I’ll never forget that first drive down into the canyon of the Grande Ronde. With the odor of hot brakes warning me to shift to low range, I came around yet another switchback and finally saw a river. I specifically remember pulling over in the first turnout and staring in slack jawed amazement at what I was seeing. It has often been said that steelhead live in beautiful places, but I had never seen anything quite as outrageous as this.
It has been over twenty years since I had my first glimpse of the Grande Ronde. Since then I’ve had a lifetime of experiences, made lifelong friendships, and have never regretted burning up that set of brakes.