Middle Fork River Expeditions

Hen Wen Rides Again

MFRE bought Hen Wen, an 18 foot Wooden River Dory last May and she did three descents down the river.  She’s back again with a new sister Dory that is being built this spring inn Stanley by Willis Mcaleese, her name is yet to be determined.  In fact, we just bought the 1/4″ marine grade plywood yesterday and the resins as well.  So you can be sure to have twice the fun on the Main Salmon River in Idaho this summer.  Whitewater rafting at it’s finest.  The Wood Dories make it super fun thru the wave trains of the Main Salmon and as it has more water than the Middle Fork we don;t worry as much about hitting rocks.  Although it can occur and we bring lots of Gorilla Tape along.  These Dories are beautiful historic river craft that beckon to the Gondola’s of Venice.  But you ride these historic boats right through the heart of the largest roadless wilderness area in the US outside of Alaska.

So come join Hen Wen and her sister this summer on the Main Salmon River in Idaho.

There are no strangers here, only friends we have not met.

Yours for Rivers, Ellsworth

Middle Fork Salmon River in Idaho

The Middle Fork Salmon River in Idaho is an amazing place. The Middle Fork Salmon River in Idaho is in the heart of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area, the largest roadless wilderness area in the United States outside of Alaska. The Middle Fork Salmon River in Idaho trip takes usually 6 days to run, but we can offer 4 day trips in early June when the water is high and Sept when we run Fly Fishing trips and do 35 miles in 4 days. We usually fly into Indian Creek and go to Flying B in 4 days for an exchange and then go another 4 days down to Cache Bar for the take-out. The Middle Fork Salmon River in Idaho is a river that has many hot springs along the way which we camp near. One hot spring is an actual shower, you brace your arms on the rock face and get a really wonderful massage on your back. It is called Sunflower Hot Springs. The Middle Fork Salmon River in Idaho also has more than 50 named rapids and over 300 unnamed rapids that are smaller class I/II rapids. The Middle Fork Salmon River in Idaho can be enjoyed by anyone with an adventurous spirit and can swim and is in good physical condition. We bring along many river craft choices on the Middle Fork Salmon River in Idaho. These include Drift Boats, Oar Rafts, Paddle Rafts, Inflatable Kayaks, and Stand Up Paddle Boards. We only use the paddle boards on the Middle Fork Salmon River in Idaho around camp paddling in the eddies.

We hope you can join us this summer on the Middle Fork Salmon River in Idaho.

There are no strangers here, only friends we have not yet met.

Best, Ellsworth

Happy St. Patricks Day!

May you be joyful this spring day and give a moment of silence to those in Japan.

Idaho River Rafting & Spirituality

Why is River Rafting so good in Idaho? Well, the sate of Idaho has more river miles than any other state in the US. Over 3,000 miles worth of runnable rivers in Idaho. An the best thing is you can raft right through the heart of the Largest Roadless Wilderness Area in the US on the Middle Fork and Main Salmon Rivers. It is deeper than the Grand Canyon in places like Impassable Canyon. But there’s more river rafting and that is in the journey. You can let go of it all, all the compensatory strategies to get thru the world out there and truly deepen as an individual, to one;s deeper nature. The River is the perfect platform for this enlightening prospect of living each moment open and awake in one’s mind, and stopping the samsara strategies of a conditioned self. Those same mind movies of “acting” develop grooves like the river canyon, deepening their channel until the movie is what we are watching and have allegiance to.

Come explore the wild rivers of Idaho and come back again because it is a place of wonder.

Boise to Stanley Driving Directions

Directions to Stanley from Boise Airport
Get a map! Most car rental agencies have them or gas stations.
Go ~7 miles North on highway 84 to Eagle Exit, go East (right at exit)
Drive ~5 miles to State street and take a right
Drive ~1 mile to Highway 55 and take a left, going towards McCall
Drive ~35 miles and take a right on the Banks to Lowman road in Banks.
Drive ~30 miles and take a left on Highway 21
Drive 59 miles to Stanley

Directions to Boise Airport from Stanley
Go west on HWY 21 to Lowman (59 miles)
Take a right on Banks Lowman Road in Lowman
Take a left on highway 55 after ~30 mi
Take a right on State street in Boise after ~35 mi
Go ~ 1 mi to Eagle and take a left
Go ~5 miles to highway 84 and go South to the airport (~7 miles)

Estimated time is 3 hours, but less windy than taking HWY 21 direct from HWY 84.

Hiking around Stanley (best day hike in the US!)
Alpine Lake (7 mi Roundtrip) and Sawtooth Lake (10 mi Roundtrip)
Alpine Lake- go west on HWY 21 2.6 mi and take left on Iron Creek Rd., drive ~3.2 mi and park at trailhead parking lot. Hike 1 ¼ mi. and take a right and hike another ¾ mile to a junction and take a left, hike up some switchbacks and then cross a stream (Iron Creek) after 1 mile and then continue up ½ mile to Alpine Lake. You can continue an extra 1 ½ mi to Sawtooth Lake. Elevation gain is ~1,100 ft to Alpine and another 700 ft. to Sawtooth Lake.

Safe Driving and Happy Hiking!


James Ellsworth
Middle Fork River Expeditions

Idaho Salmon River Rafting Trips- Choosing a trip that’s right for you

Middle Fork River Expeditions has lots of people call that are not sure which is a better trip for them, the Middle Fork or the Main Salmon. I always ask them what their group configuration is and if there are kids. I personally think the Middle Fork is a better trip in June and July and the Main Salmon is best in later July and August. The Middle Fork gets low water by end of July and we often need to fly into the river at Indian Creek. The Main Salmon always has great flows in August and the water temps are around 75F and huge sand beaches for camping and playing for the kids. If fishing is what your primary goal is for the trip, then the Middle Fork is best July-Sept. We offer drift boats on all trips on the Middle Fork starting June 29 launch.

The best thing to do if you are not sure on which trip to take is to give me a call to discuss options and the rivers themselves.

Call anytime at 800-801-5146.

i look forward to your call.

Yours for rivers, James Ellsworth, owner of MFRE

Middle Fork River Expeditions ISUP (Inflatable Stand Up Paddle) Boards

Middle Fork River Expeditions (www.idahorivers.com) is celebrating it’s 30th Anniversary by offering Stand Up Paddling (SUP) for participants on it’s Middle Fork of the Salmon River trips in Idaho. Stand Up Paddling uses a larger surfboard platform and a large paddle to steer. Middle Fork River Expeditions has partnered with Todd Bradley and C4 Waterman (www.c4waterman.com) to provide Inflatable Stand Up Surf Boards to it’s guests in 2010. We are the first outfitter on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River to provide this option. Please look for the March 2010 article in Standup Journal (www.standupjournal.com) on Stand Up Paddling the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Paul Tefft with Enviro Action Productions (paultefft@enviroactionproductions) has recently produced a video of the 2009 Whitewater Stand Up Paddling Championship (www.riversup.com/component/content/article/1-latest-news/53-riversup-dvd-promov2)
Please join us next summer to try this amazing new sport on the Middle Fork!

The Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho is the premier wilderness float trip in the US and flows 100 miles of Wild and Scenic free-flowing river through the largest wilderness area in the US. The canyon is the second deepest in North America. Because of its remote location, human presence in the area was somewhat limited, leaving it in the condition we see today. The Middle Fork of the Salmon is unspoiled, remote and roadless so you can be sure you will “get away from it all”. Simply put, it is the best river run in the West!

Middle Fork River Expeditions, licensed and bonded outfitter, has run safe and well-managed river trips on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho for 30 years. Trips are 4 and 6 days of exciting river rafting, wilderness camping, fine fishing, and adventure travel. Our equipment is specially designed for wilderness whitewater rafting, and offers mild and wild boat choices (oar boats, paddle boats, inflatable kayaks and Stand Up Surf Boards). Ask about special river trips with kayak instruction or wine and massage. Our river guides are seasoned professionals, licensed by the state of Idaho and First Aid Certified. They are expert river runners, magnificent cooks, great storytellers, and knowledgeable, helpful outdoorsmen.

Check out our website for photos of Stand Up Paddling from our inaugural trip in 2008.

Join Middle Fork River Expeditions for a magical wilderness river vacation learning how to Stand Up Paddle. Or bring your own board for the more experienced Stand Up Paddler.

For more info contact:
James Ellsworth, owner
Middle Fork River Expeditions
PO Box 70
Stanley, ID 83278
(800) 801-5146

Middle Fork River Expeditions ~ Leader’s Medical Kit Guidelines

MFRE Leader’s Medical Kit Guidelines

Middle Fork River Expeditions REQUIRES medical supplies to be available on all trips. It is impossible for one medical kit to handle all medical problems on trips, but it should contain enough supplies to treat common complaints and minor problems, or to offer some assistance until the victim can be evacuated. This list of contents is suggested as a minimum.

20 Plastic adhesive strips (Band-aid) 1” x 3” Tape and pieces of gauze can be used,
but nothing is as convenient or as efficient
as basic Band-aids.
20 H-shaped adhesive strips (knuckle bandages), (Coverlet) or large size (2-3” wide) adhesive strips Convenient, but tape and gauze can be used.
4 Gauze pads 4” x 4” Sterile, individually packaged pads are bulky and sterility is not usually necessary for wound dressings. Take only a few sterile packages, and a cleanly wrapped stack of nonsterile pads (which come in bulk packages). Clean cotton (lint-free) cloth can be used as an absorbent dressings.
10 Gauze pads 2” x 2” Larger gauze can be cut in half.
2 Trauma pad Large, bulky absorbent pads for wounds with a lot of bleeding or oozing fluid. Improvise with menstrual pads or lint-free cloth
2 Ointment impregnated gauze
(Vasoline gauze, Aquaphor or Xeroform) Non-stick dressing for burns, abrasions or other wounds. Improvise by putting ointment on a regular gauze pad.
2 Eye pads For patching an eye closed due to an abrasion on the cornea. Can improvise with folded gauze. If used, should keep the eye closed. Use only overnight, then remove and reevaluate.
1 Gauze wrap (Kling) 3 or 4” To hold dressings more securely and comfortably than tape where there is hair, movement, moisture, or rubbing.
1 Gauze wrap 2” Wider gauze can be folded while wrapping
1 Elastic wrap (ACE) 3 or 4” Mild support for sprained joints; outer wrap
for dressings; partial immobilization for
wounds or injuries.
Substitutions: Gauze wrap and/or cloth for wounds; for immobilization, use bulky wrap or incorporate splint material in wrap; for example, piece of foam sleeping pad.
optional Elastic wrap 2” Same as above, especially good for hands and wrist.
1 Hypoallergenic tape (dermacell) 1/2” Hold dressings. Easy to remove, does not
cause skin irritation. Dressings can be tied on,
but tape is the best.
1 Adhesive tape (cloth-type) 1”
(Zonas) Hold dressings; tape over blisters; tape sprains. Adherence when wet and use for taping sports injuries make this tape most versatile. Of course, duct tape can also be used.
optional Adhesive tape (cloth-type) 2” If taking one roll, 1” or 2” is personal choice. Wider tape can be torn vertically.
1 each Steri-strips 1/4”
Optional, add 1/8” Hold together edges of small cuts. It is better
to leave wound edges slightly apart than to tape a
wound with the edges curled inward.
Improvise by cutting pieces of tape. New cyanoacrylate skin adhesives are great and easy to learn how to use, but they are expensive.
1 Triangular bandage 51” Arm sling or can be torn in strips for tying bandages, splints. Any large piece of fabric (T-shirt, towel) can be substituted.
2 Moleskin or mole-foam sheets (approx. 6” x 10”) Cover blisters or protect potential blister areas;
foam can also be used to make donut pads to protect calluses or bunions on the feet. Can use cloth tape or even duct tape applied directly to the skin to cover blisters.
1 Splint (flexible, padded aluminum—SAM®) Splint any small to medium-size joint. Alternatively, improvise splints from any number of available materials: rolled towel or down jacket, ensolite pad, ski poles, wood, etc.
2 Oz Tincture of iodine (2%) or betadyne solution (10%)
Topical swabs (not as versatile) Topical disinfectant for cleaning wounds, can also be used for water disinfection. Regular soap is fine to clean wounds on the trail. Make a dilute (10:1) solution when used directly on or in a wound, but can use full strength on intact skin. Alternative: use soap and water for skin and flush wounds with clean (preferably boiled water)
15 gm or
8 small packets Antibiotic ointment (Polysporin or equivalent, generic “triple antibiotic ointment”) comes in small packets also that can be given to someone for ongoing self treatment Keeps dressings from sticking to oozing scrapes and burns; softens dry, cracking wounds and crusts. Does not replace cleaning and removing dirt and crusts to prevent infection. Regular petroleum jelly (Vaseline®) can be used. Some people are allergic to Neosporin.

1-2 Oz Aloe vera extract, gel, or other 90-100% strength preparation Good treatment for burns (along with cleaning and bandaging).
1 small tube
or tin Zinc oxide cream The only means of complete sun protection for nose, lips, face.
1 tube
Sunscreen SPF 15 or greater Sunburn can be a serious problem. Sun protection is the responsibility of the client, but many underestimate tropical and high altitude sun. Leaders can carry this as a back-up supply or ask another member in the group to share, when needed. (SPF is a measure of protective effect.)
1 Lip protection Same reason as sunscreen. Zinc oxide gives most complete protection.
15 gm tube or
6 small packets or each Cortisone cream
AND: Antifungal cream (myconazole, tinidazole, clotrimazole)
OR: Mycolog cream (combination anti-fungal, antibiotic, and cortisone) Treatment of irritating, itchy, red skin rashes. Cortisone cream is for suspected allergic rash, anti-fungal cream for suspected fungal infection, but it is often hard to tell allergic from fungal. Typical fungal location in groin or between toes is a clue. Rash on hands more likely contact allergy.
6 Benzoin ampule/swabs or tiny bottle Helps tape or moleskin stick to skin. Apply to skin, wait 30-60 seconds until sticky, then apply tape.
1 Temporary dental filling
Cavit® or Dentemps® Lost fillings, newly painful cavities, broken teeth. Alternative: gutta percha stick. Clean tooth well by rinsing, then dry with cotton before filling hole. Some pain relief is obtained by oil of clove on cotton, packed into cavity (do not cover cotton with Cavit)
optional Hemorrhoid suppositories or ointment (Anusol HC®, Americaine®, Nupercainal etc.)
For pain and itching of hemorrhoids. Not uncommon problem, but will resolve in the same amount of time with or without medication. These medicines only help decrease discomfort. A&D ointment or zinc oxide can be used.
20 Aspirin tablets 325 mg or Ibuprofen (Advil® or Motrin®) non-prescription strength = 200 mg
Prescription strength is 600 or 800 mg. Pain, fever, joint and tendon inflammation. Dress minimally to help temperature come down. In hot climates, wipe or sprinkle cool water on the skin so evaporation can help decrease temperature. Dose for anti-inflammatory effect: aspirin–two tablets four times a day; ibuprofen–400-600 mg every 6 hours or 800 mg with each meal. Major side effect for both medications is upset stomach, so take with meals.
Acetaminophen (Tylenol) tablets 325 mg Pain and fever (for those who cannot tolerate aspirin); no anti-inflammatory effect, so not as useful for tendonitis and swollen joints, except for some pain relief. Dose: 650-1000 mg every 4-6 hours.
12 Cold capsules containing antihistamine and decongestant (Actifed®, Dimetapp®, many others) Symptomatic treatment of upper respiratory infections, sinus problems, ear pressure from congestion, and allergic symptoms. May carry antihistamine and decongestant separately (see below).
1 Nasal decongestant spray 1/2 Oz (Afrin®, Neosynephrine) Tablet decongestants: pseudoephedrine (Sudafed®, others) Decongestant spray works faster than tablets; gives rapid relief of ear pain during an airplane flight. They work well for nasal congestion during high altitude climbing or sinus pressure from a cold. Frequent use of sprays causes dependency with increased congestion when trying to stop. These are mild stimulants. Tablet dose: 30-60 mg.
12 Diphenhydramine capsules 25 mg (Benadryl®) Antihistamines alone are specific treatment for allergic symptoms of watery nose and eyes; also useful for more bothersome allergic reactions like hives and itching. The side effect of drowsiness makes them useful as a non-prescription sleeping medication. They decrease nausea and stomach cramping and are used for motion sickness. Dose: 25-50 mg every 6 hours. Drowsiness is the major side effect.
12 Throat lozenges For relief of sore throat; very popular on high altitude climbs for dry throat and cough. Cough drops and hard candy also helps and tastes better.
optional Bismuth-subsalicylate tablets (Pepto-bismol®) Mild relief of traveler’s diarrhea, upset stomach Do not take if intolerant or allergic to aspirin.
6 Antacid
Maalox, Mylanta, Gelusil or others Acid reflux “heartburn.” Non-essential drug but can be useful. If not rapidly effective, the problem is probably not acid.
6 Milk of Magnesia tablets Constipation. Not everyone gets diarrhea when traveling!
2-6 Oral electrolyte solution—for trips with high risk of diarrhea. Replace fluids and electrolytes lost from moderate to severe diarrhea. Water and fruit juice or a pinch of salt plus a few tablespoons of sugar in one liter of purified water are fine for mild to moderate dehydration, but are not as good for serious dehydration.
1 bandage scissors
Sewing stores sell small folding scissors, or carry larger “trauma” bandage scissors A fancy knife or just plain blade will do.
1 Tweezers (splinter forceps—Uncle Bill’s® or Splinter Pickers) A sharp knife point or hypodermic needle (I prefer 18 gauge) can be used for probing in the superficial skin layer.
1 Syringe for irrigation (20 cc works best, but can use 10cc) For pressure washing wounds. This is the best way to remove dirt and debris and decrease risk of infection. If wound remains dirty, scrub and if still dirty, pack open with gauze, do not close. Improvise with baggie with pin hole poked in bottom. Unlike needles, the syringe can be reused, if there is no contact with the wound or blood. Clean carefully with alcohol or iodine after use in case there was any splash back.
1 Pocket CPR masks In reality, there is little risk from mouth-to-mouth, but masks remove the hesitation.
6 Latex gloves For avoiding blood contact when treating wounds and to decrease contamination from hand to wound.
10 Medication envelopes (small) Use when someone chooses to take some medication. Let them begin with 1-2 doses or a day’s supply. Do not give anyone your whole supply of a medication; you may not get it back.
1 Note paper and pencil Recording medical information; sending written message when evacuation or communication is necessary; drawing a map of victim’s location. Do not reply on spoken message to give medical or rescue information.
1 Fire starter (candle, lighter, water/wind-proof matches) These three items are useful to treat trail collapse (when a client does not want to take another step). This situation responds to rest, warmth (or cooling in hot weather), and an energy snack.
1 Candy or Glucose Paste (energy source)
1 Emergency space blanket
1 Knife Standard guide equipment with a million uses.
1 Thermometer
Hyper- and hypothermia Measure or check for hypothermia. Regular thermometer only goes to 96F (35C). Low measuring thermometer necessary for recording hypothermia temperatures. For fever, may use plastic strips with temperature-sensitive dots.
3 Safety pins Many uses for slings, bandages, pin-hole glasses.
Duct tape Many uses
Adventure Medical Kit comes with a booklet. Other recommended resources are: Medicine for Mountaineering by Wilkerson
Medicine for the Outdoors by Auerbach
Wilderness First Aid by Wilderness Medical Society and National Safety Council
Contents check list

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