• Middle Fork June 25, 2012

    A note from Iris in the office:

    On June 25th I had the opportunity to get out of the office for a week and go on my first commercial river trip with Wilderness River Outfitters.  We launched at Boundary Creek with a group of 5 guests (including myself) and 4 guides.  For the guests Tom, Leeanne, Luke and Jen this was their first Middle Fork Trip.  Tom and Leeanne both came on the trip alone, but we all quickly became friends.

    Ryan Casey with Luke and Jen.  Photo: Seth Tonsmeire

    The morning of the 27th Tony Smith, our 5th guide, and Tommy Harrell’s group of 9 guys flew into Thomas Creek to join us.  What a great group of guys…the four girls on the trip referred to them as “True Southern Gentlemen from Louisiana.”  Tommy Harrell has been a long time customer of Wilderness River Outfitters and has gone on many of their river trips over the years.  Dicky had also been on trips with WRO.  The rest of their friends they recruited for their first trip with WRO.  After a quick introduction with the new members of our group we were back on the river.

    Tony leading the paddle boat.  Photo: Seth Tonsmeire

    Pepper with Matt and Jason.  Photo: Seth Tonsmeire

    For the next four days we enjoyed getting to know each other, many laughs, and sunny weather.  The water was at a great level and the splashes were refreshing.

    We took several hikes to a hotsprings, an old mine, some Native American pictographs, and several beautiful waterfalls.  We had the pleasure of learning about Uncle Earl’s Hog Dog Trials in Winnfield, LA from the President himself (Matt)…This was fascinating to us Idahoans who had never heard of such a thing.  Seth led a hike from the Grassy 1 campsite to the top of a hill behind the campsite that gave us an amazing view of the river in both directions.

    Louisiana Crew on the Grassy Hike  Photo: Seth Tonsmeire

    Group at Cradle.  Photo: Seth Tonsmeire

    We celebrated the last evening with a boat party at Cradle.  Most people braved the cold water and jumped in for a quick swim. With great people it truly was the best way to spend the last week of June, which also happened to be the first week of summer!  We hope you all can join us for another trip!

     The Group on the Last Day.  Photo: Seth Tonsmeire

    More photos from this trip can be viewed on the WRO Flickr Gallery.   If you would like to download any of the photos, that can be done from Flickr as well.  If you are a member of Yahoo, you can even order prints from Flickr.  Enjoy!  Some of the best pictures from the trip will also be on our facebook.  Feel free to share with your friends!

    Iris Conrad
  • Spring 2012
    Early Season Middle Fork Salmon

    Looking Up River at the start of the Impassable Canyon. photo: Shane Moser

    Every day in Salmon, Idaho feels more and more like spring at this point.  The grass is starting to green up, Mountain Blue Birds, Robins and many other migratory birds are showing up.  The summer rafting season will be here before we know it!  At WRO we are looking forward to getting back on the river for another great season.  Our first scheduled commercial trip on the Middle Fork Salmon is June 16th.  Although I will probably have to sneak out of the office here shortly for a little spring boating long before June!

    Middle Fork Salmon in April   photo:  Shane Moser

    Middle Fork Salmon in April photo: Shane Moser

    Check back for more updates and photos in the coming months!

    ~Seth Tonsmeire

  • 2012 ~ 40 Year Anniversery

    40 years in Business in 2012! The years do slip by. Forty years ago we were just getting our rafting business going…acquired the last Main Salmon permit issued by the Salmon Forest Service, purchased Green River rafts which were the top of the line back then and started the search for more wild rivers in the West. The WRO guides were all Tonsmeires (picture below) who migrated to Idaho from guiding on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Things have changed a bit over the years; we have lighter more maneuverable rafts that are self bailing, waterproof everything, comfortable lifejackets, and better designed tents and sleeping bags. Not to mention the gortex and polypropylene clothing. It’s made camping and rafting cushy.

    Tonsmeire Brothers:  The Original Crew

    Tonsmeire Brothers: The Original Crew

    The one thing that hasn’t changed is our dedication to making your experience safe and adventurous. We believe a quality wilderness experience is one in which you interact intimately with the natural environment on wild rivers and in their beautiful canyons. We have remained committed to running small, spontaneous trips that make you feel young again. To find beauty in the ridiculously simple. To forget about deadlines and telephones. To gaze at the stars, soak in a hot springs, run fun rapids, enjoy campfire meals and forget about time. To feel like you’re with friends. These are the types of experiences we like to send our new friends home with.

    Paddle Boating on the Salmon River in the 70's

    River Rafting on the Salmon River in the 70's

    Thanks to all of you who have contributed to these memorable years.

    -Fran Tonsmeire

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