On the Water
Time to get on the water. First we need to get all that junk in the boats. Bivy sack, sleeping bag, pad, minimal change of clothes, cooking/eating utensils, first aid, flashlight, camera, FOOD, somehow it all fit. It's apparently possible to put-in just a little way from the lodge, the driver from the lodge even suggested it, but we knew from others that it was steep, fast, narrow, rocky and full of logs requiring numerous portages for the first few miles. We wanted a mellower start, so we got one of the workers from the lodge to drive us 2 miles down the dirt road to where it ends at Smith Creek and the wilderness area boundary. Now dragging our 80+ pound boats down the pack trail that parallels Smith and then Big creeks, we hiked another half mile down past the confluence of the two where there was now more water and slightly less scary rapids. While the pack trail follows Big Creek all the way to the MFS, and is often close horizontally, it can be a long way off vertically. We found a less rocky open area and using our throw ropes, lined the boats down to big Creek.