Part of my independent project involves cataloging all the campsites along the South Fork of the Snake River. As most of these sites are intended to allow anglers to do a longer float down the river by providing a place to sleep overnight, they can only be accessed from the river. So, in order to reach them to catalog, my mentor and I, along with a fellow intern, decided to do a two-day float through the canyon stretch of the South Fork. This area is called the canyon stretch as the river runs through about 20 miles of a canyon, with large, beautiful rock faces looming over each shore of the river.
Pictured: different sections of the South Fork along the canyon stretch
We started our float out of Conant, one of the developed boat ramps I also had to catalog this summer. As we went, I was nervous that I would miss a campsite because I had no idea how well they would be marked, but was pleasantly surprised when I could easily see a sign indicating a campsite from a few yards away, so we had time to maneuver ourselves into a good position to safely dock. Once at a campsite, I would geotag the location, look around at the amenities, and take ample pictures. I later plan to add these notes and pictures to my catalog of South Fork sites.
Pictured left: an example of what a sign designating a campsite looks like; pictured right: me taking notes about a campground, including: coordinates, how many sites are available, and what the area around it looks like
Just like the anglers who need these campsites to have a safe place to stay, we also chose to camp overnight. After playing with my mentor’s dog, Josie, and cooking a fajita dinner together, all three of us sat around the table to play some cards. I showed them how to play one of my favorite games: “President”. After about two hours of playing, we called it a night as we had another day of floating in front of us.
Now, I am back in our office writing this post. Even though I’ve only been off the river for a few hours, I already miss the rock of the waves, the beautiful scenery, or the chance to jump into the cool water at each campground. I never would have thought that I would be spending my summer having this much fun on a river while still working hard from 9-5, but I am so glad I decided to give it a try.