1 goal, 11 days, 22 people, 475 miles, $125,000
The Journey Begins
Source to Snake was an expedition down the Salmon River—the longest un-dammed river in the United States, running through the largest wilderness in the lower 48—starting in the mountains of Idaho and flowing nearly 500 miles down to the confluence of the Snake River.
June 25 marked the beginning of our journey after weeks of training. On a chilly 44 degree morning at an elevation of 8,750 feet in the Boulder Mountains of Idaho, we hiked 15 miles in to reach the headwaters of the Salmon River, where it bubbles out of the ground as fresh snow melt.
The first to go from the source of the Salmon to the Snake River using inflatable kayaks, we spent 10-12 hours a day on the water, combating class 3 and 4 rapids, and floating an impressive 108 miles downriver on June 27.
Averaging just over 45 miles a day, we made it to the Snake on July 5 on a hot, 106-degree day, with 58-degree water at an elevation of 745 feet - an elevation drop of 8,000 feet. We survived, coming back with only a few blisters, a sense of accomplishment and a new outlook on life.
Lessons from the River
It was momentous, and there was something that stood out above all; the feeling of strength and unity amongst the group. Variance in age, experience and skill level did not matter. We were a team with one goal in mind, and we made sure that each and every one of us knew that we had it within ourselves to succeed—and that we did.
The ambitious trip reaffirmed what LEAP is all about. For the past five years, we have led groups on the path to emotional and physical recovery through a journey down river. .
With this, we can continue to motivate and empower growth through the unique joy provided by wilderness therapy.
Thanks For Your Support
The generous donations and our partnerships with The Oregon Burn Center, Friends of the Children – Portland, New Avenues for Youth, and Higher Ground, allow us to have a widespread impact among those who need it most.
Thank you to all who contributed, as we truly could not have done it without you.
LEAP is a non-profit 501-C3 organization. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation, click here.