Up until 2008, our adventures were retained only as memories and on Kodachromes. While our memories may have faded (just a bit), the Kodachromes haven’t – and we have a lot of them. So we’re digitizing a select few to bring some of our past adventures into the 21st Century. This is one of those.
The stretch of the Green River between Green River, Utah and its confluence with the Colorado River is some of the most placid (rapid-free), but scenic, river water in the West. This makes it the ideal choice for a low key self-guided boating adventure. While our friends John and Donna and Wayne and Diane rented canoes from Tex’s Riverways in Moab, Utah, we sought to get one last great use out of our venerable two-person Folbot kayak (sadly, Folbot went out of business in 2016). Tex’s also provided us with a shuttle, stored our cars, and dealt with the groover when we returned.
On the morning of the first day, Tex’s shuttled us from Moab to a put-in at Mineral Bottom at river mile (RM) 52 and we’d floated to a campsite at Hardscrabble Bottom (RM 43) by that afternoon. Our collective experience with rivers was scant at this time (that would change a lot in the years ahead) and we were surprised at how sloooowly the Green flowed. Very slooowly. We soon realized that if we did any serious paddling, we’d be at the Colorado in a day, so we lashed our vessels together and just floated from camp to camp – Anderson Bottom (RM 31), Turks Head (RM 21), Jasper Canyon (RM 10), and at RM 215 on the Colorado, just upstream of Cataract Canyon. On our last day, Tex’s sent a jet boat down to whisk us up the Colorado to Moab. We loved that old Folbot but this, its last great trip with us, exposed its limitations and we sold it soon after we moved to Tennessee the next year.
On this trip we learned a little about river travel, more about soft mud, and way too much about biting insects and tamarisk. But the scenery was spectacular – crisp blue skies, red cliffs and spires, Ancient Puebloan granaries and other structures, boiling swarms of fish in the river, and large flocks of insect-eating (yeah!) bats at night. The bats were neat because their wing beats sounded like little balsa wood sticks hitting each other. All this plus the company of good friends made for a wonderful and memorable trip!