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Always in search of a new and fun vacation, Jean's aunt Diane mentioned that she was putting together a 7-day kayak trip on the Green River in Utah and invited us along. We certainly could not turn down an opportunity like that! This part of Utah is a magical place and one of our favorites, so what better way to see it then from the cockpit of a kayak while floating through millions of years of geologic time?!
04/04/2008: We woke up early and found a gas station to brush our teeth and fill up with coffee. Not long after, we were at the Bang's Canyon Staging Area TH hoping the temps would warm up and ready to ride the Magellan trail. Some steeps and slickrock, loose rocks and climbs. Jean was not having fun and turned around after a couple miles. I continued along sweating up the climbs and freezing on the downhills. Finished the 20mile loop in just over 3hrs and was back at the car drinking a beer with Jean soaking up the warm sun. We finished the drive to Moab and checked into the Apache Motel. Town was hoppin' with mtn bikers and 4x4'ers and we went up to the Slickrock trail to play around and hone our slickrock riding skills. Back at the Apache we heard from Diane with dinner plans at the Slickrock Cafe at 6:30pm. We went a little early for nachos and a beer, then had a great dinner while making introduction and swapping stories. Diane, Bob, Inez, Jean, Steve, and Jody told us lots of kayak trip stories and we were glad to be with such seasoned vets since this trip was a first for me and Jean.
04/05/2008: Just before 8am we were at Tex's doing some final packing and
wondering how the heck we would fit 7 days of food, water, clothes, and camping
gear into a kayak! After the trailer was loaded with boats and the bus was
loaded with bodies, off we drove to Mineral Bottom. It was a bit overcast but
the sun was poking out by the time we started the steep switchbacks that descend
900ft down an old uranium mining road to the river. Jean choose to duck down and
keep her eyes on the floor of the bus while I was hanging my head out of the
window checking out the rusted remains of cars that took the express route down
instead of the hairpin turns. At Mineral Bottom we unloaded everything into
piles then proceeded to fill every nook and cranny of the kayaks with stuff.
Man, how do these things float?! Some final snacks and laughs before shoving off
into the Green River where we would get picked up 54miles and 7 days later. We
barely paddled and just floated along enjoying the scenery and getting into the
groove of the river. Aaahhhhh, life is grand! Huge red rock walls were the banks
of the river and we went around the occasional island and muddy banks.
04/06/2008: Aaahhhh, waking up in
paradise! It was a leisurely morning of eating breakfast and packing up before
heading down the river an easy 4 miles to Fort Bottom. Once again, the paddle
was a float through time passing the large sandstone walls that were beaches and
sand dunes from 200 million years ago. The skies were a deep blue as can only be
seen in this part of the world. At Fort Bottom we repeated the process of
unpacking the kayaks and setting up camp for the night. Jean and I soon set off
to see the "Outlaw Cabin" and the Fremont Indian granary perched up high on
one of the nearby bluffs. The views from the porch of the cabin were some of the
best in the world as the river does a huge 2 miles and 180 degree bend around
the rocks. The trail up to the granary kept getting steeper and steeper until we
hit the 3rd class scramble up to the cap stone. We easily found the best was up
then took in the awesome 360degree views. WOWZA! Postcard quality views here.
Shortly after Diane, Jody, Steve, Inez, and Bob joined us up at the granary
after some quick tips on the easiest way up. More pictures and jaw-dropping
views before heading up Big Horn Mesa trail where the river narrows the bluffs to
just 100yds as it slowly chips away and tries to connect.
04/07/2008: Okay okay, so it rains sometimes
in paradise! But only for a couple hours in the morning. We took this
opportunity to hide out under some rocks ledges and cook up a huge breakfast of
leftover soup, eggs, and biscuits. More YUM! Of course it didn't take long for the
sun to come out and we packed up the kayaks for 10miles of paddling to Anderson
Bottom. It's hard to imagine, but the riverside scenery just kept getting
better! We first rounded Fort Bottom and got to see the other side of Big Horn
Mesa. Buttes of the Cross soon appeared and looks like a fallen cross, once
you get a couple miles farther you can actually see that it's made up of two
buttes. White Rim Sandstone dipped down to the rivers edge and would be on our
sides for quite some time. The old sand dunes were quite obvious. A stop at
Millard Canyon for lunch and poking around the rocks was fun. More great views
and the temptation to stay the night to do some exploring! Anderson Bottom was
just another couple miles and we started the unpacking process. This place was
kinda cool... it was tumbleweed alley! So this is where they all end up?!
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[Part 1] [Part 2]