The Grand Time

Tom's Journal

May 20 2007 - Day 5

View A Different Day

Today I started alone and paddled in beautiful weather for six miles through very flat water. It is obvious from the floating debris that the river is reaching the highest level it has for some time. The Blue River, also running very high, joined from the north and it appeared to double the size of the Colorado. A lone fox watched as I passed.

The serenity of the calm water, sounds of wildlife and smells of new growth gave way to the roar and mist of over two thousand cubic feet per second of water dropping precipitously in Gore Canyon. This is a popular place for expert kayakers when the river has a less than fourth of the water it has today; I can’t imagine a person alive (and who wants to stay that way) trying it at this level.

Consequently I carried my kayak about three miles to a point where it appeared the worst of the maelstrom had ended. It still was mostly white water, and I was doing fine until I rounded a bend and dropped into a hole created by two large boulders in the middle of the current. I stayed upright but had to fight hard to get free of the recirculating boils.

I don’t remember being so happy to see people fishing from the shore shortly downstream; it meant I was nearing Pumphouse, a recreation area frequented by campers, boaters and fishermen (and women).

Below Pumphouse the river mellowed considerably, although there were some rapids in a canyon known as Little Gore. On this stretch there were many rafts full of people enjoying the stunning scenery and fine weather.

At a place called Radium, which consists of a few buildings apparently built as a depot for the railroad that passes through, I once again met my family along with two friends from my High School days, Steve O’Dell and Steve Tautz. Steve O’Dell will turn fifty on Saturday so this meeting served as a commencement to the beginning of the start of a pre-party.

With the skies threatening and a few drops of rain falling, we all boarded a sixteen-foot paddle raft and floated away. There was only one rapid, called Yarmony, necessary to stop and scout. We did fine through it and the weather cleared as we made our way through a series of smaller riffles and rapids to a place known as State Bridge at about 5 pm.

The day’s mileage was almost twenty five. I don’t know the exact elevation at State Bridge, but it must be around 6,700, bringing today’s descent to about 700, most of which occurred in Gore Canyon.

Since the Blue River passes through two major reservoirs, Lake Dillon and Green Mountain Reservoir, its water was warmer than the Colorado’s. This brought the water temperature up to 52 degrees, which still feels cold to me.

View A Different Day

Mile by Mile Photos

May 20 2007 - Day 5
Mile 76 through Mile 100

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