Monday, September 24, 2018

Time to Hit the Road, Again

While we think late September is prime season for lazy Green River trips, the rest of the world has discovered that late September is prime season in Moab and the hotel rates reflect it! This year, we're taking our our pre & post trip housing with us.

In March, I contacted Tex's Riverways who supported our 13 previous Green River trips and they were already sold out for mid-September through mid-October, so this year we're trying a different company.

There have been some changes in outfitters providing shuttle service from the confluence. Tag-A-Long sold their boat/s and permits to Canyonlands by Night although they still show jet boats on their website. Meanwhile, you'd never guess that Canyonlands provided jet boat shuttle service from their website.

We'll know more about Moab Rafting and Canoe Company when we get off the river! Since they don't provide jet boat shuttles, we're limited to a Labyrinth canyon trip this year.

It used to be that with some minimal flexibility, it was possible to put a fall trip together with a few weeks lead time. That appears to no longer be the case! We have four going on the trip this year, but in order to add the forth, the other couple will be launching a day ahead of us. If all goes as plans, we'll meet them at the first camp.

Assuming BJ feels up to it, we'll take a bit of time after our river trip to visit Arches National Park. We did it once before but it was ten years ago.

The plan is to take a couple days to loop home through southwestern Colorado and Four Corners country. Unfortunately, we're not going to get to Durango on this trip.

When this post publishes, we should be approaching our takeout at river mile 52.

No telling when the next blog will post!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

What Goes, What Stays?

Years ago when I was leading trips with more people, I put together a fairly extensive list to assist with sorting and packing, especially helpful for first timers. The last few years, I've tended to ignore it and just start pulling stuff off the shelf. For whatever reason, this year I went back to the list before I finished packing. I'm glad I did - I almost forgot the spare roll of TP.

Some may call us lazy. We're going with the 'just boil water' menu this year, reducing our kitchen kit significantly as a result. Maybe I'll lose some weight, but I've seen what's packed in the lunch container, so losing weight isn't likely!

Our plan this year is even more relaxed than normal. We plan to split the trip into five paddling days which leaves us with four layover days. The forecast is showing temps in the mid 90's so I suspect we won't be doing as much hiking as I'd hoped. I'm not sure my choice of camp reading will be conducive with relaxation!

BJ has used one of her Ocean Kayak Scupper Pro kayaks (she has two) on eleven of the trips she's done. She know exactly what fits where. I feel the same way with my normal load in my solo canoe, but this is the first time we've done a week+ trip in the tandem.

We tried several different combinations and think we're in good shape. We know we won't be as overloaded as some people we've seen on the river over the years!

Friday, September 14, 2018

River Season

Multiple piles of important stuff are starting to gather around the house,

and some of it is already finding its way into dry bags.

We had several conversations about boat selection this year. For the past thirteen trips, BJ has always paddled her own boat. While she's feeling better, and doesn't want to pass up a river trip, she's decided to share a tandem with me this year, just in case.
The Souris River Quetico 16 tandem found its way off the rack and past a wet sponge and towel. It's been a while since this one has been on the water! The last time it was used was on a Friends of Helen trip in January 2016.

I even added a few extra light weight D rings to the canoe.

For years, Squeak traveled with us on river trips. In late July, 2015, I turned her loose to travel as a geocaching travel bug. Unfortunately, she disappeared a few months later. This year, she's been replaced by Cruiser who will ride the bow on our upcoming Labyrinth Canyon trip.

Time to get back to packing!