I’ve heard there have been questions about current conditions for camping at the bottom of the portage. Over the years, that has been our traditional camp for the first night out. My dad, John Tryon, and his friend Chuck Keim would lead trips over the 4th of July for all of their less experienced friends throughout the 1960s. I think the maximum was 14 canoes and paddlers camped around the base of the portage. Including a 4-person umbrella tent on the shelf half way up the giant 50 foot rock…
But as my son has pointed out to me, ‘Times have changed, Dad, Times have changed,…’ We floated the Delta in early July (6-8, 2023) and found that erosion has made camping next to the put-in bay problematic, to say the least. Water level was relatively high, but not extreme. There was a modest amount of water flowing to the right of the giant rock.
There really wasn’t space for tents right at the water’s edge. The little tent-site that was at the downstream base of the giant rock has eroded out. Our party was only two canoes – we found a very small, but comfortable camp on the downstream side of the little trickle of water that goes around the giant rock. Space for two tents and a modest kitchen – and you could find a few more tent sites further downstream in the thicket of willows.
- Bottom of portage. With low water, you could probably camp on the gravel, but not during higher water.
- Small tent site. Not anymore. It’s been washed out
- We had two tents and a small kitchen
- Depending on your standards, you could put another couple of tents in here.
- Same as 4), but a big party would have a hard time of it.
- Moss covered rocks – easier to hike over than through the willows if going down to 7) for scouting.
Want to talk about the ‘good old days’ on the Delta River? You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m retired – it’s fun to talk river trips… Pete Tryon