Ride the Snake… River
Photos byTy Hathaway and Julia DeConcini, words by Ty Hathaway.
As we are heading towards Wyoming, Julia turns to me and says “this book says you can float the Snake River and it looks pretty cool.” Sounds good to me, let’s do that. This trip is all about this, this right here, we see something we are interested in and we do it. This is a luxury we are both very thankful for and are lucky to have in this moment.
We pulled into Jackson, worked our way through the hellish traffic, dodging National Park tourists, making the reality of where we were very apparent. A damn National Park town. Now don’t get me wrong, Jackson and Teton are very beautiful but shit, the crowds, and traffic are horrific and gave me flash backs of LA. This is not why we are here, this is enough to make me want to just keep driving, but alas I fought the urge, and well let’s face it, I wouldn’t make it too far in this traffic.
There it is! The information center, we could likely get the info we need there, which we did. We spoke with a very nice volunteer that gave us decent enough information about what we wanted to do. We weren’t sure he fully understood all the details but that is totally fine. We got our permits, our fishing licenses, and advice on mostly where not to camp for the night. Next stop would be to find a grocery store, easy enough one would think, aahhhhhh, one would think. This proved to be not an easy task, but we did eventually find a regular grocery store, got what we needed and got the fuck out of town.
After a while, we found a dirt road next to a river, finally, I can breathe again. I can be where I want to be. We found a sweet little camp right next to a river. Sorry, I couldn’t tell you which river this was now as my memory really is worse than writing skills, which means it’s bad! We had enough time to get the rods out for some fishing, Julia caught her first fish on a fly rod, and then another and then another, while I watched and caught one or two for myself. Fire, trout, some beers, and the night sky put us well in the mood to sleep for the night.
Coffee, breakfast, and finding the take out made up most of our morning, well mostly coffee and breakfast seeing as the take out was pretty easy to find. Things went just like they have so far on this trip, getting things done without having to even talk about it. I started to get bikes off the rack, Julia pulled out gear and made some sandwiches for us. We made pretty quick but casual work of it and headed out with no real urgency other than excitement to get on the water.
The ride to where we had planned to put in had it’s scenic moments which could be viewed easily in the moments which a large Cruise America RV wasn’t in the fuckin’ way. This short pedal, we made quick work of as well. Let’s get the hell off this crazy ass National Park road. Did I mention how much traffic stresses me out?
Anyway, we paid our fee, found the put in, unpacked and then locked our bikes to a picnic bench that was covered in overgrown bushes. We had decided to just leave the bikes here since we had to drive past this spot on our way North after we were done. Why bother loading the bikes if we don’t have to, right? Oh I mean I guess it would look more legit for Instagram or maybe even this “story” but let’s get real, we didn’t need to, so we didn’t.
Getting everything set up is easily a two beers job (per person) if done right, which means done pretty fast. River looked great, the scenery looked great, we looked cool as hell (obviously) so all was right in the world and we headed off down river towards the van. We floated, we drank many river-cooled beers, we ate lunch on a beautiful river shore next to drift wood and bald eagles. The day provided us with great views, great conversation, a god damn thistle bush in my foot that I can still feel at this moment, and great fun all while paddling down this beautiful river. I will leave most of this story telling to the images we have provided for you to put your eyes on.
The sky started to get pretty dark right about the time we started to wonder how much longer we had to go. It was right about then I realized the amateur move I had just made, I never actually went down to the take out to see what it looked like. So at this point, we really had no idea where the take out was or what it looked like, nice work Ty. Luckily a company in some school bus size raft had caught up with us at this point, so we just asked them and they let us know we still had a few miles to go. This was great news considering how dark the clouds were getting and our lack of clothing we had with us.
We made it to the van just in time to not freeze our asses off. Loaded up the gear, put on dry clothes, hit the open road once again. Once we grabbed the bikes, we tried to find a place to camp that didn’t cost us more than a months rent, no luck there so we just drove on a dirt road til we came upon a great spot. We finished the day off with a nice dinner, next to a nice fire, under a nice sky, discussing what the next day would have in store for us.
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