Years ago, a friend and I did a trip like the one Forrest did 20 years back. We flew into Salt Lake on a 3 day weekend, drove to Needles in a rental car, and took off on a trip that we later called the Blitzkreig.
We hiked Elephant Hill to Lower Red Lake in blazing heat, swam at Spanish Bottom with our packs in large dry bags, pulling them with cords around looped around our shoulders. The river was in high flood stage and the swim was extremely frightening. But we made it and spend the next day on a big loop through Ernie's Country and Standing Rocks. On our way out, we met some rafters who kindly gave us a ride across the river so we wouldn't have to risk our lives twice. We hiked out and drove like mad to make our plane in Salt Lake.
It was an insane trip and one of the most memorable of my life. It pushed us both to the edge and we really had to rely on each other. The best kind of adventure.
I loved reading the article and thinking about this fantastic variation on our trip. What if we had gone down instead of across? Thanks Forrest!