Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Stillwater Canyon - Day Nine

October 1, 2015 - With the high cliffs on both sides of the river, it took a while for the sunshine to reach us.

Tex's 42' jet boat passed us headed downstream to pick up other parties and then returned to get us. (They always start with the party furthest downriver.)

In addition to our gear, a Mother-daughter team brought their gear and canoe over so the jet boat would only have to make one stop.

We usually work hard to avoid having any sand on our boats and gear, but with the wind yesterday afternoon, and the boat landing a ways from where the gear was stacked on our large tarp, all bets were off. Still, since everything was dry, it was easy to knock the sand off before loading.

Alan got a picture of all the rest of us. In addition to our group, there were three other boat groups and a pair of hikers headed back to Moab on the jet boat.

Andy gave his required safety talk before we departed.

This was the first return trip where we sat in the most forward seat. Usually, we're looking for a place with less wind exposure. This seat did give me an opportunity for a different camera angle.

Beautiful views looking forward

and aft!

We saw rafts groups as we normally do, headed down the Colorado to Cataract Canyon and Lake Powell. We also saw more canoe groups than normal, touring the flatwater section of the Colorado and then returning from the confluence at the end of their trip on a jet boat. As always, you can click on any picture for a larger version. The views, different yet similar to what we saw on the other side of Canyonlands National Park, were just as beautiful. As we got further north, a breeze kicked up enough texture on the surface to ruin the reflections.

Two hours (and 50 river miles) after we left the confluence, we arrived at the Potash Boat ramp

The passengers got off the boat, the boat was loaded onto the trailer, and all of the passengers headed to the yellow limousine for the remaining 20 miles back to Tex's office where we would unload our gear and boats, just like the group I photographed in our Day Zero blog post.

Back at the office, some boats were loaded on the appropriate cars while our two went in the rack, ready to be loaded out for BJ's departure for a second trip in a couple days.

Some people wasted no time in firing up their phones to see what had happened in the world while we were out of contact.

We did manage to get all of us together for one last "river" picture before they moved the boat from the front lot.  John & BJ, Kathy, Julene & Alan, and Suzanne. We launched with six and we all came back.

Suzanne got her rig reconnected and headed off to her spot. The rest of us headed to the motel where we managed to shower without clogging any drains with Green River sand.

One last dinner together and it was time to say goodbye until next time.

In my opinion, 9 days was too much for just the Stillwater section. It might have worked with cooler weather where we would have been interested in doing more hiking and where shade wouldn't have been such an important commodity. Without a doubt, this was the warmest Green River trip we've done, but also the only one without measurable rain and without any breezes while we were paddling.

Thanks to Alan and his RunKeeper app we have a complete picture of the trip from Moab (upper right) to Mineral Bottom (upper left) to the confluence (lower left-center) and back.

Always different, always fun!


  1. great trip and great synopsis.. thanks for letting me follow along...

  2. Glad you started and ended with the same number of people; -)
    Sounds like you had a good time in spite of the heat. Enjoyed all the photos you and Suzanne posted since that is something we will probably never do.

    1. We've always managed to bring the same number of people back to Moab in one piece. It's beautiful country, but the trip is not for everyone. We're crazy enough about it that we built the canoe to haul the groover.

  3. John,

    THANK YOU for taking the time to go through all of the photos and to compile a great synopsis. THANK YOU for being a great trip leader and letting us join you.

    Perhaps nine days was too long for that section of the river, but we loved our little side excursions (and playing in the river) and have absolutely NO complaints about the trip. None.

    (With the amazing weather we had, maybe we could have done Ruby Ranch to The Confluence? But then again, who woulda known?).

    Bottom line: The trip was GREAT! A "1-to-10" scale doesn't go high enough!


    Alan & Julene

    P.S. Just like we felt sad to see the 9 days on the river come to an end, it was kind of sad to see your "Trip in Review" come to an end. Great job! So fun!

    1. Thanks, Alan. We loved having you and Julene along! I sure wish there was a way to custom order the weather - the weather we had would have been really special for the 95 mile version!