Sunday, September 15, 2013

Is "Glamour Camping" appropriate on the Middle Fork of the Salmon Wilderness?

Today, there was article in the Idaho Statesman titled "No roughing it: Go 'glamping' on the River of No Return" written by William Kronholm - The Associated Press.

Here are a few quotes to describe "glamour camping" or "Glamping" from the article.

"Stuffed morel mushrooms and braised free-range chicken with fennel puree and blackberry compote. Served on linen tablecloths with a carefully matched wine. Pineapple upside-down cake for dessert. This is wilderness camping? ...In other words: no roughing it."
"No wedging into a tiny backpacking tent for the night. Each couple has a stand-up six-person tent with cot, mattress and pillow, a lantern on the night table and a rug on the floor." "...Yoga sessions after breakfast...the masseuse awaits you at her streamside massage table...Want a hot shower? Just ask; it will be arranged." "And the food? Four-course gourmet dinners every night, with organic ingredients and a chef’s eye for presentation. Gourmet breakfasts as well. And a hot lunch on the river, unique among rafting companies that usually offer cold cuts."

I wonder how much of the gear necessary for this "Glamour Camping" is carried on the supply boats for each trip and how much of it is either cached at supply points along the river or flown in by aircraft to landing spots. It would also be interesting to know how much money a Middle Fork of the Salmon Wilderness "Glamping" trip costs each customer.

FYI, I am embedding a Gigapan image I produced at Boundary Creek, the put in point for all "private - commercial" river trips and most "public non-commercial" or common adventure river floating trips on the Middle Fork. ((For some reason the Federal agencies such as the Forest Service reverses these terms and designates non-commercial trips as private assuming that the expensive trips supplied by commercial outfitters are for the public.)

Daggar Falls is just upstream from this point and would require a portage for most float trips. Imagine portaging all of the gear necessary for the Glamping trip described in this article! I will add another Gigapan image of Daggar Falls too.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Megaload Google Earth Tour on Highway 12 in Idaho

On September 13 2013 Judge Winmill again rules that U.S. Forest Service can halt Industrial Megagloads ( Wider, higher and longer truck transports than the highway was built for) while studies are done and the Nez Perce Tribe is consulted. (See the Idaho Rivers United web site for details on this current ruling.)

I started creating this Google earth tour in the fall of 2010 before the first megaloads were due to start moving and created the KMZ file in February 2011. The tour showing the narrow Idaho Highway 12 along the Wild & Scenic Lochsa River. You can see the narrow bridges and canyon walls where the huge megaload trucks have to travel.

Download the 6GEMegaloadsTour.kmz file here.

An automated tour that lasts about 9 minutes is available when you double click the "Megaload Tour (Play this first!" icon just under the Google Earth KMZ icon which you should see in your "Temporary Places" in the Google Earth browser. You can pause (II) the controller bar that appears in the bottom left of the Google Earth map window and use the navigation tools to explore the map as you wish. When you hit the Play (>) button the tour will resume from where you paused it.

For example, in Google Earth you can turn on the street views and see panorama photos taken from the highway. You can also turn on the Panoramio photo layer to view photographs people have submitted over time.