I had never been rafting to Jackson Hole. In matter of fact, I had only been to Jackson Hole once that I could remember prior to the summer of 2013. I really wanted to get out of the state for some rafting and heard that the daily on the Snake River was pretty fun. I planned a trip with a lot of friends from Salt Lake and a few who lived up in Jackson Hole. This section of the River is K-9 friendly so for this trip Disco was going to be riding along.
Our plan was to camp by the Granite Hot Springs, a few miles south of Hoback Junction, which was a few miles south of Jackson Hole and right next to the launching place for the river. We were afraid the campground may be sold out by the time we arrived late Friday night, so we had our friend Liz drive down and reserve our campsites for us. Disco, Shelly (the girl I was dating at the time) and I rode up together. We met the other groups ,who were coming up from Salt Lake, at the campsite and the people who lived up there, at the launching point the next day.
Adventure started early on Friday evening. Shelly’s car started having problems as soon as we arrived at Granite Hot Springs and the nearest dealer who could fix them was 4 hours away in either Salt Lake or Idaho Falls. A couple other people had extra room in their cars for us ,so the week-end was not wasted.. We left Shelly’s car at the entrance to the campground, called the tow service and let the weekend begin.
Saturday morning we met up with Liz and the others at the launch area for the river. We had a small wait at the launch area waiting for everyone to get together. Disco used the time to make friends with the park rangers and other people launching boats. Like always every time he goes out people oooo and aaaahhhh at him. ‘ Little green-life- jacket-on’ running around the rafts drew lots of attention from the people floating by who had launched further up river.
This portion of the Snake River is beautiful and cold. It’s about a 6-8 mile stretch with several legit Class 3 rapids on it. I could be completely wrong ,but it seems like when the water is higher Lunch Counter is bigger and Kahuna washes out. With lower water -flow it is the opposite. I could be completely wrong but that is what it seems like to me. On this particular day, there was lots of water, and Lunch Counter was flipping about 50% of the boats.
As we headed to towards Lunch Counter, I noticed the plethora of people hanging out on the right side watching people go through. The raft about 100 feet ahead of us disappeared into the hole for a brief second before the front roared up and over the haystack. I hadn’t scouted the river before, but knew that it was going to be big. Everyone in our group, was on two -person Kayaks; our kayak was in the middle and there were a couple strangers mixed in with us.
Disco had been a champ. by not getting knocked off on the previous class 3 rapids we had navigated. I was expecting the pup to bail as soon as we dropped into the hole. Watching several of the two -person kayaks flip as they crested the wave ,only enforced my belief that Disco would be swimming on this one. As far as I was concerned ,we would be swimming along right beside him.
I remember dropping into the hole ,thinking we were going to flip and the next thing I remembered was the pretty view. . Multicolored rafts, turned upside down, empty and numerous lifejackets supporting people who flipped in the water made the river look more like a skittles rainbow. We floated out the several few feet of white water and I immediately began to look for Disco. I turned my head to the left and was greeted by a cold nose. There he was standing fast in between Shelly and me,
One man ,who was bobbing in the water and swimming for his overturned Kayak, asked with an amazing degree of humility “Did that dog stay on the whole time?”. At this point I was more ecstatic than a virgin at a whore house. Beaming with pride all I could say was “Yeah,isn’t he awesome”. Later that day we would go to the photo places downtown and look at the pictures. We realized a couple things from the various shots in the series. The first: Disco wasn’t touching the raft in any of the pictures except the last one. The second: He didn’t look happy. It would almost sound like doggie abuse. However, everytime I get the outdoor- water -gear ready, he gets excited.
The proud father/owner feeling would be abolished shortly. The rest of the trip was equally as awesome as the first half. On the last rapid of this stretch of river, a wave broke over the front of the Kayak and knocked Disco off. I don’t think it mattered much because he was already soaking wet by the time we got to this part of the river.
We actually had such a great time running this river, that we returned a couple weeks later. The next time was without Disco but was a trip to remember.
Disco’s Comments: Woof,woof woof