Man was I excited when I got a call for good paddling buddy Jim Holland Saturday night asking what I was doing on Sunday. I paused for a moment, thoughts of Church service I was intending to attend with my wife Dawn and then said" Nothing. What do you have in mind?" He said he and Paul Otto were thinking why not drive an hour and a half up to Henry Morgan FAS and paddle to Russell Gates I was all in!
The day was spectacular with bright blue sky and ice cold, fast moving water to float. Water levels were a bit north of 1,000 CFS near Ovando and it was a fun, fast paddle.
We used the great shuttle service at Ovando (I think it is called Ovando Shuttle...) and were on the water by 11:08 and had a 4 hour trip ahead. Lots of Merganser duck pairs paddling along with us as well as a little lost gosling at the take out at Russell Gates. The little fellow had taken a shine to this rafter and she was doing her best to get the little fuzz ball back in the water to hopefully find Mom.
We had a bit of trouble finding a good spot to pull over for lunch as the water was so high that the normal spots had no eddy to speak of a steep drop offs. Jim finally found this nice grassy beach and even provided a easy seal launch back into the Blackfoot after a snack!
Here is a little video to get a better idea what a day on the Blackfoot is like.