The Grand Time

Tom's Journal

May 25 2007 - Day 10

View A Different Day

Today marked the maiden voyage of our eighteen foot oar raft and the first full day I have not been in my kayak.

At eleven am we shoved off from just downstream of the Interstate 70 bridge over the river at the east Palisade exit. If you are passing through this area on the Interstate, you can easily spot this point as it is a high, curving bridge just downstream from a dam (the second of two we had to portage the previous day).

Within a mile we floated across a river-wide diversion that was easy to navigate because the river is still running high. This is the most urban-like setting through which the river runs, with many bridges and some buildings visible from the water.

While it is still running high, the river’s flow has dropped about 20% from what it had been three or four days ago. My guess is that this is due to the recent cold weather which has slowed or- at the highest elevations- stopped the melting of the ice and snow.

For my partner Lars Hard this translated to a very long day and some of the night of rowing on slow water. The only break came when my brother Dan met us with some take-out food at the same point where another brother Dave and his eighteen-foot cataraft joined us.

At the confluence with the Gunnison River we saw several kayakers surfing on a large wave and we wondered aloud why we weren’t in our little kayaks enjoying the fun. At a time like this what would a junction such as this be called? Grand Junction.

It took us until almost five o’clock to get to Loma, the farthest downstream point where the river is visible from Interstate 70. This is also the put-in point for folks who want to float a beautiful and very mellow portion of the river as it passes through Ruby and Horsethief Canyons.

Most people take two days to enjoy the classic desert scenery found along this stretch but we (or more accurately, Lars) had to keep pushing to get to the Westwater Ranger Station in time for the following day’s launch.

Lars was up to the task, and at about 10:30 pm he brought us to shore at the day’s destination. This had better be the longest mileage day of the whole journey, a whopping 57 miles. I can’t be more appreciative for Lars’ effort; quite obviously I couldn’t have done it without the one and only Lars Hard.

My hands are just as thankful because they are getting pretty worn out from the beating they are taking from the water, sun and kayak paddle. Speaking of the sun, the weather is getting closer to normal for this time of year, 70s and 80s in the day. Now if we could just have a little less upstream wind!

View A Different Day

Mile by Mile Photos

May 25 2007 - Day 10
Mile 256 through Mile 312

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