Friday – Sunday, August 24-26, 2012
After work on Friday I met Jackson at the Westwater exit on I-70, after the slower than usual drive through two construction zones, so that we could drop his car off at the Westwater takeout along the Colorado River. Our plan this weekend was to float through the Ruby – Horsethief Canyons section of the Colorado River from Loma to Westwater. This was going to be my very first overnight river trip and I have book looking forward to it for a while. Thanks to all my new backpacking gear bought earlier this year, packing the inflatable kayak was much easier, even though I decided to bring along a bigger tent this trip. This section of the Colorado is about 25 miles in length and is pretty mild, but it flows through some beautiful sandstone canyons. Once Jackson’s car was parked in the Westwater parking lot we took my Jeep back to the Loma boat ramp and got our inflatable kayaks ready for the trip. As I suspected, we had the launch site to ourselves on a Friday evening at about 5:30pm.
Our boats loaded and ready for our weekend adventure.
Jackson walks along the shore of the Colorado River with storm clouds building over the Book Cliffs in the background.
We were a little hurried this evening since our campsite was 3 miles down the river at the mouth of Rattlesnake Canyon and we weren’t exactly sure how long it would take us to get there with the lower water levels. We were on the river by 6:00pm and had two hours of daylight to make it to our camp. To make us feel even more rushed, once we were on the water some storm clouds came over the cliffs in front of us and made us a little worried that we were going to get caught in the middle of a storm. Luckily the storm missed up and it only took us an hour to paddle those first three miles to Rattlesnake Canyon.
Jackson paddles down the river as storm clouds build in front of us and behind us.
The campsite at Rattlesnake Canyon was small but nice, except for the swarms of mosquitos that were there. We quickly got camp setup and still had time to photograph the sunset.
I like the way the setting sun just lit up two small sections of the cliffs in the distance.
Looking back up Horsethief Canyon from near our campsite as the setting sunlight strikes the storm clouds.
We even had a little bit of a light show before the sun completely disappeared for the night.
Once the sun was down we got into our tents and went to bed early. Not only were we pretty tired, but the mosquitos and other bugs were pretty annoying.
The following morning I was up early to watch the sun rise over the river.
Our campsite at the mouth of Rattlesnake Canyon as the first light of the day strikes the sandstone canyon in the background.
The sun peeks up over the horizon and river.