The Grand Time

Tom's Journal

May 19 2007 - Day 4

View A Different Day

This day was for the birds-many sizes and shapes.

As Gary is in the process of catching a cold, I began solo from the County Seat of-you guessed it, Grand County-at about 10 am, and within just a couple miles entered Byers Canyon. The rocks forming its rapids are sharp and unnatural, as they were left behind by the blasting necessary to create the railroad on one side of the river and Colorado highway 40 on the other.

The first major drop created a “rooster tail” of water from some of these sharp rocks-it looked like it was possible to run it, but since I was alone I opted to walk around it. The rest of the canyon provided almost non-stop thrills and I stopped twice to scout drops that were blind from upstream.

All went well and soon the river became calm but swift for ten-plus miles. In this stretch there are many diversion dams placed by ranchers for irrigation ditches. While none were particularly dangerous, some were high enough that it was difficult to see from upstream which was the best route through.

Other obstacles were cables stretched from one shore to the other, most with signs warning of private property. Many were difficult to see because the cable blended in with the backdrop of water, and some were dangling dangerously in the water because the river’s level is about four to five times normal.

As I got within about five miles of the town of Kremmling, the river slowed dramatically and the variety of bird life was astounding. Unfortunately I don’t know how to identify many different species, but I saw pelicans, a large nest with bald eaglets, and many pair of geese with goslings. Several of these geese “parents” would try to get my attention by honking and swimming away from their families. One led me down the river for over half a mile.

At this point I came upon another kayaker, who turned out to be a Colorado Department of Wildlife officer named Mike Crosby. We paddled together for a couple miles and he was an entusiastic wealth of information about the river and its inhabitants. He advised that the river has not reached this high a level in over five years, and it is expected to increase even more. In the many years he had been doing his job, he had never seen another kayak on this part of the river. Still not sue if that is good news-

After travelling more than twenty miles, I was very happy to see my family at the Colorado highway #9 bridge at about 3pm. The Subway sandwich they brought with them tasted awfully good!

I was given incorrect information for yesterday’s entry-Kremmling is about 7,400 feet in elevation, which means Hot Sulphur Springs is about 7,750 feet in elevation and the river dropped about 350 feet during the stretch Gary and I did yesterday and about the same amount during the distance I traveled today. The water temperature was 46 degrees where I stopped, with sore shoulders and hands, for the day. It was good timing too, as rain soon began to fall.

View A Different Day

Mile by Mile Photos

May 19 2007 - Day 4
Mile 55 through Mile 75

May 16 2007 - Day 1May 17 2007 - Day 2May 18 2007 - Day 3May 19 2007 - Day 4May 20 2007 - Day 5May 21 2007 - Day 6May 22 2007 - Day 7May 23 2007 - Day 8May 24 2007 - Day 9May 25 2007 - Day 10May 26 2007 - Day 11May 27, 2007 - Day 12May 28, 2007 - Day 13May 29, 2007 - Day 14May 30, 2007 - Day 15May 31, 2007 - Day 16June 1, 2007 - Day 17June 2 - 11, Day 18 - 27June 12, 2007 - Day 28June 13, 2007 - Day 29June 14, 2007 - Day 30June 15, 2007 - Day 31June 16, 2007 - Day 32June 17, 2007 - Day 33June 18, 2007 - Day 34June 19, 2007 - Day 35June 20, 2007 - Day 36June 21, 2007 - Day 37June 22, 2007 - Day 38June 23, 2007 - Day 39June 24, 2007 - Day 40June 25, 2007 - Day 41June 26, 2007 - Day 42June 27, 2007 - Day 43June 28, 2007 - Day 44June 29 2007 - Day 45June 30, 2007 - Day 46July 1 - 13, Day 47 - 58July 15, 2007 - Day 59
The last day; The river’s end