The Grand Time

Tom's Journal

May 22 2007 - Day 7

View A Different Day

During the night a cold front came in bringing with it rain and snow, which was visible on the rims of Glenwood Canyon. This place is a microcosm of the Grand Canyon, complete with sedimentary layers on both ends and hard, igneous rock in the middle. In both canyons, the hard rock in the deep inner gorge is responsible for the creation of the most turbulent rapids.

Thinking the morning’s 47 degree temperature would increase, I waited until almost 1 pm to depart from Dotsero. With my typical luck, by then it was 44 degrees; at least there was no wind or rain falling from the dark, low-hanging clouds as I floated by the confluence with the Eagle River from Vail.

The first ten miles had almost completely flat water which was very slow with breathtaking views around each bend. I must admit some of the amazing scenery was lost on me as my apprehension grew about the white water that I knew was ahead.

By 2: 4o I made it to the dam that diverts water downstream to the Shoshone electric generating plant. Shortly below this point is the largest single drop in the entire river. Kayakers refer to it as “Upper Death” and it has been kayaked at flow levels less than the mid-6,000 cubic foot per second (cfs) volume in it when I passed.

One of those who has boated it in years past is Jonathan Satz; he couldn’t be part of today’s adventure because it is his wedding day-congratulations Jonathan and Sarah!

However, four extreme kayakers-including Jeremy Signorini, Tommy Hillicky and Nicki Kelley ( a female) did boat the next major class V rapid, which is called Barrel Springs. I boated it three times at lower levels more than ten years ago, but that is not going to happen again.

I wasn’t able to watch the Barrel Springs exhibition because, along with help from my friend Margaret and her bicycle, I was busy hauling my kayak down the bike path from Upper Death.

However I was able to connect with Joe Beverage and boat the Shoshone section, which-at greater than 5,000 cfs is off limits to commercial rafting companies. It was quite a thrill and I was glad to have Joe to follow through it.

Where the Shoshone section ends at Grizzly Creek, we were greeted by Susan and Ian from US Bank. The hot coffee and cocoa they had really hit the spot because the temperature was still quite cold.

Friends Dave, Dara and Peggy joined us in Dave’s raft for the remaining distance in to Glenwood Springs. I was relieved and happy to have met my goal of boating Shoshone-and especially thankful to Joe for doing it with me.

At Two Rivers Park in Glenwood, where the Roaring Fork River from Aspen joins the Colorado, more friends including Bob and Jan braved the cold weather to wish us well. Special thanks to Scott Black of Subway for the great sandwich I ate prior to travelling today’s twenty-plus miles, which despite the on-and-off rain, was a ton of fun! As night began to fall, so did some more snow-brrrrrrrrrrr.

View A Different Day

Mile by Mile Photos

May 22 2007 - Day 7
Mile 147 through Mile 168

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