|Green River, Utah
In October of 1991, we flew to Salt Lake City to meet our friends Bill, Gary, Paul, and Peter for a canoe trip down the Green River.
The Green River passes through Utah's' red rock country, then joins the Colorado River which, of course, eventually passes through the Grand Canyon.
From our base in Moab, we met our outfitter and headed to Mineral Bottom.
|When the outfitters were taking the canoes off of the
truck, one canoe fell about 8 feet to the ground.
Some other people thought that this
was a doomed canoe, but we knew that it was just anxious to get in the water. This was a
good sign. At least that was our story after we were given the canoe, and we planned to
stick to it.
We paddled for a few hours each morning, after eating Bill's
excellent pancakes. We would stop occasionally to explore Anasazi ruins, look at
petroglyphs, or do a little fishing.
One day, as Gary, Paul, and I skipped rocks, we explored my theory that it's impossible to skip rocks and be evil at the same time.
Gary and I were debated the possible merits of rock
skipping as therapy for evil people, until Paul threatened to skip a rock off both our
The average evening consisted of a large fire, a hearty dinner, a touch of alcohol, and animated discussions. As Peter was a new member of our troupe, we had all the excuse we would need to tell and further embellish old stories and legends from past camping experiences.
Canoeing here is as much a visual experience as a physical one, because of the changing scenery.
This region is a large geological kaleidoscope.
Suddenly, that which you have taken for granted, previously, is seen in
a new light.
That is the silent strength of the desert.
The hikes are the highlight of the trip for me.
The Anasazi presence, in petroglyphs, flints, and dwellings, is everywhere.
There is colorful sandstone, delicate enough to fall apart in your hands. The patterns remind us of Indian sand paintings.
|We also find geodes, lava rock, petrified wood, arches,
peepholes, caves, and canyons. A coyote skull. Fossils of a snake, and of sea plants.
It's every boys' dream. The possibility of surprise lurks around each turn.
On our next-to-last day, we did a group hike.
My motto when hiking, though, is 'never give up altitude'.
We climbed across the cliff, over a dry waterfall, and reached the top. I took out the binoculars and looked for the others. They were returning to camp. Unfortunately, they had most of the supplies. Our bags carried only 2 granola bars and 16 ounces of water for the afternoon.
A stream bed ran next to us. We knew that it might be polluted by cows upstream. We could drink or turn around. Knowing that we would be back in town tomorrow, we decided to drink and continue. We filled our stomachs and then our bottles, with stream water.
||We followed cairns up a wash.
As we hiked further, goblins and hoodoos surrounded us. The colors were intense, the shapes fantastic.
Flints were everywhere. They jingled as we walked through them. Peter loaded his pockets, until , he jingled as he walked, so he emptied them.
We circled to a point between the Shot Canyon and Water Canyon waterfalls.
|We could see the Green River below, with Petes Mesa
nearby, Castles in the Sky a few miles away, and the La Sal Mountains rising dramatically
in the distance. We took photos and finished most of our water.
guys, we spent some time throwing rocks into the canyon and listened for the gunshot
The next day, we were picked up by jet boat, and whisked back up the Colorado River to Moab.
In Moab, we took showers and headed to Eddie McStiffs, a great
pizza/beer joint who's motto is 'Pure Desert Product'.
Or maybe it's just the beer talking!