hard rain. Normally, however, this time of year sees it low and relatively safe. Free spirits have been riding its currents on everything from rubber tubes and air mattresses to more substantial craft like kayaks and canoes since the 1960s.br /br /br /br /Its reputation really took off in 1996. That’s when the authorities, through prodding by whitewater interests, environmentalists and fishermen, made it mandatory for the power company to release a base flow from the dam which kept the river running at a consistent pace.br /br /br /br /The rapids proved so popular, local businesses decided to try and raise the water level another notch, and convinced the power company to conduct water releases for recreational purposes five times each summer: one weekend in June, August and September, and two weekends in July.br /br /br /br /Last month’s releases attracted colorful, boisterous flotillas of every type of craft imaginable. In fact, professional fishing guide Rick Miick tried floating the river for Skamania and landlocked Atlantic salmon on July 24. He caught some bass and claimed the trout and salmon weren’t hitting because “the kaleidoscope of rafts, kayaks and canoes shooting over the water was so intense and loud, respectable trout and salmon ducked for cover or clung to the river bottom in fear of their lives.”br /br /br /br /The neatest things about the Salmon River during the dog days of summer are its relatively warm temperatures and safe rapids. Ranked on a scale from class I em(shallow ripples a kitten can wade)/em to class VI em(highly technical cataracts that can kill ya’),/em the Salmon River’s rapids don’t rise above class III, mild enough for an average eight-year-old, wearing a personal flotation device, to handle.br /br /br /br /The releases scheduled for August 7-8 and September 4-5 are still far enough away to plan for.br /br /br /br /If you’ve never paddled a fast moving river before, consider going during the August release and joining one of the organized runs offered by commercial outfits like Whitewater Challengers, a href=”http://www.whitewaterchallengers.com/”www.whitewaterchallengers.com/a; and Adventure Calls, a href=”http://www.adventure-calls.com/”www.adventure-calls.com/a. em(I don’t know of any commercial rafting companies that run the river during the September release, so you’re on your own for that one.)br //embr /br /br /Then show up in a swim suit. The outfitter will provide instructions, a seat on a raft, paddle, personal flotation device and, most importantly, a “brain bucket”em (helmet)./em You’ll launch into the bubbly and set off on an adventure that’ll make you all wet…creating memories you’ll never forget.br /br /br //divdiv align=”center”a href=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_uazGpGrGm98/TFwciXYsyEI/AAAAAAAAAhI/i6Oq-jwldCY/s1600/8-6+salmon+river+rafters+2.jpg”img style=”TEXT-ALIGN: center; MARGIN: 0px auto 10px; WIDTH: 400px; DISPLAY: block; HEIGHT: 300px; CURSOR: hand” id=”BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5502304221458647106″ border=”0″ alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_uazGpGrGm98/TFwciXYsyEI/AAAAAAAAAhI/i6Oq-jwldCY/s400/8-6+salmon+river+rafters+2.jpg” //aemspan style=”font-size:85%;” Close-up of some rafters along the riverbr /br //span/embr /a href=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_uazGpGrGm98/TFwch9SpHPI/AAAAAAAAAhA/ofO4CKGebmo/s1600/8-6+salmon+river+rafters+3.jpg”img style=”TEXT-ALIGN: center; MARGIN: 0px auto 10px; WIDTH: 400px; DISPLAY: block; HEIGHT: 300px; CURSOR: hand” id=”BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5502304214453918962″ border=”0″ alt=”” src=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_uazGpGrGm98/TFwch9SpHPI/AAAAAAAAAhA/ofO4CKGebmo/s400/8-6+salmon+river+rafters+3.jpg” //aemspan style=”font-size:85%;” Kayaks and rubber rafts/span/embr //divdiv class=”blogger-post-footer”img width=’1′ height=’1′ src=’https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/4587593463340152030-6486168879505624115?l=fishingandhuntinginoswego.blogspot.com’ alt=” //div