Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Better Late Than Never

I've been very lazy about doing any blogging, but I realized that I use my blogs to keep track of our travels. We did our nearly annual Green River trip again this year, with a bit of an interesting twist. We headed north on September 21st this year. As typical, we left home well before the sun came up, with about 550 miles to go before we could rest.

This year we decided to do the Labyrinth Canyon section from Ruby Ranch to Mineral Bottom. Instead of getting hotel rooms in Moab and using our typical shuttle service, we headed all the way to Ruby Ranch and camped at the put-in. 

The next morning after breakfast we broke camp and loaded the canoes. We were on the water about the time we would normally have left Tex's Riverways Office. But what about the truck?? This year we used Coyote Shuttle to move our truck from Ruby Ranch to Mineral Bottom. It worked out really well, and the truck was waiting in the parking lot when we got to Mineral Bottom.

We had a plan, but it went up in smoke when we arrived at Trin Alcove. More often than not, Trin Alcove has a big berm of high, dry sand across the mouth of the wash. The plan was to spend two nights here. This year, there'd been a massive flash flood and there wasn't any sign of sand! The mud was very slippery and very deep if you weren't careful. Clearly, we weren't going to stay here!

We continued downstream, watching for an accessible sandbar and enjoying the wonderful weather.

We found a nice spot on river left across from June's Bottom at about river mile 88.5. The sandbar had a 12 inch lip and a good solid sandy bottom along the edge. Easy unloading. By noon we had shade structures up and the lunch bags out. This picture, taken about 5:30, shows the afternoon shade starting to cover our home. 

When the cliff was in full sun earlier in the afternoon, we spotted this inscription from camp so I had to check it out. Over 20 years of Green River trips and I'd never noticed it before. I've not been able to find any info about it. As usual, you can click on the picture for a larger version.

While we'd planned 2 nights at Trin, we decided one night at the sandbar was enough since there wasn't any shade nor anything to explore other than the inscription. The next morning we were on the river again. The thought was that we would stay about river mile 84 if it was available. 

There were three guys camped at the high camp at RM84, so we stopped long enough to find a geocache that's been there since 2003 and then continued downriver. From looking at the paper log versus the on-line log, it looks like a number of people are mistaking the BLM ammo can with info about graffiti for the geocache. 

We ended up at a wonderful, shady camp at RM81. We'd stayed here on our 2018 trip and really liked it. The cliffs on the back side of the bottom are full of very intricate tafoni.

Perhaps the reason the camp was available (other than the "before lunch" arrival) was that cattle had been accessing the river at this point, leaving very slippery "mud" that reminded me of my childhood, feeding heifers. It was worth the effort for a great two night stay.