We used Riley’s Station to outfit our kayaking trip. They drop you and the kayaks off about 8 miles upstream and you float back down to them. (For more info on pricing, see Riley’s Station.)
It took us about 6 hours to float down. It could’ve taken longer though. And if we weren’t fishing, it could’ve been done in about 2 hours without being slowed down by kids who were having trouble on their first really big kayaking trip. About a mile after we were dropped off, there was a creek that enters the river. This creek had an amazing amount of fish, very large fish at that, warmer waters than the frigid White, and even a small little beach (I think it was mostly small rocks, but I guess this far inland, it’s a beach). We stopped for an hour or so just to hang out, fish a bit, swim a bit, and take a break out of the hot sun.
When we started kayaking again, the kids started fishing as we went. THIS is what took most of the time! First off, there’s tons of trout! Everything you’ve heard about the White River is true! Secondly, the kids desperately need new set ups, and we had a lot of tangles that wouldn’t have happened if they had newer, more high priced, set ups. So we ended up having to stop completely a few times to be able to focus on untangling a reel, once again.
If we would’ve left earlier in the day, we probably would’ve used up that time as well. It was a pretty trip, lots of fish, cool water to help keep you cool in the hot summer. The only thing, that turned out sort of funny, was they’d dammed up the river the day before, and there were some sections that were really low. I think I mentioned something to Gabe about how this counted as our “hiking” as well, as we were all walking our kayaking through four inch water on top of sharp stones. (Thank God for sandals!) Through a few small rapids, we’d also get stuck occasionally and have to scoot or push our way back out.
The last one was within site of our cabin. We were exhausted, hungry, annoyed by the previous hour of complaining from our two youngest who were also tired and hungry. I was the last one through, and everyone else had made it through an interesting line of boulders, moving easily through a small open area in their kayaks. I waited for Tristan, in case he got stuck, and then I went. And got stuck. And got stuck some more. Now, keep in mind, this was the ONLY part of the entire trip were we saw ANYONE else! So, I got stuck, super stuck, with a crowd. Nice. I grabbed my shoes and eased out of the kayak, feeling my way through some very large boulders so I wouldn’t twist an ankle. I tugged my kayak along for a few feet. It started to level out. The water reached past my ankles, and I was going to take another step and then get in, just for good measure.
That last step had me waist deep in water. Fantastic! I pulled around the boat launch as everyone else in my party getting out and talking loudly with the Riley’s about the trip and fishing. With a wet crotch. And freezing cold because the sun had set and the water is freezing. I stepped out on shaky legs, trying my best, slid once, twice, finally gained some purchase, and walked right past everyone to go to the cabin and get into some dry clothes. And also get the ribs going. I was starving!