Sep 4 2012

Ruby – Horsethief Canyons

Friday – Sunday, August 24-26, 2012

The Original Trip Report on ADVENTR.CO

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.

Loaded & Ready by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Jackson walks along the shore of the Colorado River with storm clouds building over the Book Cliffs in the background.

Clouds Building by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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.

Outrunning the Storm by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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.

Highlights by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Looking back up Horsethief Canyon from near our campsite as the setting sunlight strikes the storm clouds.

Horsethief Canyon Sunset by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We even had a little bit of a light show before the sun completely disappeared for the night.

Rattlesnake Sunset by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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.

Rattlesnake Camp by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The sun peeks up over the horizon and river.

Sunrise by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
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Aug 15 2012

Gray Canyon and the Island in the Sky

Saturday & Sunday, August 4-5, 2012

The Original Trip Report on ADVENTR.CO

On Saturday I met up with Jackson and his family so that we could float a section of the Green River known as the Green River Daily. This section is a few miles long and located within Gray Canyon a few miles north of the town of Green River. There aren’t really any big rapids on this stretch of the river, especially at this year’s very low water flows, so we were just expecting a nice relaxing float with a lot of swimming to stay cool. I also hoped to find some new petroglyphs along the way.

After dropping off my Jeep at the Swaseys Rapid takeout, we continued in Jackson’s Prius to the put-in at Nefertiti. The last time I was on this road it had been freshly bladed and I don’t recall it being too rough, but unfortunately this time around it was a bit rocky and almost too much for the Prius. The most difficult part was through a few stretches of sand that he had to power through. Luckily, he somehow managed to get that little car to the end of the road without getting stuck or scraping up the bottom too badly. If he hadn’t, we would have been walking back to the Jeep and not getting on the river.

After reaching the put-in at Nefertiti, we got our boats setup under the shade of a large cottonwood tree.

Getting Ready by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Ready to get on the river for the day.

Ready to Launch by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Just around the first bend we paddled under the large Nefertiti Rock.

Below Nefertiti by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

As we neared the Price River, we found a place to stop so that I could search for some nearby petroglyphs.

Rock Art Stop by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The petroglyphs were easy to find and impressive.

Petroglyph Boulder by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Besides the main boulder pictured above that was covered in petroglyphs, there were also a few other glyphs scattered among other nearby boulders.

Headdress by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After photographing the petroglyphs and then having some lunch, we were soon back on the river.

On the Green by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

For much of the rest of the trip, we spent quite a bit of time floating in the river next to our boats instead of in them…at least when it was deep enough. It was a great way to stay cool even though the temperature was a least in the upper 90’s. It was also a good time to practice getting back into my boat when I couldn’t touch the bottom of the river with my feet…which is surprisingly more difficult than it looks!

I took this photo over my inflatable kayak as I floated behind it…and I even managed not to drop my camera in the river.

IK by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
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Jul 4 2012

Independence Day in Glenwood Canyon

Grizzly Creek to South Canyon
Independence Day | Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Original Trip Report on ADVENTR.CO

This past weekend when Jackson and I were hiking up Uncompahgre Peak he suggested that we take our boats to Glenwood Canyon for the 4th of July, and I thought that sounded like an excellent idea…so we did. We decided to put in at Grizzly Creek and take out at South Canyon for this day trip. I’ve been on this stretch of the Colorado River before, but never in my own boat, so I was looking forward to trying it out. Even with the low water levels this year, the river was still moving at a good pace through this section and there were still some Class II+ rapids and plenty of large boulders to avoid along the way. It was a lot of fun and definitely good practice for me.

Here’s a few snapshots from the day. Since I don’t have a waterproof camera all of the photos were taken while we were on calmer water, so I don’t have any action photos in the Class II+ rapids we went through.

We were surprised and happy to find that almost no one was at Grizzly Creek when we arrived. We had no problems finding parking and getting our boats inflated and setup.

Prep by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

On Monday I picked up a small cooler for my boat that I thought I’d show off 🙂 I was pleasantly surprised to find that it fit perfectly between the inflated tubes and easily attached to the d-rings below. It couldn’t have worked out better!

Cooler by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Ready to get on the river.

Putting In by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A few small riffles shortly after putting in.

Small Waves by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Nice scenery and I-70 in Glenwood Canyon.

Glenwood Canyon by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

As we approached No Name, we crossed under the zip-line that goes across the river. I caught this person as they flew across the river above us.

Zip Line by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Another view down the canyon.

Flat Water by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Reflection in the water of Jackson and his family.

Reflection by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I don’t recall what they were looking at here, but my guess would be that it was probably a bird.

Looking by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
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Jun 3 2012

Bridgeport to Whitewater

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Original Trip Report on ADVENTR.CO

Over the winter I bought my own inflatable kayak so that I wouldn’t have to rent or borrow one anymore, and I’ve been looking forward to getting it on the river for the first time this year. Originally, Jackson and I wanted to go on a day trip through Ruby-Horsethief Canyon on the Colorado River, but because of the low river this year, we knew that it would not work very well as a day trip. Instead we decided to check out a new section of the Gunnison River that is very close to home.

We dropped off my Jeep at at boat ramp in Whitewater and then took Jackson’s car up to Bridgeport where we would get on the river. We knew this section of the river was going to be pretty flat, but it was much slower than we thought it would be. We ended up having to paddle much of the way to keep moving at a reasonable pace. Luckily, it wasn’t that windy today or it could have been much slower!

My new Tributary Tomcat Tandem ready for it’s maiden voyage down the Gunnison.

Ready to Launch by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Jackson and the rest of his family on the river.

Jackson & Family by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Nice view down the river.

Paddle by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Sandstone & Water by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Early in the trip we made a stop to hike up a side canyon to find a petroglyph panel. This was part of the reason I chose this stretch of river 😉

Stopped for a Hike by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

It’s definitely one of the better petroglyph panels found in the area.

Full Bear Paw Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Besides a few bear paw prints, there also appears to be a bear in this panel.

Bear Paw Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Paw & People by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After finding the petroglyphs and taking a few photos, we were back on the river headed towards Whitewater.

Around the Bend by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

View from my boat. From this point on, I didn’t end up taking many photos since I was busy paddling.

Ahead by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Almost to the Whitewater boat ramp…you can see the Book Cliffs and Mount Garfield in the distance.

Nearing the End by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Jackson getting his boat out of the river.

Out for a Walk by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We ended up spending more time on the river than we had planned on, but we still had a nice time.

>> Bridgeport to Whitewater Photo Gallery

Jan 28 2012

Waiting for Warmer Weather


Part of my birthday present to myself this year arrived yesterday. I was originally going to wait a few more months to buy an inflatable kayak, but I came across a great deal on the boat I wanted that I couldn’t pass up.

Now I just need to wait for the temperatures and water levels to rise so I can get out on the rivers! It should be another great year of exploring!