Grande Ronde River (OR) - May 18-21, 2016 - 91 Miles

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Trip Itinerary:
Day 	Camp 			Bank 	Miles 
Put-in	Minam	 		Left	0.0
0	Minam State Park	Left 	2.0
1	Island Camp		Right	24.0
2	Bench Camp		Right	54.0
3	Cow Patty Camp		Right	72.0
Takeout	Heller Bar		Left	91.0	

Minam rigging area. Minam Store across river did the vehicle shuttle


Day 1 - Minam campground, 2 miles down from rigging area


Final rigging before launch


On the water at 11:25am


Above 'Red Rock' rapid (more of a riffle)


The Eagle Cap Excursion Train operates on a roadless stretch of the historic Joseph Branch Railroad track that follows the Grande Ronde River downstream from Elgin, crosses the bridge at Rondowa, then goes up the Wallowa River to Minam


Rondowa bridge


Floating aside Dennis and Mary


Grande Ronde merges with the Wallowa


Confluence #2


Confirmation


Verifcation photo2


Brief stop at Sheep Creek Camp, which we have used in the past as the first camp at lower water levels


Canyon scenery


Island camp at ~RM 67. Thunder, lightning and rain during the night, but magically things dried by morning


Group dinner. Laurie was the primary chef. I assisted


Casey warms up for a group performance3


Day 2 - On the water at 10:25am


Checking out another campsite option for later trips. John K. in foreground


Mountain goats


John and Terri


Powwatka Bridge


Dennis and Mary just above Troy Bridge


More canyon scenery


and more...


Partial group shot3


Passed on the campsite with the resident bull


Casey and Carol prepare dinner. John K. supervises


Group chatter at bench camp2


Day 3 - View from bench camp at ~RM 37


On the water at 9:53am. Laurie and Rich in the foreground


Less trees on the hills


Boggan's Oasis bridge


Floating along enjoying the scenery


No shortage of cows on the vast rangeland


Scenery


Carol inspects the campsite view above Deer Creek which we decided was too compact for the group


Decided on the Cow Patty Camp at ~RM 19. Yup, watch where you step


Day 4 - Good thing we had set up the tarp previously. Rain started just after it was up and continued on and off thru the night


Looking upstream from camp. Tents were packed mostly wet


Rendering of picture above by budding artist Diane


Camp highlights3


On the water at 10:15am. Private land started just downstream of camp (yellow sign)


Fog shrouded peak


Circling in the eddy water hydraulics


Eddy #2


Rich does the work while Laurie takes pictures3


Sun out again briefly


Bald eagles and nest


Clouding up again


Would have been a nice campsite, but given the deteriorating weather and proximity to the takeout, the group decided to end the trip a day early


Lunch stop


What looks like large holes are actually trees in the narrow ravine


Ever-changing landscape


Into The Narrows


The Narrows #2


Bridge Rapids


Looks like a fun driveway during the winter!


Fish trap in operation


Spectacular canyon scenery


Grande Ronde merges with the Snake in the distance. Heller Bar takeout is just downstream


Looking back up the Grande Ronde, and the end of our 4 day river adventure


USGS Flow at Troy 05/18/2016 12:00 PDT 5,200 CFS 5.89'
El. 2,536' - El. 817' = 18.9 FPM (91 river miles); 20.3 FPM to Troy (46 river miles)
Minam 2536'; Confluence 2305'; Troy 1601'; Boggan's 1260'; Heller Bar 817'


Original plan was to run the Owyhee, but we thought it was going to be too low. As it turns out, we could have run it. Oh well. Pictures from 2002 trip


    Credits:
  1. U.O.N., Olympus Stylus 770SW Digital Photography by William F. Smith (7.1 MP, 2304x1728 SQ1, 3X optical 38-114mm)
  2. Fujifilm FinePix XP50 Digital Photography by Mary Mac (14.4 MP, 5X optical 28-140mm)
  3. Apple iPhone 6s Digital Photography by Laurie O'Rourke (12 MP)

Last Update 1-Aug-17