Green River Utah

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Ruby Ranch to the Colorado confluence, May 3 – 12, 2013

Slideshow:
http://s1285.photobucket.com/user/CooperMcCrea/slideshow/Green River Utah May 2013

More better photos from Cap’t K and The Sprite, including birdlife and side canyon hikes:

http://s1324.photobucket.com/user/JoelBeckwith/slideshow/10 Day Green River Trip

Trip report to follow eventually; it’s going to take a week to get the red desert dust off (and out of) my gear.

I need to start looking for a 2WD Tacoma. I’m going back this fall to roam the desert southwest for a more extended spell.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,386
Location
Raymond, ME
brought back memories!
Mud. Toilet. Kansas with its lack of rest areas. Kansas takes a whole freeking day!
I have no pix of our jetboat ride. We were huddling in the bottom in the sleet and snow! Never never been so cold in my life!
You'll be finding grit forever where you least expect it.
We went in Sept, not May

Have to go back in May. One of the best canoe trips we have ever taken! Was it for you too?

I have a specific question re the toilet. I see you have a seat and a paint bucket. I presume the Gamma Lid is what you used during transport. What did you use for deodorizer? And did Tex's handle the product on your return? I personally did not mind the rental charge as the entire unit disappeared at the end of our trip but would like to learn re possible cost savings.
 
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Have to go back in May. One of the best canoe trips we have ever taken! Was it for you too?

It was such a memorable trip that I want to go back and do it as a solo this fall. The sites we camped at in Slaughter Canyon/F Bottom, Twomile, Turks Head and Water/Shot Canyon would all be in my lifetime top ten.

All had great plateau or ledge campsite areas and hiking/canyoneering opportunities immediately adjacent, and most of the side canyons had freshwater pools to filter and augment our drinking water supply (which were not much needed since we caught about 10 gallons of rainwater off the parawing one evening half way through the trip). Each of them had ample room for 4 tents and a tarp/kitchen commons area.

We never camped on a sandbar, and so avoided the inherent difficulties of wind blowing gear or boats around, or sand and dust filtering through tent mesh. Plus the canyon walls on the ledge sites and cottonwoods on the plateau sites provided much needed shade.


I have a specific question re the toilet. I see you have a seat and a paint bucket. I presume the Gamma Lid is what you used during transport. What did you use for deodorizer? And did Tex's handle the product on your return? I personally did not mind the rental charge as the entire unit disappeared at the end of our trip but would like to learn re possible cost savings.

The toilet system is a DIY design for pack-it-out rivers and it worked perfectly.

When my sons were very young and still in the toilet training phase I didn’t want to disrupt the routine when family tripping by showing them a cat hole in the woods and saying “Just crouch over this and poop in the hole”. They were already accustomed to peeing in the woods around our home and I didn’t want to encourage them in taking that kind of thing a step further.

The toilet training solution was to cut the bottom off a 5 gallon bucket and rout out a bucket-lip shaped circle on the bottom of a toilet seat so that it snapped atop the bucket. Dig the hole, put the bottomless bucket atop, snap on the seat and presto, a toilet.

I still had the routed toilet seat. The DIY system for the Green (or any other pack-it-out river) consists of that seat, 3 buckets with screw-on gasket seal lids and enough Wag Bags for the trip duration.

The three buckets nestle as follows: Bucket #1 is a 2 ½” gallon screw top gasket sealed bucket used for initial used Wag Bag storage. That bucket fits inside bucket #2, a tall 5 gallon bucket that serves as the toilet seat base when lined with a Wag Bag. The tall 5 gallon bucket fits inside bucket #3, a squat 5 gallon bucket (with screw top gasket seal lid stored separately at first). The 5 squat gallon bucket was used for Wag Bag storage once the capacity of the 2 ½ gallon bucket was filled.

In practice this system worked perfectly. Line the tall 5 gallon bucket with a Wag Bag and snap on the toilet seat for a comfy morning repose. When done with the Wag Bag for the morning or evening just wrap it up, put it in the thick Zip-Lock each Wag Bag comes with and put the Zip locked bag of poo in a screw top gasket sealed container.

For the first half of the trip the entire system (except for the routed toilet seat and squat 5 gallon lid) nestled in a single bucket’s worth of space, with the used wag bags being placed in the 2 ½ gallon container. Once that 2 ½ gallon container was filled to capacity we transferred the used Wag Bags into the 5 gallon bucket and continued to use that bucket for used Wag Bag storage, so that we had only one container of poo.

At the end of the trip both the 5 and 2 ½ gallon Wag Bag buckets were filled but, having by then depleted consumables I had ample room to store two 5 gallon buckets in the stern of my boat – a squat 5 gallon bucket of used Wag Bags and the 2 ½” gallon bucket similarly filled, nestled inside the tall 5 gallon toilet seat bucket.

For Wag Bag capacity calculations this was a 10 day trip with 5 people, so approximately 50 poos over the course of a 100 mile trip. Dang, only 2 miles per poo on a group trip. YMMV.

The Wag Bags have “poo powder” inside them, so any residual odor once the sealed Wag Bags were placed inside the gasket sealed buckets was unnoticeable. We did dump ashes from the fire pan in some of the Wag Bags (have to pack the ashes out anyway). A little bleach powder might be handy, but wasn’t necessary.

Tex instructed us to simply deposit the used Wag Bags in their dumpster at the end of the trip and we rinsed out the used buckets and re-nestled them for the trip home.

That system of nestled screw-top gasket sealed buckets and Wag Bags was far lighter, took up less space and was more convenient to store, unload, use and re-load than a rental toilet. Just pick the whole shebang up with one hand via the bail handle and carry it to some scenic river overlook.

http://www.rei.com/product/662978/cleanwaste-wag-bag-waste-bags-package-of-12

We used one or sometimes two Wag Bags a day for the group. There are less expensive versions of those Wag Bags, but I had those available.

That I hope is the lengthiest scatological post I will ever type.
 
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Trip Report, Green River Utah, May 2013

Trip Report, Green River Utah, May 2013

(Very long)

We left Maryland on the morning of April 29[SUP]th[/SUP] and headed west for 2000 mile on I-70. The Swamper had thoughtfully brought a large vehicle GPS unit, in case we somehow got lost in Breezewood PA or going around the Indianapolis beltway.

The big Ford E-150 van had three boats racked – two soloized OT Penobscots and one Wenonah Sundowner – gear for four people stored inside and, with some finagling, room to sleep on a foam mattress in the back.

Non-stop shift driving saw us in western Kansas 24 hours later for a layover day. The sidewinds across Kansas were fierce. With a tall roof line, 3 boats racked and a prairie Beaufort Scale of Oh Crap, where it was necessary to hold the steering wheel 15 degree to starboard to go straight (and remember to counter steer when going through an underpass).

The canoes were racked on four crossbars spaced along the van’s 11 foot roofline, each boat with at least two belly lines, bow & stern lines and solidly captured between ash gunwale chalks fore and aft. Still the best speed we could manage is 60mph along the posted 75. Even at that cautionary speed a gust of wind destroyed one of the gunwale chalks and the Sundowner began to dance wildly before we pulled over to apply some additional ropeage.

The Swamper had researched places to camp east of Denver and came up with a beautiful site – Lake Scott State Park

http://www.kdwpt.state.ks.us/news/State-Parks/Locations/Scott

Bluffs, canyons, springs and lots of history, including the easternmost Pueblo in the US. Our visit to an otherwise empty park featured a bizarre encounter with 6 local teenagers, including one riding in the trunk of their tiny kid car, out of the trunk and back in, now toting an assault rifle that we watched him fetch from a hiding place back in Timber Canyon.

I will be bringing the 12 gauge next trip.

After a restless night’s sleep, during which the teenagers returned at midnight only to find the ballsy but unarmed Swamper out of bed and scowling at them as they drove past eyeballing him, we packed up and headed to Denver.

Maybe. A spring snowstorm overnight had dumped 12” wet heavy snow on Denver and more on the mountain passes. Portions of I-70 were still closed beyond Denver.

Fortunately the Swamper had arranged overnight accommodations with friends Rocky and Cathy in the foothills. Walking into our host’s home the first thing I noticed was a framed photo on the wall. A photo of Titcomb Basin in the Wind River Ranger, one of my favorite places on earth.

I don’t much like staying in other people’s houses, but I was mighty comfy there.

The next morning Willy and the Sprite picked up Cap’t K at the Denver airport, using Rocky’s 4WD Daihatsu

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daihatsu_Rocky

Yes, Rocky has a Rocky.

With Cap’t K aboard we headed over the still slick passes into Utah, down into the desert and onto scenic route 128 alongside the Colorado into Moab.

Holy crikies, once sleepy Moab is now quite the hopping town. I was in Moab on cross country trips in 1976 and ’78, and several times in the 80’s. But not since a family trip in the mid-90’s.

Outdoor recreation has consumed Moab. Biking and Mt biking have exploded. So has off-roading in everything from Jeeps and buggies to quads and other contraptions. When I saw the billboard for a zipline I tasted a little vomit.

Next morning we were at Texs Riverways unloading boats and gear for the long shuttle ride into Ruby Ranch.

http://www.texsriverways.com/

We were accompanied on the shuttle by Lucjusz and Ursula, expat Poles living in Seattle that rent a canoe from Texas and do this trip routinely. We would pass and be passed by them over the course of the next 10 days.

Our shuttle driver Kenny did a commendable job of piloting the trailer and keeping up a practiced stream of informational patter, although his peculiar instructions for unloading the canoes – “Stand like me and lift the boat off with your right hand like this….no, like me…no, no, your other right hand…no, like me…” made me wonder how I had managed to unload canoes for the past 40 years.

I gave up following Kenny’s instruction and motioned for The Swamper to take over; he is better at following brusque instruction and has been unloading canoe trailers for 30 years.

A quick packing job and I was afloat. Afloat and alone. Briefly, as I waited in an eddy just below the confluence with the San Rafael. The Swamper was carrying much of the required, common or necessary gear in his boat – extra PFD, fire pan, toilet system and wag bags, tarp, poles and stakes, fire-in-a-can, extra chairs, 2 cases of beer, 20L of water - and I wanted to be close by in case I got thirsty.

Cap’t K, The Sprite, and Willy soon appeared and we began the journey. A party setting a self-shuttle with rental Grummans had been prepping at Ruby Ranch (mile 97) while we left, and hearing that they hoped to camp for the night at Three Canyon/Trin-Alcove (mile 90) we mucked up to let them (eventually) pass and continued downstream to Slaughter Canyon/F Bottom (mile 85.5).

The Swamper had paddled Labyrinth and Stillwater canyons several times before, and knew the best of the ledge and plateau sites for accessibility, tent space, shade and side canyon hikes.

Slaughter Canyon was worthy of a 2 night stay. An A+ site, with an easy sandy landing and a short, steep, sandy climb up to a cottonwoody plateau with room for 4+ tents and a common/kitchen area. For our dining pleasure The Swamper had brought not one, not two, but three folding side tables.

Slaughter Canyon was a harbinger of all sites to come, and they just got better and better. The Swamper knew where he was aiming each day downriver, and four of the side-canyon sites selected would be in my lifetime top ten.

The Swamper provided the day’s GPS tally:
Ruby Ranch to Slaughter Canyon/F Bottom
10.6 river miles paddled.
2:59 hours paddling time
3.6 MPH average paddling speed
1:24 hours stop time

Cottonwood trees seemed to be a good indicator of open tent space on plateau sites, much like stands of Pine are a dry ground beacon when camping on swamp rivers. Such sites are routinely used and typically have a path through the Tamarisk

http://www.discovermoab.com/tamarisk.htm

Or, thanks to the Tamarisk Leaf Beetle, a border of dead stabby tammys

http://www.tamariskcoalition.org/BeetleMonitoring.html

How to get rid of dead Tamarisk trees is another question, a task akin to building the pyramids, but perhaps someday the willows will return in natural abundance. The beaver and paddlers will equally rejoice.

The Swamper produced a spooky flamed fire-in-a can for night one, and a regular tammy twig fire-in-a-pan on night two as we burned accumulated paper waste. The ashes went into used wag bags before sealing and storing.

Slaughter Canyon was awesome in every meaning of the word; in a 360 degree slow pirouette view there were displays of something spectacular in every field of view.

Late at night, under one fire or another, The Swamper would pull out his Martin Backpacker or Little Plucky banjo and quietly fingerpick. The Swamper is the rare picker who can make a banjo sound soothing.

Two days of canyon hiking, relaxing and shaking the skeen of syphilization and we were once again afloat. The sun was blazing, so the warming desert winds were blowing upriver. We were headed for Twomile Canyon at mile 61, just below Bowknot Bend.

A 25 mile day into the wind would seem ambitious, but the current was moving along at 3 or 4 MPH. Piece of cake for us, but we passed a beached group paddling two rafts and four paddleboards whose day was likely more trying.

The wind in canyon is almost always oppositional. As the sun rises and heats the surrounding desert floor above the warming air fills the canyon and rushes upriver. We made a practice of breaking camp early(ish) and being on the water by 8:00 or 9:00.

The Swamper provided the following beta for the day:
Slaughter Canyon to Twomile Canyon
25.3 river miles paddled
6 hours paddling time
3.7 mph with a few muckles thrown in

Twomile again offered a good sandbar landing and multiple tent spaces atop a rocky plateau with shade from both the western cliff face and cottonwoods overhead.

We were the next day to meet up with Rocky, courtesy of a Texs shuttle to Mineral Bottom (mile 52), where he will join us for the 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] half of the trip. Rocky would be toting several gallons of replenishment water and two dry bags of cold beer and extra foodstuff goodies for the Swamper.

The plan was to meet Texs, as instructed, at Mineral Bottom between 10:30 and 11:30. They too would be bringing us water and had offered (think generous tip) to carry out our accumulated trash and wag bags.

We arrived at Mineral Bottom at 10:15 to find Texs already come and gone. No matter, Rocky had extra water to fill our depleted dromedaries, and goodie bags for The Swamper.

We loaded Rocky’s 10 foot kayak with his necessities. Fortunately he was toting gear in backpacker mode, and everything fit inside a Liquid Logic Remix XP10

http://www.liquidlogickayaks.com/remix_xp10.cfm

His wee craft took me back to the 80’s and doing long trips in an Old Town Pack, purchased from The Sprite back in the days when he loved retail. More power too ya Rocky, but The Swamper muttered a prediction that you will soon be soloing a rental tandem barge down the Green in support of Cathy’s Remix XP9.

Below Mineral Bottom the wind commenced to howl, and a small riffle offered standing waves and whitecaps as the wind blew hard upstream against the current. Rocky’s 10’ kayak was the boat choice of the day.

We made camp for the night at one of my favorite sites, Horsethief Canyon. The Swamper provided the following beta for the day:

Twomile Canyon to Horsethief Canyon
16.4 river miles paddled
3:58 hours paddling time
4.1 MPH paddling speed
53 minutes stop time.

Horsethief Canyon (mile 46) had it all. A relatively easy landing, short gear carry, astounding views in every direction, great canyon hiking and multiple level tent spots and shaded nooks and overhangs.

Nooks and overhangs that have been used for thousands of years, as evidenced by the petroglyphs on rocky overhangs in camp and the field of knapped chert on the cliffs above. Horsethief needs at least a 2-day stay.

Our party hiked off into the canyon early on the second day, leaving The Swamper to hold down camp. The Swamper later told tales of encountering Girl 1 and Girl 2, and soundly defeating them with his all-terrain bocce set. In The Swamper’s telling various favors were bestowed in honor of his bocce prowess, but veracity of The Swamper’s tales are typically calculated by the number of Guinness cans he has emptied.

Fortunately we had erected the parawing (mostly for shade) the day before, because as the canyoneers scrambled ever upwards a spring storm blew over with thunder, rain and sleet. The Swamper scurried to close the party’s open tent vestibules and secure wettable gear, and soon rain and sleet were pouring off the low corners of the parawing.

Pouring off the parawing and filling buckets, pans and coolers with cold fresh water. Once the canyoneers returned a bit of Tom Sawyer fence whitewashing convinced Willy and Rocky to hang the gravity filter and replenish our water supplies. And to chill The Swamper’s beer supply in a cooler of sleet water to be filtered later.

Happy days; plenty of freshwater and cold beer at mile 46. Life is good.

The rare desert clouds and sprinkles lasted on and off for 3 days, and The Swamper deemed it weather of the finest kind. The cooler days largely eliminate the upriver winds, allow the opportunity to position the canoe mid-canyon, away from the tammys on the inside turns and the cliff faces on the outside turns and simply drift inattentively in the 3 to 4 mph current.

A most delightful way to travel.

Those cloudy skies also provided major relief from the blazing desert sun and heat, and of course brought the desert flowers to bloom. I may never see such weather again in that place, but I’ll take it when I get it.

Two relaxing days at Horsethief and we were back afloat. Destination – Anderson Bottom/Bonita Bend at mile 31, after a mid-day stop to hike to the ruins and cabin at Fort Bottom (mile 40).

A natural amphitheatre a mile downstream of Ft Bottom creates an aural oddity; for 60 seconds or so the voices of our party hiking up to the ruins were as distinct as if they were standing alongside.

The visual oddity of the Green is the usual big canyon phenomenon; it takes a while to become accustomed to judging river distance when the backdrop scale is massive cliff faces far in the distance. What seems like a few hundred yards to an easterner’s unpracticed eye turns out to be a mile or more away.

Along the way I passed the Grummaniers packing their canoes, but being far in front of our group didn’t feel it ethical to frontrun them to secure a choice site, and so pulled over on a sandy beach a mile past their site until they had finished packing and paddle past.

The management practices on this stretch of the Green, perhaps driven by the availability of jetboat pick up at the confluence with the Colorado, meant that we saw very few people over the course of the trip, especially below Mineral Bottom.

One possibility that intrigues me for a future group trip would be to secure two permits, allowing a split group to leapfrog, sometimes camping together and sometimes camping apart. That kind of change in pace and group dichotomy appeals to me.

Our group coalesced and we camped for the night at Anderson Bottom/Bonita Bend; a large cottonwooded meadow on an expansive bottomland with an easy beach landing. My least favorite of the sites we camped and not in my top 10. But still in my top 20 – gobs of tent and kitchen space and easy hiking across the bottom to granieries, old cabin sites and storage areas.

The Swamper performed his nightly ablutions of settling silty Green River water in collapsible buckets using alum. His formula to flocculate silty water:

2 teaspoons of alum in a 1 liter Nalgene type bottle. Fill with water and shake it up. Fill your settling bucket with river water. Add 2-3 capfuls of alum mix to the settling bucket. Vigorously stir 15 seconds in one direction using a circular motion to create a center whirlpool. Stir in the other direction 15 seconds. Sediment should mostly settle out in 45-60 minutes.

The Swamper neglected to cover the setting buckets, and the next morning two drowned mice stared up accusingly from the bottom. Word travels fast and the surviving mice had their revenge by eating holes in several of The Swamper’s dry bags.

The Swamper again provided the daily beta:
Horsethief Canyon to Anderson Bottom/Bonita Bend
14.9 river miles paddled
3:46 hours paddling time
1:36 hours stop time
Average paddling speed 4.0 MPH

The Swampers GPS elevation notes had consistently shown us gaining altitude and were declared ignorable.

Anderson Bottom/Bonita Bend was a single night’s stay and we pushed on downriver the next morning. Out in front once again I took a long, lingering sandbar break at Valentine Bottom a few miles downstream of camp. A beautiful and expansive sandbar that stretched for along a river bend between mile 29 and 26.

Cap’t K and The Sprite passed by and I saw them reappear miles downstream of the bend, paddling past The Sphinx.

I did not especially miss sandbar camping, with the inherent challenges of boat and gear blowing in the wind and sand infiltrating the tent, but if the wind is not howling I’ll spend a night on the Valentine Bottom sandbar next time.

I followed our passing party down to the night’s site at Turks Head (mile 21). The Swamper provided the now standard daily totals:

Anderson Bottom to Turks Head
10.6 river miles paddled
2:38 hours paddling time
4 mph paddling speed
0:58 stop time

Turks Head was, yet again, another spectacular site. Long and linear, stretching along a high sandy ledge. Shade was scare until late afternoon, and the landing was difficult for unloading multiple boats.

The Swamper chickeed up, clambered into our canoes floating in an eddy 3 feet below the rock ledge and scampered from boat to boat passing up gear. How much longer he can do this at age 52 is questionable, but I’ll take him while I’ve got him.

The now customary canyon hiking, camp dawdling and evening fire-in-a-can and finger picking of stringed instruments ensued and we launched the next morning for our last site, Water/Shot Canyon.

The Swamper’s usually tally of the day:

Turks Head to Water/Shot Canyon
River miles paddled – 17.2
4:03 hours paddling time
4.2 mph paddling speed
1:07 hours stop time.

Water/Shot Canyon was the best site yet. An easy landing, multiple sites on different levels, shaded cliff faces to escape the sun, deep nooks and overhangs for napping in the cool and a challenging canyon hike that saw The Sprite and Rocky eventually overlooking the confluence 4 miles downstream. The Sprite performed an Abbey-esque bit of canyoneering that involved jumping from a higher boulder to a lower boulder, without fully considering how he was going to jump back.

Water/Shot Canyon was another 2 day stay, and the Swamper pulled out every bit of excess food stuff, including the now ubiquitous (and Wag Bag filling) Fig Newtons and dried fruit, Nutella, natural peanut butter, an unopened block of sharp white cheese, pickle packs, sundry snacks and the last of the bread.

A feast ensued as the load was lightened and the last of the now tepid Guinness were tapped, spraying faux draught foam over the unwary.

We were reluctant to depart, even after a 2 day stay, but needed to meet our scheduled jetboat pickup on the Colorado. The Swamper provided no paddling beta for the last day’s paddle, but the 4 ½ miles to the confluence passed too quickly.

Rather than paddle down to Spanish Bottom we beached our canoes on a large sandbar immediately at the confluence, having discerned that the depth was the jetboat-required 3’ deep a canoe length from shore.

The Swamper knew that Spanish Bottom was likely too heavily peopled with other folk waiting for the jetboat, and the confluence sandbar eased our uncrowded reentry into syphilization. Not camping at Spanish Bottom overnight as I had thought we would was a boon, especially after we learned that a couple of mountain lions, habituated to humans, have been prowling that area.

In addition to the mountain lions Spanish Bottom was also occupied by other paddlers awaiting pick up, and by a group of NPS volunteers who had been digging out dead tammys, a job that will take several lifetimes.

Waiting on the beach we calculated how may boats we had passed or been passed by since Mineral Bottom; Lucjusz and Ursula in a rental tandem, two rental Grummans with a party of 4, Girl 1 and Girl 2 in a rental Grumman, two sea kayakers, and two rafts heading beyond the confluence to run Cataract Canyon.

8 boats and 12 people, all seen but briefly. Damn fine timing.

Texs pick up routine asks that the canoes be empty and clean of mud/sand, since they will be racked overhead on the jetboat, with gear staged and ready to transport. Kenny and Devin made short work of racking canoes and storing gear, almost like they do so for a living.

Ursula and Lucjusz were already aboard the jetboat when it arrived. The Swamper had given them two cold Chesterfield Ales at Ruby Ranch to start their trip, and they discussed their respective beer supplies. Both had Guinness; Lucjusz had 12 cans, The Swamper had 2 cases.

Both confessed to having harbored a plan to hand the other a Guinness for the jetboat ride upriver. And both confessed to having abandoned that plan as the last Guinness proved too tempting on the final night in canyon.

Not to worry. After Kenny and Devin and finished their cautions regarding the jetboat ride (at 30 mph your hat will blow off and we aren’t going back for it, sometimes the jets suck in a stick or other debris – don’t panic, this is normal, we need to see where we are going so please don’t wander around in the boat, etc) another passenger on the jetboat demonstrated a sterling shuttle trick, one that I will reprise next visit.

Said passenger stood up in front and announced that Texs had brought in a cooler for him. A cooler filled with ice cold beer. Each cold beer would cost $10, that amount to be added by the recipient to whatever they planned to tip Devin and Kenny.

Said passenger brought good beer. If he hadn’t been sitting two seats over I’d have hugged him. Never has a canned IPA tasted as fine, and our shuttle masters were handsomely rewarded.

The jetboat ride up the Colorado was impressive. This is a daily commute of sorts for the jetboat drivers, who know the location of every hidden sandbar and shallows. 30mph, zig zagging wildly from side to side around unseen obstacles, sometimes passing through narrow channels not much wider than the boat.

Texs was very observant and respectful of other paddlers and beached boats that we passed along the way, slowing from 30mph to a crawl without throwing a plowing wake. Once at Potash the passengers boarded a school bus, complete with kid-sized knee room between the seats, and the jetboat, still packed and racked with gear and boats, was loaded onto a trailer for the ride back to Moab.

Back in Moab Texs had our vehicles lined up out front (during the trip they are comfortingly locked in a fenced parking lot) and ready to go. Boats and gear come off the trailer in an expeditious routine and we were soon ready to hit the road.

We lay over for a night in Glenwood Springs, climbed the passes the next morning and dropped off Cap’t K at the Denver airport. One last serendipitous encounter ensued. The Sprite’s son Jeremy is a long haul trucker, plying his trade in the Pacific Northwest, Canada and the Rockies.

He was that very day dropping off a load at a construction site in Aurora. Just a few miles from the airport. At the same time we were delivering Cap’t K to catch her flight.

We found the (address-less) construction site in time to witness Jeremy backing a semi into a convoluted spot. All that practice backing up canoe trailers as a teenager finally paid off.

Father and son reunited through a chain link fence and we were soon on the road again, eastbound and down as Jeremy passed the word to his trucker brethren to keep an eye out for a canoe laden Ford van speeding across I-70

The return haul was a nonstop flight to Maryland, with a van rearrangement upgrade to first class travel – one sleeper, one navigator/sleeper and one driver. Gotta love eastern Colorado and Kansas for eating up miles; highway straight as an arrow, cruise control pegged at 76mph, thumbing it up to 80 or 85 to quickly pass the boat buffeting of double and sometimes triple semi rigs. Drive, he said, and drive we did.

Or almost a nonstop. After nearly 4000 miles of driving, avoiding snow, ice, road closures and somehow fortuitously passing every major city outside of morning or evening rush hour we came to an engine-off stop and sit on I-70 in western Maryland 100 miles from home.

The Swamper pulled out a cell phone and called a buddy at the Maryland Department of Transportation. Called him at home, on a Wednesday night. The Swamper’s source had received an alert of a tractor trailer on fire a few miles ahead, with all lanes shut down.

A lane eventually cleared and we wrapped up the adventure. The Swamper provided the following travel details:

17 days, 4384 road miles, 337.13 gallons of gas, 13 gas stops, 13.00 mpg average.

Dammit but I want a small diesel pick up. Like they have everywhere else in the world. Get with it Mr. Toyota. But we couldn’t have easily fit three boats, four people and a mountain of gear in a Tacoma.

The Clean up - there was a copious amount of red desert dust on everything. And in everything. Not just the tent and canoe, but inside and out on dry bags, barrels and stuff sacks. And now on the gear room rug.

The big blue van performed admirably, and it deserves a thorough wash, wax, vacuum and detail cleaning. The soloized Penobscot needs a bath as well; I couldn’t have picked big boy gear hauler for the Green.

I need to back wash the filter, rinse the dromedary bags, clean the toilet system, and wipe the dust from the blue barrel and dry bags inside and out. I see a full day of hose work in my future.

And I see a return to the Green sometime this fall.
 
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Sep 2, 2011
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Location
Raymond, ME
The Swamper had thoughtfully brought a large vehicle GPS unit, in case we somehow got lost in Breezewood PA or going around the Indianapolis beltway.

Uh..Ohio is in the middle! Just count Kohl's on the Indy 465..Why does a body need that much shopping? I-70 is at the mouth and the end so I suspect you went looking for a potty in Breezewood.

Kansas and lack of rest areas. I fell asleep in downtown something Kansas. Three hours later no one had noticed.

I froze during the jetboat ride. It was sleeting and raining and snowing. What did impress me is that Tex's Riverways captains were always throttling back when encountering paddlers or oncoming boats or even camped paddlers. The other company (that we passed going the other way) did not do the same courtesy. To me this is good seamanship.

I am scribbling notes in my Belknaps. We missed a bit.

"We" is probably not going. I am going in the fall. Solo. Willing to rideshare. My new ride gets 18 mpg . My old ride gets 22. The old ride is getting on 300k miles though. I agree with dammit I want a small diesel pickup. We are missing the boat here in the USA.

Never again will I take a mesh (even partially) tent. I would rather take my MSR Trango 3.1 ( all nylon ..no mesh) and reef the fly. It's an Everest Base camp tent. 18 months later and there is still silt where the sun don't shine. We took a Marmot Limelight 3.

Any tent you take on the Green should have at least four guyline points. It's not fun to battle a flat tent in high winds.

Timing is everything. Ask the outfitter what and how big the parties are on river during your stay. The Confluence had some 6 parties when we got the jetboat back to Moab. Four were scheduled for extraction. The other two were hopeful (one was crying due to shitty weather). At Spanish we had two parties. As we were scheduled we had first dibs.

And please if you have lower water, bring a bocce set. Its wonderful fun on the sandbars with margaritas in the other hand.

 
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A most enjoyable account. If John Ford had made a canoe movie, it would have been filmed on the Green. J&K's photo documentation was superb, a good mix of scenery, candid camp portraits, petroglyphs, flora and fauna. The last time I encountered a Yellow Breasted Chat it was June 1978; I hope it sang for you. Did you offer a sacrifice beneath the large Duckhead? A can of Guinness or was it girl #3! http://s1324.photobucket.com/user/JoelBeckwith/media/10Day Green River Trip/IMG_2294_zpsacfdc36f.jpg.html?sort=2&o=35

Again, thanks for sharing! I am truly impressed, not only of the epic journey but also by your scatological knowledge and detailed descriptions of dealing with excrement. Mike knows his shit!
 
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Green River trip: What worked, what didn’t

Green River trip: What worked, what didn’t

What worked:

Sun protection was vital, even with a few days of clouds and SPF 50. This is a desert river, and despite the morning and evening protection of steep canyon walls the sun is merciless. Sunburn or other health/heat/UV issues on a 10 day trip would be serious problem.

I used a UV protective sun hat with neck drape and a long sleeve UV shirt throughout. I don’t think the shirt will ever be clean again after 10 continuous days of Utah dust, mud, sweat and camp grime. The cuffs are black. The sun drape hat is likewise now filthy. I will never be in the desert without such apparel and will continue to wear them, begrimed with pride.

The ever present “wind chair”, with its high backed extension, provided much needed shade in camp. Except in the noonday sun; I had intended to buy a white golf umbrella and cut the handle off of that I could stick it in the chair’s backrest frame but never got around to it. That’s on the “To Do” list.

The Swamper carried in two Wind/Sun Chairs and the protection they afforded was advantageous when camp was unshaded.

The “lap blanket”. A piece of 90some percent UV cotton fabric cut and hemmed to 48” x 36”. I will never camp or paddle in the desert without one, and would have had The Swamper carry the 60/40 blend I have as a loaner if I had known how valuable it would prove.

Spread over my lap and knees on the river it offered complete sun protection, and trapped the cool river water temperature below. It was at least 10 degrees cooler under the lap blanket and kept my canteens from baking in the sun.

I used it in camp for sun protection as well, and during one buggy spell Cap’t K used it for fly protection. I need to get more UV material and make several more. And spray them with Permethrin. Packs down to the size of a softball and weights next to nothing.
Ledge and plateau camping. I had anticipated that we would sometimes (or often) be camping on sandbars, with the associated problems of securing light gear and boats in the wind, and keeping blowing sand and dust out of the tent.

I was using a nearly all-mesh MRS Hubba Hubba, and had considered buying an MSR Hoop for the trip to eliminate much of the screen. Camping exclusively on ledges and plateaus thanks to The Swamper’s foreknowledge largely eliminated the sandbar wind issue. The sandbar landings were often windier than comfortable, but up in camp behind a barrier of tammys we were usually well sheltered amidst the cottonwoods and cliff faces. For wind and shade protection ledge and plateau sites are well worth a short steep climb with gear.

The soloized Penobscot with CCS partial front cover. I considered bring the MR Monarch, but pondering the issues of gear accessibility at ledge camps and awkward/muddy landings, and the hazards of a jetboat ride to an irreplaceable hull, opted to go with a Royalex Big Boy and gear load hauler.

The Penobscot was perfect for the Green. A huge amount of space for gear meant that packing and unpacking, even at inconvenient landings, was easy. I brought only the front spray cover and packed the open stern with the most immediately necessary and preferrabley accessible gear.

The front cover protected the food contents of the 30L blue barrel much like the lap blanket, keeping my Snicker’s bars from melting in the heat. On awkward landings or sandbar muckles having a paddle pocket and 3 velco straps up front made paddle(s), sail and map case management security a snap.

The spiral screw-in dog stakes were in use at every landing or mid-day sandbar break. I noted that Texs rents them, and the Swamper had brought two. Other than anchoring the canoes to a dead tammy, or digging holes for deadmen, there was often little available to secure bow and stern lines. Extra long bow and stern lines are also recommended.

The Polar Bear 48 soft cooler.
http://www.polarbearcoolers.com/category/48_pack_soft_coolers.html

Probably the best soft-side cooler money can buy. It not only kept the Guinness cold, it captured a huge volume of rainwater off the tarp for freshwater filtering when other receptacles had been filled. An added bonus discovery; when empty with the sides folded down it fits perfectly it the bottom of a 115L dry bag, opening more space in the canoe for packing ease.

Alum for settling silty Green River water. The Swamper’s flocculation formula is in the trip report. While we were amply supplied with potable water via a resupply at Mineral Bottom, a fortuitous rain and sleet storm at Horsethief Canyon and freshwater basins in the side canyons, it is comforting to know that Green River water can be made palatable using only alum and a filter.

We test filtered some Green River alum water as an experiment and it was far tastier than the contents of The Swamper’s dromedary bags, which had been heavily iodine contaminated by a Baja trip 12 years ago. (Note to The Swamper – buy new dromedaries)

The Platypus Gravity Filter
http://cascadedesigns.com/platypus/...works-filters/gravityworks-40l-filter/product

I won’t say I’ll never pump water again, and for small quantities or filtering from little potholes I’ll still bring and use a pump. But if I can hang 4 liters and walk away I will. And if I can Tom Sawyer someone else into hanging the gravity filter I’ll do that too.

Gasket-sealed bucket toilet system and Wag bags. Enough with the poo management talk. See post above.

The Fire-in-a-can. Amazing. Heat, huge light reflecting off canyon walls, lots of weird spooky stuff in digital photos of the flames. The absolute blackness when the cover is put on and that huge light is abruptly extinguished is freaky.

We used four feeder bricks of wax to augment the giant candle and could have burned it for at least two more days. We used the permit required fire pan only once. Ours was a large heavy duty aluminum foil turkey basting pan folded flat for storage (acceptably by regulations) and while it was handy to burn paper trash and dead tammy twigs I’m not sure, even though it is required gear, that I would use one again. I could do without cleaning up and packing out the ash, etc.

The parawing. I debated between bringing the ‘wing or a CCS Tundra Tarp. In a treeless two-pole guise the wing is easier to erect and when guyed and staked properly (two triangulated lines stakes at each corner, 8 lines & 8 stakes) it is bombproof in the wind. And damn but the freshwater runs off the wing in predictably captureable locations (a little feeder string dangling from the low corners of the ‘wing helps direct runoff water precisely).

Wet wipes and hand cream. I habitually carry them on saltwater trips. And now desert trips.

The big blue Ford E-150 van. 13 mpg sucks, but running non-stop across the country with 3 or 4 people and 3 or 4 canoes, all racked gunwales down, chalked and well roped, plus a mountain of gear, is the only way to group travel.

Things that didn’t work or weren’t needed:

My sad, worn out canoe sponge. I ended up cutting it in half for a purpose; out of and back into the boat was sometimes a mud footed adventure. I have a padded foot brace in the Penobscot, and minicel pads positioned for my heels. And, OK, every place my body touches the hull is padded…I’m a wuss.

A coating of slick Green River mud did nothing to firm up my lower extremity contact with the boat via the foot brace or heel pads. I cut the sad sponge in half and used the pieces under my heels for better braced purchase. And to dangle my feet over the sides and sponge off mud. That is some sticky damn mud; it reminds me of Bentonite in the Wind River Range for tenacity.

Next time I’ll bring two brand new sponges, one for each foot.

The all-terrain Bocci set. Used only twice in 17 days. While The Swamper seemed to enjoy besting Girl 1 and Girl 2, the ledge and plateau campsites were not conducive to Bocci play.

The Belknaps river guide. It sufficed, but it is printed bass-akwards in my opinion. I’m usually looking at a Belknaps flip map laid out oriented looking downstream, so the mileages, text and photos are all upsidedown. Maybe it’s just me but I’d prefer to orient a canyon map in the direction I’m heading and still be able to read the damn thing.

Fortunately the Swamper had provided each member of our party with other laminated 8 ½ x 11 maps, including color mapping softwear sheets and copies of maps detailing ruins, features and hikes in every side canyon between Ruby ranch and the Colorado.
 
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What did impress me is that Tex's Riverways captains were always throttling back when encountering paddlers or oncoming boats or even camped paddlers. The other company (that we passed going the other way) did not do the same courtesy. To me this is good seamanship.

The Swamper had done previous trip with the other company (Tag-a-long)
http://www.tagalong.com/

One difference between Texs and Tag-a-long is that the latter is into everything – shuttles, rentals, scenic day tours and half day tours, Nordic skiing and “land safaris” - while Texs does one thing – river trip outfitting and shuttles – and does it very well.

The Swamper was overjoyed when Texs had shuttle space available for our preferred put in and take out dates and locations. Tag-along had once rented The Swamper a toilet still filled with other people’s waste, and had ignored The Swamper’s warning that his brand new Sitka sea kayak was not securely tied to the jetboat only to see it shoot off the back when the jetboat motored up.


I’ll stick with Texs.


I am scribbling notes in my Belknaps. We missed a bit.

We were fortunate to have The Swamper along. As a first-timer down the Green I would have likely missed most of the ledge and plateau campsites. Next trip I’ll be looking for some of the same ones, or aiming for other side-canyon sites that The Swamper Pointed out along the way.

My Belknap’s is now heavily annotated.


"We" is probably not going. I am going in the fall. Solo. Willing to rideshare. My new ride gets 18 mpg . My old ride gets 22. The old ride is getting on 300k miles though. I agree with dammit I want a small diesel pickup. We are missing the boat here in the USA.
I am hoping to head west again in September, after the start of the school season when there are fewer travelers. But I’m also hoping to stay out and roam around the west into November; there is simply too much I want to do and see, and places I want to visit or revisit.

Never again will I take a mesh (even partially) tent. I would rather take my MSR Trango 3.1 ( all nylon ..no mesh) and reef the fly. It's an Everest Base camp tent. 18 months later and there is still silt where the sun don't shine. We took a Marmot Limelight 3.

I remembered the cautions about tent mesh and considered buying a new tent just for that trip. In the end I took the all-mesh MSR Hubba Hubba and had no problems with sand or dust infiltrating. It helped that I kept the vestibules fully closed during the windier parts of the day and that I used a piece of fake grass mat at the entryway, but not camping on sandbars was the best solution.

Many of the ledge and plateau sites had sandy beach landings, and the winds were often whipping upriver there, but the short climb up to a ledge or plateau camp eliminated most of the sand and dust blowing wind issues.

The Hubba Hubba was actually cleaner inside than when I brought it home from barrier island and swamp tripping in North Carolina earlier in the year. The fly was coated with a layer of fine red dust, as was every other piece of gear, but the tent interior was fine.


Timing is everything. Ask the outfitter what and how big the parties are on river during your stay. The Confluence had some 6 parties when we got the jetboat back to Moab. Four were scheduled for extraction. The other two were hopeful (one was crying due to shitty weather). At Spanish we had two parties. As we were scheduled we had first dibs.

Texs provided a card listing their scheduled pick up dates and number in each party and were amenable to picking us up anywhere between the confluence and Spanish Bottom provided there was sufficient water depth (3’ minimum a canoe length from shore).

There was no one at the confluence when we arrived, although two rental Grummans arrived shortly after. The jetboat passed by the confluence as we waited and went to Spanish Bottom first. When they returned the jetboat was nearly full, with just enough seating remaining for us and the party in the Grummans.

This too was a calculated move by The Swamper. He didn’t want The Sprite and Cap’t K’s lightweight kevlar Sundowner racked atop the jetboat with rental Grummans picked up later pyramided above. I wasn’t as concerned with the RX Penobscot, but given a choice I would prefer it atop the Grummans and not beneath.

10 days between Ruby Ranch and the Colorado wasn’t long enough. With the speed of the river current one could easily paddle that 100 stretch in four 25 mile days (one Grumman party that put in at Ruby Ranch was doing it in 6 days), but next time I want 12 or 14 days so I can two-night camp at more of the side canyon ledge and plateau sites.

Some of the sandbars were very inviting, especially for easy of landing and gear accessibility, and some of the rocky ledge and cottonwoody plateaus involved a short but steepish climb to the tent sites. And some of the ledge/plateau sites would favor beaching one or at most two canoes; four boats was tight, especially at Turks Head.

In the end the ledge and plateau sites were still preferable for windbreak and shade from the cliff walls and overhangs, cottonwoods and tammy border.

I would like to camp on the giant sandbar along Valentine Bottom, provided the wind isn’t howling and the river level is similarly low.

BTW – The river levels on both the Green and Colorado were low, IIRC something like a quarter of the usual flow for early May. There was good snowpack, and more snow and rain recently dumped from the storm that nearly stopping us from getting across the passes.

The Manti LaSalles in the distance had more snow on them when we came out than they did when we started, but droughts of the previous years had dried out upstream reservoirs – some of them along I-70 in Colorado were literally dry mudflats – and much of the river’s flow was being impounded to help fill the reservoirs for summer.

We staked the river level every night in camp and, even after the fortuitous rainstorm, the level had dropped a bit more the following morning. There was some minor challenge is discerning the canoe-stopping shallows, especially when making a crossing from one side of the river to the other in order to stay on the deeper and faster bubble line along the outside turns.

I think The Swamper recorded the level on launch day vs the seasonal norm. I’ll query him and post it for reference.
 
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A most enjoyable account. If John Ford had made a canoe movie, it would have been filmed on the Green. J&K's photo documentation was superb, a good mix of scenery, candid camp portraits, petroglyphs, flora and fauna.

Again, thanks for sharing! I am truly impressed, not only of the epic journey but also by your scatological knowledge and detailed descriptions of dealing with excrement. Mike knows his shit!

Paul, this was a bucket list trip, and after 10 days on the Green my bucket still needs filling. I’ve paddled other western/desert rivers and now kick myself in the pants for having been in Moab a half dozen times and never before floated the Green.

Not for nothing is it sometimes called the premier flatwater canoe trip in the US. Texs rents everything needed/permit required, so a traveler carrying nothing but tent, sleeping bag and clothes could easily do this trip.

http://www.texsriverways.com/rentals.cfm

The paddling hazards are flatwater few, even with the steady current, and provided you don’t sunburn, sunstroke, dehydrate, fall off a cliff, lose a boat or gear to the in-canyon winds (probably the reason an extra PFD is required), step on a cactus, pick up a rattlesnake, get eaten by a mountain lion, wash away in a slot canyon flash flood or get flattened by a rockfall (heard almost every day in the distance) anyone could do this tri….

Wait, those are a lot of potential hazards. I would caution anyone from doing this trip. Purely from an altruistic concern for your own personal safety.

The privation is horrible. The silence unbearable. The Anasazi have trashed the place with graffiti on the walls, untidy piles of knapped chert lying about and the ruins of their houses and granaries marring the landscape.

Don’t go. Nothing to see here, move along…
 
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How does it compare to the Upper Missouri in Montana?

Kim, I want to know too.

Something in that vicinity, Missouri Breaks or etc, was under repeated discussion as a “next year” trip along our way down the Green, and that one has been on my bucket list for years.

I’ve not paddled there, and The Swamper didn’t know. So many rivers.

I need to start planning a fall Great Circle Route paddling trip out west.
 
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Green River levels early May 2013

Green River levels early May 2013

The Swamper reports a seasonal average of about 8000cfs for the Green in early May.

The flow when we launched at Ruby Ranch on May 3rd was just 2400 cfs, and the level dropped slightly throughout our trip.

Still plenty of current, and still canoe-passable if you developed an eye for mid-river shallows.
 
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Mike;
Great right up. I have done the Green Utah trip 3 times over the past 25yrs. I used to spend every spring /fall in that area. Lived in Colorado for 30yrs. Moab helped streach out our summer. I always used Tex for our suport. Spring run off you have more water to help you along. Late summer / fall you have more camping to chose from. (sand bars) never had any problem with flows. We just would research flows pryer to sched. High desert camping can be diffrent, wind, sand, ect but for the most part weather can be great.
Loved reading your post, thanks for the flash backs. One can put in above Ruby Ranch to make the trip longer. Spring is better if you do that. The better part of the trip is Ruby down. Great hikes from most camp sites. Some lead into the Maze area. The jet boat ride is a smack in the face wake up back to reality. A diffrent kind of fun!!
Upper Missouri is a trip I have been thinking about for several yrs. now. It will be tougher for me as now I live in Portsmouth NH. Looked into it for this spring but would have had to rent every thing. $$$$$
gp60
 
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Green River levels and gauge

Green River levels and gauge

BTW – The river levels on both the Green and Colorado were low, IIRC something like a quarter of the usual flow for early May. There was good snowpack, and more snow and rain recently dumped from the storm that nearly stopping us from getting across the passes.

The Manti LaSalles in the distance had more snow on them when we came out than they did when we started, but droughts of the previous years had dried out upstream reservoirs – some of them along I-70 in Colorado were literally dry mudflats – and much of the river’s flow was being impounded to help fill the reservoirs for summer.

I think The Swamper recorded the level on launch day vs the seasonal norm. I’ll query him and post it for reference.

The Swamper reports a seasonal average of about 8000cfs for the Green in early May.

The flow when we launched at Ruby Ranch on May 3rd was just 2400 cfs, and the level dropped slightly throughout our trip.

Still plenty of current, and still canoe-passable if you developed an eye for mid-river shallows.

The Swamper provides a minor correction and link to the gauge (if you trust his math skills):

At Green River, Utah, the river was flowing about 3,000 cfs on Friday May 3rd, gauge height was 6.4 feet. Long term (113 years of record) average flow for that date is 9,000 cfs.

http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ut/nwis/u...13-05-02&end_date=2013-05-20&site_no=09315000


Since many western rivers are over 100% allocated for water rights (the Colorado is 120% subscribed and doesn’t much make it to the Gulf of California) snowpack levels or recent precipitation in the upper drainages may be misleading, especially after drought years. YMMV.
 
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Green River Permitting Process

Green River Permitting Process

I asked The Swamper about the permitting process, and she provided the following details:

A BLM permit is required above the NPS boundary (mile 47, just bellow Mineral Bottom)
http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/price/recreation/labyrinth.html

Make a copy of the BLM permit for the Texs (or Tag-a-long, or other shuttle service provider).

The NPS permit site may change this year so follow the links. Fill out and send/fax in to receive a permit. Carry the NPS issued permit on the river, and file a copy with Texs (or etc).

http://www.nps.gov/cany/planyourvisit/riverpermits.htm

Some coordination is needed between securing permits and shuttle dates. Check with Texs (or -) first to see if the insertion and extraction dates are available. The Ruby Ranch drop off and Jetboat pick up need to be worth their effort. Texs does run a smaller jetboat when less space is needed.

http://www.texsriverways.com/
 
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Green River Maps and Guides

Green River Maps and Guides

Everyone in our party had a copy of Beknap’s waterproof Canyonlands River Guide

http://www.amazon.com/Belknaps-Wate...-1&keywords=Belknap's+Canyonlands+River+Guide

That slender book of flip maps was the easiest for me to follow while paddling, but I do wish that the accompanying text and photos displayed on each page were printed upside-down. I usually have a Belknap’s oriented looking downriver; the only time I’ve used a Belknap’s flip map and been able to read the text was when paddling upriver into the Grand Canyon from Pierce Ferry (back when Lake Mead was full).

The Swamper had also provided each member of our party with other maps, including sets of 8 ½ x 11 color National Geographic mapping software print outs, laminated and double sided. Those were helpful but less easy than the Belknap’s to read at a glance when paddling, at least for me (I am very colorblind).

The other set of 8 ½ x 11 laminated maps The Swamper provide were most helpful for camping and side hiking. Those were photocopies of the map pages from Kelsey’s River Guide to Canyonlands National Park and Vicinity.

http://www.amazon.com/River-Guide-C...ide+to+Canyonlands+National+Park+and+Vicinity

The simple and easily readable black and white maps in that guide show the river course and side canyons, and denote everything for a few miles on either side of the river – the location of Anasazi ruins, old camps and forts, caves, hiking trails, springs & streams, the nearest 4WD roads and potential riverside campsites.

The maps in the Kelsey guide fill in a lot of what Belknap’s leaves out, and are highly recommended if you want to hike the side canyons (or find water). My copy of the Kelsey guide is en route and should make interesting bedside reading.

The Swamper had thoughtfully printed large font text on the back of each laminated Kelsey’s map page, denoting past campsites and conditions, shade (or lack thereof), side hikes taken, the location of springs, ruins and Petroglyphs and approximate the river mile.

I need to update those with notes on campsite landing ease and canoe space, and mark a few places I’d like to try next time.

We had room for four+ tents at each site, along with a large “commons” area, and room for four boats at each landing (sometimes not so expansive).

While I’d be hesitant to pass up any of the sites where we camped (if they were available), but those expansive accommodations would be unnecessary on a solo trip, and perhaps better left to larger parties if there was apparent “competition” for sites.

We were very fortunate in that regard; friends doing the same stretch of the Green a week later found many of their hoped for or intended sites already occupied. Or still occupied, either by later risers not yet decamped or by folks staying a second day and hiking.

There are certainly many more sites available in short box canyons, ledges and plateaus for a soloist who needs only space for a small tent and tarp and landing room for one canoe.

And some shade. Maybe a spring or pot hole nearby. Some Petroglyphs or Anasazi ruins. I think I need to go back and look more closely.
 
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Who was The Swamper?

Who was The Swamper?

Someone, noticing that “The Swamper” had, beyond other superpowers, apparently changed gender, e-mailed me for clarification.

In river travel narritives a clue to the answer rests in Jerome K. Jerome’s “Three Men in a Boat, To Say Nothing of the Dog”, a slender travelogue that shows, if nothing else, that men’s (not man’s) true nature on river trips has not changed a whit in 125 years. Still funny as hell and readable today.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Men_in_a_Boat

And also in William Least Heat Moon’s “Riverhorse” (meh, not so much – a disappointment after Blue Highways)

http://www.amazon.com/River-Horse-L...TF8&qid=1369930793&sr=1-1&keywords=riverhorse

Best correct answer (as judged by Funk and Wagnalls) wins some tacky prize.
 
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It's time again.. Over dinner we made plans for the Green the first ten days of May 2014. Now have to find out if the Upper Missouri is still heartwrenchingly cold at that season.

Time to read over the details again though we have done the trip once. We may use a Pakcanoe.

Because the Okefenokee permit requires me to carry a toilet, we now have a Luggable Loo, a seven gallon bucket and 36 wag bags.

Still not sure how to store the latter when full but I guess I will figure it out.
 
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Because the Okefenokee permit requires me to carry a toilet, we now have a Luggable Loo, a seven gallon bucket and 36 wag bags.

Still not sure how to store the latter when full but I guess I will figure it out.

I don’t know about the Oke, but the regulations for the Green allow for used wag bags to be stored in a dry bag provided it is labeled “TOILET”.

Used wag bag do emit some residual odor. We stored them in gasket sealed buckets and washed the storage buckets after the trip so the van wasn’t stanky on the drive back.

I don’t think I’d ever want to re-use such a dry bag for other purposes, but one dedicated to wag bag storage then and ever after would work.
 
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