Green River Utah, Sept27-Oct7 2011.

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Well this is a teaser . I am getting started on photos but I took nearly five hundred during this 120 mile paddle. It was a tandem paddle with a shuttle to Crystal Geyser by Tex's Riverways in a SUV and a pickup by the same outfit just above Cataract Canyon. Pickup is by jet boat (jet powered oversized jonboat) and you zip back the 60 miles to Moab up the Colorado Rive in just over two hours. Now I hope there is an edit feature as I cannot do all the picture inserting at the same time.

Sample scenery

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W

Willis

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Re: Green River Utah, Sept27-Oct7 2011.

Fantastic pictures. Thanks for signing up.
 
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Willis

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Re: Green River Utah, Sept27-Oct7 2011.

When will you finish the TR? The tease is killing me!
 
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Re: Green River Utah, Sept27-Oct7 2011.

Finish? I haven't even STARTED!
As you all know pandemonium reigns at the start of the trip. Our shuttle group of six also involved some kayakers... who were just discovering the joys of packing a yak. Aren't they having FUN?

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And we cool canoeists were done in five minutes.( there is a better shot later of the most pertinent packing ingredient)

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The first miles on the river are rather open with low rounded hills. That will change very soon. At our water levels that are high for fall but low for spring there are a few rapids..class 1 + with some standing waves that require mild attention. The temperature at the end of September is in the high 80's. Theoretically it would take some 30 hours to float without paddling the Green from Crystal Geyser ( we never saw any geyser) to the Confluence of the Green and Colorado. For shoots and giggles I pulled out the GPS ever so often and found we were actually traveling 6-7 mph when paddling.

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Re: Green River Utah, Sept27-Oct7 2011.

A little about equipment. We used a Souris River Wilderness 18 canoe. It is not particularly speedy but its maneuverable when loaded. And we had a load. The Green is silty and we decided to compromise on drinking water management. We found the river water had alot of disagreeable taste (though not injurious to health) even when run through a MSR MiniWorks. We estimated total usage to be about 20 gal over 10 days and chose to bring 10 gal of Walmart bottled water. The remainder needed was scooped up and allowed to settle for a couple of hours then filtered. We used that filtered water for cooking, though it probably was not necessary to filter as we did boil water.

Our other traveling companion was a rented groover. A portable toilet. Out west its required in some locations. You crap in it and pee in the river.

The problem if any re the toilet is the site. You cannot run and you cannot hide if people float by. Any embarrassment is mitigated by the knowledge that others have the same predicament. Impenetrable brush lines most beach campsites.

Remember the song "Nowhere to Run Nowhere to Hide?"

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Kayakers have the problem of transporting the container on the back deck as it does not fit in any hatch.

Our canoe is literally a floating sbox. The box is in among the water jugs. The canoe looks like a hillbilly canoe but believe me bandanas are a must have. They allow you to stay cool draped around your neck and after camp is made, wetted and draped chill over a wine bottle or bag.

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Note the mud. You learn which mud will hold your body weight upon exiting the boat and which will not.
 
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Re: Green River Utah, Sept27-Oct7 2011.

Discouraged..don't be. We start downriver for 120 miles amongst ever increasing dramatic scenery.

The first night is across from Dellenbaughs Butte. A huge well shaded beach campsite. The temps were about 100F. We were comfortable in the shade.

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Soon it was apparent to us that we were going to assign shapes to the rocks..find Snoopy! The slopes always seemed different as the light lowered. Mile 102. We did about 15 miles in three hours. The Green moves!

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Willis

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Re: Green River Utah, Sept27-Oct7 2011.

Is that tent a Marmot Limelite 3? I have the 2 and really like it.

The first time my wife and I packed a canoe to camp on Lower Saranac, a person came by and politely suggested we take it in two trips. That was back in the days of heavy canvass tents and two burner Coleman stoves. Before we learned to pack small and light. It was a good thing that she happened by. There were heavy rollers as we entered the lake. The previous load would probably have flipped. We live and learn.
 
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Re: Green River Utah, Sept27-Oct7 2011.

Keep 'em coming, Kim, enjoying the trip thus far. 8) Sorry, you have more imagination than I, Snoopy didn't reveal himself! ???
 
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Re: Green River Utah, Sept27-Oct7 2011.

Pardon me folks. I intend to continue developing the story. However I have been out of town for six days visiting family!

Oh yes we went paddling with another solo tripper I met on the solo forum. Only this time it was a foursome(two couples)! We spent part of Black Friday paddling on a small Connecticut lake and eschewed the malls.
 
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Willis

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Re: Green River Utah, Sept27-Oct7 2011.

Smart move Kim. I stay as far away from Black Friday as possible.
 
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Re: Green River Utah, Sept27-Oct7 2011.

There are many side canyons to explore but I was nervous about camping at the mouths of them. Besides the bugs were still comparatively bad. There had been a week of rain before we go to the Green. Imagine..Rain in the desert. For a week. I was nervous should we have a flood from a sudden rain. Our shuttle, Tex's Riverways had assured us that sandbar camping was safe as the Green usually rose slowly and if our tents were a couple of feet above water all would be well.

We took drinking water. It is possible to gather river water, let the silt settle a couple of hours then use a standard water filter. However we still did not like the taste much and were glad that we had gone to Walmart and bought four 2.5 gallon bottles of water for drinking. We also took wine and thanks to cotton bandanas that we wetted we were able to chill it before dinner. Cotton does not always kill! A bandana was most useful though my husband did not much care for the Confederate pattern..(what did he want for a dollar??) So we filtered half and did the lazy thing for the other half.

Yep Willis that is a Limelight 3. I actually had brought a Sierra DesignsCD Meteor 2 but while I was waiting for my husbands plane to arrive in Salt Lake City, I somehow had managed to find an REI ( somehow I have a magnetic attraction to them and not Nordstrom) and had bought the larger 3 person tent. We have been wanting a little more room for a while. It was NOT the best tent for the conditions we met. It has way too much mesh.

There are two constants in the West. Fine silt and wind. Everything had grit. Breathing was gritty. I might have been better off bringing our non mesh Trango 3 but that is one hot tent. I will say that for 24 hours we had 25-50 mph winds and the tent stayed put. We did have two deadman logs on it but we did not have the tent pushing in on us as others on our beach did.


Going downriver. Still north of Canyonlands National Park.

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I feel really small. History looms over me.

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Here is our camp slum. Note the groover. Seat with a view. So far we have not seen many folks and don't worry about exposure.

The five by five orange packcloth square is so handy to avoid sand in the meal and keep gear sand free. The barrel well sometimes it functioned as a seat. Otherwise I noticed very few animal tracks and only saw ravens and great blue herons. By the bunch. The canoe ( A Souris River Wilderness 18) did get deadheaded each night. The red thing in the sand is a gasoline filter which we used to get particles out of the river water. Why it is in the sand...doh.

Good night.

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Willis

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Re: Green River Utah, Sept27-Oct7 2011.

Great report so far. Please keep them coming as you find time.
 
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Re: Green River Utah, Sept27-Oct7 2011.

The 120 mile trip is half on BLM land and half in Canyonlands National Park. Aside from paddling or floating there is also hiking to be done. I never saw a snake.. We float down about halfway through the trip as the canyons start to close in

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and decide to hike up a side canyon to stretch our legs. At spring levels this would be full of water.

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Now we are in the park and pass Mineral Bottom at mile 52. There is unpaved rough road access here..and we are just beating some raft parties. Its common for motorized raft groups to launch here for the 100 mile or so trip downriver through Catatact Canyon. We never had any conflict with them on camping spots. They move pretty quickly through the quietwater reaches.

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We camp at Fort Bottom for its extensive hiking opportunities

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Willis

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Re: Green River Utah, Sept27-Oct7 2011.

Fantastic pictures. Did you see any wildlife?
 
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Re: Green River Utah, Sept27-Oct7 2011.

Great Blue Herons and ravens by the ton. Raccoon tracks. Nothing big. That herons populated the river indicated there are fish in there though to me it looked uninviting. That there are ravens indicate that there is dead stuff.

Jim Mingle (Waleswalker) knows of other birds. Here is an NPS blurb about what to look for.
http://www.nps.gov/cany/naturescience/birds.htm

Ravens were a real pest and bold. They would steal your food in a heartbeat if you let down your guard.

By the way here is a map of the Canyonlands section of our trip. It includes some trails that we did explore by foot.

http://www.nps.gov/pwr/customcf/app...acode=cany&parkname=Canyonlands National Park
 
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Re: Green River Utah, Sept27-Oct7 2011.

A little about logistics. We used Tex's Riverways out of Moab for insertion and extraction. They drove us in a clean van to the put in at Crystal Geyser. It was about a fifty mile ride. All but the last few on interstate or paved roads. They picked us up via jetboat at Spanish Bottom. Then it was a fast two and a half hour ride up the Colorado for seventy miles to Potash where we transferred to a school bus ( expected..at this point we are pretty uncivilized looking) for the 30 minute ride back to Moab. The boats stayed on the jet boat and the jetboat loaded onto a trailer. All unloading was done at the base where staff had laid out our cars conveniently. It took us less than fifteen minutes to get our gear and boat off and loaded onto our personal truck. They have the routine down to a science. The groover was rented and magically we never had to lay hands on it again at all. Well worth the forty dollar rental. Tex's is a shuttle service only and not guides. It caters to the self sufficient paddler. What really impressed us was the staff's boatmanship. Whenever approaching either a boat or a campsite that was occupied, the captain slowed the jet boat to less than wake speed to avoid a big wash. There is another shuttle operator in the area and those boats were simply not as courteous. Tex's charges by the person plus boat. We paid $330 for our one boat and two people for the entire 100 plus mile shuttles. A soloist would have a reasonable shuttle expense.

I expect to go back as this trip is so friendly to old people canoeing and since you have your toilet with you, that is always at hand.

We are moving toward the Confluence of the Green and Colorado where the canyon walls come in close..making you feel very insignificant


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I marvel at arch formation. Here is an arch to be

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Pinnacle by itself

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Whoa lets stop and camp!

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Re: Green River Utah, Sept27-Oct7 2011.

Toward the Confluence the canyon walls shut you in.

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EEK its time to camp and will we find a sandbar?

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Well yah.. These people are getting picked up. There is a mondo huge beach at the Confluence of the Green and Colorado

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We run a classII and camp at the elbow at Spanish Bottom. The site of wind havoc to come.

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Looking back toward the Doll House. Its about a mile and 1200 feet up. As much as I would like to do it, the trail scares the bejesus out of me.

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We watch a misc party float by.. eek.. they camp down just above Cataract Canyon. They do try to help the fellow campers on our sandbar.. later

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Sunset... toward the Doll House.

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We stayed at Spanish two nights. The intervening day was a hike day and we chose to hike up Lower Red Lake Canyon. We hiked about eight miles. We found some very lush flowers. I don't know what it is.

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And brush

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And got a real good view of the Doll House without the scary scramble. Our vertical was the same but at a gentler gradient.

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There were six other people who eventually camped where we did. We all hiked on the day before the jet boat picked us up. The winds were howling. They got to the top of the Dollhouse and found one of their tents had vanished. Turns out tent, sleeping bag, and pad and clothes went down Cataract Canyon and all that remained was the stakes. Memo..deadhead your tent. Deadhead your canoe. The raft party in the picture tried to reach the tent as they were camped below us but could not get to the tent.

Of course that night the temp plummeted to 20 degrees. The hapless tent owner bunked with someone else and sang the praises to the last night out. Crap happens.

The next day the jet boat picked us up. My pix are awful of that 60 mile journey back up the Colorado to the Potash landing outside of Moab. It rained, sleeted, hailed and snowed the whole way. Marble size hail hurts and we spent most of the trip on the floor under the seats.

Our boats are on the racks above on the jet boat, emphasizing the need for no mud in the boats. At Potash we got off and our boats stayed on the jet boat which was loaded onto a truck and trailer combo for shipment back to the base in Moab.

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Desert camping has its own unique set of challenges. We baked and welcomed wet cotton. We also froze and welcomed hats and wool and wish we had brought mittens. That jetboat ride was the coldest I can ever recall being. It also rained most days for a short time. Wet silt is NOT FUN!

But the trip was a LOT OF FUN! And as a native desert rat I loved it.
 
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