I began Friday (4/17/09) by battling awful road conditions through Clear Creek Canyon and up I-70 and was treated to lack of heat in the van during the blizzard as my thermostat decided to flake out on me. (Oh well, another project for next weekend.) But hot or cold, I was lucky to make it through the rough conditions. Laurie, who had the Westwater Canyon permit, got delayed for hours and eventually stuck in Dumont, CO after I-70 was closed. Good thing I made it through there 2 hours earlier! A few hours later, I met up with Kim and Brad in Fruita, where we modified our trip plan slightly. Even though Laurie had most of the food and kitchen gear, we were able to purchase some food and forge on through Ruby-Horsethief canyons on our own. Or perhaps you were able to infer most of this by tracking my progress on the web?
Saturday proved to be much warmer than Friday, with temperatures in the high 50’s and sunny skies. The water was moving quickly and thanks to our boat rigging the night before, we arrived at the Black Rocks camp by mid-afternoon just in time for siesta on the beach! I followed my nap up with a hike to the rim above the river and was able to capture the settings below on film.
Sunday was even warmer and the hot desert sun quickly reminded me of newly acquired sun burn from the day before. We broke camp at a reasonable time and arrived at the Westwater Ranger station by 1pm, where Laurie and the rest of of our group was waiting for us. The rest of the day was a continuation of our mellow float and we camped at Upper Little-D with all the whitewater waiting for us the following day. A great dinner and great company around the campfire topped off the day.
Monday was a rush of rapids in succession that gave way to another warm, sunny float to the Cisco take-out. Best of all- no wind! Of course, I couldn’t be satisfied with merely rowing my raft through the whitewater. No, I had to use my new waterproof camera to make a movie of the experience, and Raft-Cam was born!
Sure the camera angle could use a little work, but it is still pretty cool! And if that isn’t enough action for you, check out the photo, GPS tracks, and Google Earth files below!