A drive up Highway 55 along the Payette River and its North Fork to Cascade provided a spectacular display of spring runoff.
Water flows were the highest in they have been in at least 13 years. From the top of Horseshoe Bend Hill the river looks like a junior version of the Muddy Missouri as it winds through town, dominating the surrounding green scenery.
The famed “Hounds Tooth” rock and rapids which is a challenge to kayakers in mid-summer is dangerously impassable at current flows. The GUARDIAN saw only 3 kayaks in the river and they were in a relatively calm stretch just above Horseshoe Bend.
At Cascade the dam is dumping water at a rate not seen in ages. It forms a huge plume below the spillway, prompting folks to take pictures and get free car washes in the spray.
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