Saturday, October 18, 2014

Day Twelve - Green River

As day broke, the sun started peaking over the east rim, slowly but surely lighting the cliffs on the western side of the Colorado river. At first I thought I was the first person to get up but then I realized John had the end of his tent open and was lying there watching nature's light show.

At Mineral Bottom we'd met a kayaker from San Diego who brought a plastic kayak on the trip because "the Green River is too rough on wooden boats." Sure didn't seem that way to us! I think this is the 6th trip for the canoe.

While I was taking pictures, I realized John was as well. It was great having both John and Alan on this trip with their eye for good photos.

We all enjoyed both brothers. It's not very often that they get a chance to spend significant time together, so this trip was special to both of them. Two wonderful guys with very different experiences and great love for one another.

Tex's jet boat had waved as they went south. They always start with the group furthest down river, so in this case they picked up the group that passed us late yesterday afternoon first. Also on board was our daughter and son-in-law who didn't have enough vacation time to do the whole trip so they made a long weekend of it in Moab and rode the jet boat both directions.

The loading process moved quickly. All our bags of gear loaded first and then they started with the boats, saving the two short boats for last.

Tex's always runs their big boat with a crew of two which makes loading go much faster than when a boat has just one crew member. This year Andy and Kenny were on the boat. With one more stop to go, they temporarily loaded Kathy's boat just ahead of the cockpit.

Because we were on the Colorado below the confluence with the Green, PFDs were required by law. Our gear was on board and we boarded with clean feet by 11:30 a.m., heading up the Colorado for the last pickup of the day.

The last group of the day was five people with two canoes and a sea kayak on a low sandbar. Once the canoes were loaded on the rack, Kathy's kayak was moved on top of them.

All along the Colorado were beautiful, constantly changing vistas. For us, the jet boat ride up the Colorado River side of Canyonlands National Park is a logical culmination of our trip down the Green River side of the park.

Paddlers and rowers tend to watch out for one another. Kenny asked for donations of any left over coffee to help out a raft trip headed for the whitewater of Cataract Canyon below Spanish Bottom.
It must have been a tough morning for the rafters who discovered that no one had packed the coffee. I'm not sure if they'll appreciate the decaf or not...

At the Potash boat ramp, the 21 clients disembarked, Andy backed the trailer into the water, and Kenny blasted the boat onto the trailer.

We all boarded our yellow limo for the remaining 20 mile drive back to Tex's office, arriving there about 3 p.m.

Many hands make light work. With all of the Tex crew working at unloading gear and boats from the jet boat, and all the clients carrying gear away, it didn't take long to get our boats and gear loaded onto our personal vehicles.

The 48 miles from the confluence to the Potash boat ramp goes much faster that our paddling progress. Even with the stop to pick up an additional party, and a stop at Lathrop Canyon to use the restroom, we were back to hard surfaced roads in less than three hours.

We spotted four separate raft groups as we traveled up the Colorado. It appeared that they were all headed for Cataract Canyon and Lake Powell.

Once again, a wonderful trip. The same, and yet so different from previous years.