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By Devon Barker

Cort Conley has researched and written the majority of history centered on the rivers of Idaho. I attended a fundraiser for the Salmon River Dive/Rescue Team in Riggins, Idaho after a great surf session at Rodeo Hole. Cort was showing his film on . The films featured:

* 1925 Down the Snake with Amos Burg
*1939 Up the Snake with Clegg and Buzz Holmstrom
*1948 Salmon River with Nevills Expedition

The films were great and a reminder that there have been many before us who ran the river without all the modern equipment but were there every step of the way for the adventure. There were two shots that really grabbed me. One was of Buzz Holmstrom who went across the USA beginning on the west coast upstream through Hells Canyon of the Snake River all the way to the east
coast. I have been intrigued with Buzz since my brother restored a small drift boat for me called Little Buzz- my first trip was 22,000 cfs on the Owyhee. Lucky I did not sink it. The Doing of the Thing: The Brief Brilliant Whitewater Career of Buzz Holstrom is a wonderful read.

The other footage that amazed me was on the Main Salmon just upstream of Riggins, Idaho at the Allison Ranch. The three daughters from the ranch met up with the expedition and said they could swim their horses across the river if they wanted to film them. Now, I have ridden my whole life, but never had a horse I could convince to swim in the river with me. Believe me, I’ve tried. One time in hunting camp I set out to "glass" for my brother but rode two hours down the divide to the Salmon River, unsaddled my horse, but "we" had no swimming. She did think the sand was grain,
at which she stuck her tongue out at me, but would not get in past her belly. The filmed showed the girls riding their horses into the river and ferrying right over to the other bank. It was so awesome. It is back on my bucket list!

Paddling is great here in Idaho. Let me know if you read Buzz’s book. You won’t be able to put it down.

Devon Barker

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