The North Fork Smith is a blade of jade-green water cutting through the remote heart of the Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains. Home to a virtual desert of reddish-orange canyons — not to mention insect-eating plants — the North Fork is a pocket of red planet oddness here on Earth.

Follow a group of rafters down the 13-mile wilderness section, but only after we are regaled with tales from famed shuttle driver “Bearfoot Brad” for a rough, rugged, two-hour drive to the put-in.