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04/08/2008: After a chilly night of sleeping we packed up soaking in the early morning warm sun near the boats. At129 Green River day 4.JPG (111381 bytes) this point (well, after the first day on the river), everything is covered in sand and/or red mud. Ya get used to it and I can't believe people pay big bucks for a mud bath at a spa when they could do it out here and have a great vacation at the same time! Turks Head camp was our destination today, 10miles down the river. Yes, the formation looks like a giant turban! White Rim sandstone continued to line the banks of the river and it was fun to paddle up directly under for a closer look. We found several 134 Green River day 4.JPG (147034 bytes) cliff-dwellings that were rumored to be along this stretch. How the heck did the Indians get up there?! Great climbers or inventors of ladders, I suppose. Rumor has it that the Fremont Indian put the granaries way up in the cliffs to prevent rodents from getting to their corn supply. Paddling by "The Sphinx" and other giant bluffs, formations, and side canyons had us all cranning our necks to try and see it all. Imagine a concert and the great acoustics in some of these natural amphitheaters!!
Turks Head came into view and it was a couple miles before we were most of the way around then poking around136 Green River day 4.JPG (158013 bytes) for camp. Another paradise! Up a sandy hill were small tent spots next to shale walls with a kitchen area perched out on a rock overlooking the river. Since it was so warm it seemed like the perfect time for a "Green River bath". Holy shit, that was c-c-c-cold... but refreshing!
We followed a trail around the cliffs until finding a break that scrambled up to the base of Turks Head. There was petrified wood everywhere, you literally could not avoid stepping on it for miles and miles around! In the search of ruins (nope, didn't find these) we found some rock carving that looked suspicious recent. Hhhhmmmmm. Candlestick tower was pretty obvious in the distant and this looked another fun spot to poke around exploring for days and days.
Another great night of beef stroganoff, stories, and laughs.

04/09/2008: Today was our big day of paddling (16miles) so of course it was overcast, rainy, and a headwind coming 145 Green River day 5.JPG (109876 bytes) up the river! Oh well, still can't beat the views, and its warmer to be paddling then standing around. The water got a bit choppy in spots, but nothing close to threatening to dump the kayaks. The steep canyon walls dropped farther back from the river and allowed the Elephant Canyon Formations (~280million years ago) to dominate our close-up views. More and more twisting turns and side canyons in the river along this section also. We stopped at Horse Canyon for lunch and a break and Jean had an "episode" with the mud here. I think we all learned some new curse words from her! HA! We made a brief stop at Jasper Canyon where we could hike right up under an old Indian granary. Bob scrambled up to take a peek inside and pretend to be our local interpreter/guide.155 Green River day 5.JPG (182771 bytes)
Another 5miles down to the river to Shot Canyon, our home for the night. We were all pretty pooped and ready for a break. Despite more great views and another awesome camp, the rain soon began again. I think I jinxed us by stating that it typically doesn't last long. D'oh! Hours later it was still going. Fortunately, the crew set up a tarp so we could hang out under there. Jean and I made pizza-pasta for dinner this evening. Nice, warm, and tasty solid food after a long day of paddling. The Honaker Trail Formation was now surrounding us, lots of limestone and shale formations with plenty of marine fossils if you looked in the right spots. Early to bed again, and a bit sad that we only had one more day of paddling.

04/10/2008: Based on Jodie and Steve's recommendation, I hiked a bit up Shot/Water canyon in the morning. WOW! A 162 Green River day 6.JPG (188687 bytes) small stream carving cool formations through the rocks, cascading waterfalls, and swimming holes. Our last day of kayaking was about 7miles to the Confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers, and down to Lower Spanish Bottom where we would spend our last night camping and be picked up tomorrow by Tex's Jet Boat. Another easy float day and it was a bit sad going around our last turn of the Green River. The Confluence was less dramatic then I thought it would be. Instead, the river just widened and181 Green River day 6.JPG (159062 bytes) was a darker color of silty water. We registered to camp at the "Continue to Cataract Canyon and you WILL die" sign, continued through a small rapid where Jean rammed me with her kayak, then found the pull-off for Lower Spanish Bottom. The canyon walls were about 1200' on either side here and after setting up camp, Jean and I took off up the Surprise Valley Trail to visit the Doll House. This was a 194 Green River day 6.JPG (176699 bytes) steep hike cutting through the rock strata and up to red and white stripped pinnacles and domes! It was awesome! After a stop at another granary with visible thousand year old finger marks in the mud, we took the Doll House trail that snakes through the formations and all around the pinnacles. Some were slots, some were scrambles, some went around. Great stuff!! We continued on the Confluence Overlook trail and found Beehive Arch. We took a different trail back through the Doll House and were just200 Green River day 6.JPG (177262 bytes) fascinated at all the geologic stuff going on here.... old sand dunes, river deposits, lake beds, marine fossils, etc.... every rock told a story in the chapter of time. This kind of stuff is what keeps drawing be back to Utah year after year!
Back at camp we enjoyed a great sunset turning the bluffs and small clouds all shades or red and blue. Dinner was a hodge-podge of bean soup, chicken, rice, and biscuits. Mmm, Mmm, Good!

04/11/2008: *sigh*.... Our last day on the river. We all lazily packed up camp and put our piles down by the river. All we knew is that Tex's Jet Boat would come for us sometime after 10am. A walk down to the first set of rapids and relaxing by the boats took up time until we heard the roar of the jet boat. This thing was huge and already had 7 canoe's loaded on top! They managed to strap our 6 kayaks up there as well and piled all our gear in the front. We put on all the clothes we had and cinched down tight for the chilly and fast ride up the Colorado River. We covered the 40+ miles to the Potash Boat Ramp in just over 2 c-c-c-c-cold hours, as well as a stop in the middle to warm up and use a bathroom. All too soon we were back in Moab unloading the boats but looking forward to a cold beer and a warm shower (in that order) back at the Apache Motel. Jean, Steve, and Jodie loaded up their trailer/truck and headed back towards Portland. After washing pounds of sand and mud off ourselves... Jean and I met Diane, Bob, and Inez at Pasta Jay's for an awesome meal and a stroll through town.
What an epic trip! I'd do it again in a heart beat!!!!!!!!!

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