Celebrating “Women’s Power” is a focal point this month, and here we spotlight a remarkable yet personal testament to that strength:

Introducing Ruth “Ruthie” Wilhoit Hindman, partner to Woods “Woodie” Noble Hindman. Together, they were the pioneers who first navigated the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in July 1939.

Ruthie was not only Woodie’s wife but also his equal in every sense. Known among the guides for her prowess with the oars, she could handle a boat with exceptional skill.

During one fateful journey down the Middle Fork, Woodie became ill. Ruthie took the reins, skillfully managing Dagger Falls and navigating each rapid over a strenuous five-day journey, all while tending to her sick husband.

Theirs is an enthralling story, one not widely known but richly detailed in Chapter 4 of Roger Fletcher’s book. Woodie passed away a decade before Ruthie, who had a final wish to join her husband in rest. In a clandestine tribute to their bond, Ruthie’s ashes were scattered over Woodie’s grave near Parker, Arizona.

In their life as in their partnership, they were inseparable, interwoven so closely that it was often indistinguishable who led and who followed—they were a true partnership of strength and resilience, tied together by their love of rivers and boating.

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