WORDS BY KYLE SMITH / VIDEO BY BIG CEDAR MEDIA
2.5 million: Number of acres making up the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness.
6,253: Elevation in feet near the headwaters of the Salmon River.
500: CFS at the Marsh Creek put-in.
120,000+: CFS at the confluence of Salmon/Snake rivers: 300 miles and 5,332 feet of elevation downriver.
3: Idahoans willing to give ‘er.
5: Hours of sleep before attempting the paddle. (Good thing they’re all night-shift nurses.)
20: Pounds of snacks in each boat.
15: Number of baby-sized-burritos split between the three Idahoans
5: Cans of espresso each for caffeine needs…not nearly enough.
2: Breakdown paddles.
3: Liquidlogic Stingers.
5: Short stops made the entire trip.
500: Estimated milliliters of pee accidentally leaked in each boat while trying to urinate out of kayak mid-current.
0: Hours of sleep in 32.5 hours of paddling.
1: Number of rolls the entire trip (done at night, in a scary rapid).
312: Miles between put-in and takeout, downstream of the Salmon-Snake confluence.
39: Weeks that Mike’s wife was pregnant at launch time.
700: Shuttle miles.
30: Minutes after return home from mission that wife’s water broke. Good timing.
1: Baby boy destined to kayak.
2: Weeks it took to fully regain feeling in fingers.
— The Chase for the Salmon Speed Record.
— Inside the 24-Hour Distance Paddling World Record Descent of the Salmon
— Grand Canyon Speed Record Falls (AGAIN)
— High water on the Middle Fork Salmon.