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Monday, June 16, 2008


What a great trip! I went rafting with a group of friends on the Green River through Desolation canyon in Eastern Utah.

Jessica and I left Thursday night to camp outside Well, NV so we could pick up my parents when they landed Friday morning. We made it to Salt Lake City just as they should have arrived, but their flight was delayed so we ate breakfast. After picking them up, we made a few last minute stops around the city, then headed to Price, UT.

The next morning we packed up our stuff and went and explored 9 mile canyon which has tons of historic artifacts and petroglyph's. As we were exploring, a guy in another trip asked if we saw them all? We didn't know what he meant because ruins were literally everywhere. It quickly became a running joke.

We drove back to Price, met the rest of the group, then worked on getting everything to fit. Six days of food, boats, life jackets gear, stoves, propane, all took up lots of room, but we managed to work it all in. Our boat alone brought 150 beers. From Price we drove the two hours to the Sandwash put-in. It's one of my favorite drives along the base of a mesa and with the sun setting behind you the wall lights up. The scene is so large there is never a picture that can do it justice. We got there at dark and after making camp, looked up and saw the International Space Station go by.

The next morning we get up and rig our boats, trying to figure the best way to move those 150 beers. The river was high, running about 24,500 CFS when last year we were closer to 8,000. So the first day we floated 15 miles and our camp had tons of mosquitoes. We got pretty inventive on how to keep them off, because they did not respond to bug spray at all.

It was about another 15 miles the second day and we stopped at an old miners dwelling which has an amazing spring outside of it. Some of the relics in there were really neat like a pair of old boots and a duster, it looked like someone just left the day before. We also saw a couple big horn sheep running around on the side of the canyon, leaping over rocks like it was nothing.

The second night was more mosquitoes. Something about the high water made them horrible and attacking. The sunrise the next morning was beautiful and we made an early departure. Our first stop of the day was at ancient granieries. They were made by the natives to store their corn in and can be about a thousand years old. Then we made another stop at Rock Creek for lunch and to get clean water and finally got to camp.

We had a layover day at the next camp and hiked to the ranch at Rock Creek and then some went further up the canyon to see some rock art. I went back and hung out with my mom in the shade and enjoyed the lazy day. When everyone came back we had a great night hanging out, it was like a party.

Next morning we headed down river, the rapids became larger and more frequent. It was a nice breakup of the day. A few even splashed over the boat. For lunch we stopped at the McPhearson ranch. It's another old pioneer settlement that has amazing stone work that was all cut by hand. That night, we camped just before Wire Fence rapid at what many people considered our best campsite. We had a great view of the setting sun on the rock face and a nice comfortable place to camp. It was great to be on the water.

Our last full day there were even more rapids. I did the first half, then Jessica took over. She was still at the oars for Rattle Snake Rapids, which I didn't think would be to bad, but underestimated how fast the water would be running at the wall. I was in the back taking pictures and Jessica at the oars, we didn't quite estimate how fast the water was taking us at the rocks. When the water hit the rock, it rocked us up, and my dad went sliding off and into the river. As he fell, he managed to grab on to the bow line and pulled himself in. Good thing we were camping right after that and were able to change quickly.

The last day was pretty mild with a few rapids and fun times linking boats together to float down the river. We were sad that it had to end, but looking forward to that shower. We got off at Swasyes Boat ramp and disassembled all the gear. There was a lot of action from other groups finishing up. After everything was packed we went for burgers at Ray's in Green River and then up to Price to drop off the gear. Most people headed home after that, but Jessica and I stayed the night in Salt Lake City with my parents and in the morning went out for a Father's Day Brunch.

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It was a quick week, but we had a blast. Now this weekend I'm going to California for Danielle's wedding. Expect more from that!

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