The Grand Time

Tom's Journal

May 28, 2007 - Day 13

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On this Memorial Day, our thoughts turned to those who are gone but not forgotten. Standing out most in my mind were memories with my parents, who taught my brothers and me about camping and boating in this area more than forty years ago.

In those days you could go the local theatre to see a John Wayne movie one night, then drive out here and walk around the movie set the next day.

These days there are many more people engaged in many more types of activities including climbing, mountain and road biking, horse-back riding, four-wheeling and hiking in addition to the river-related fun. While it is more difficult to find solitude, I applaud the federal, state and local agencies for keeping the area accessible and almost all the visitors who keep it from getting trashed.

For the second consecutive day, our departure time was 10:30 am. There was a crew of eleven of us including Robin, Dave, Derek, Holly, Carl, Alley, Stephanie, Tamara, Frank and Nancy on two oar rafts and one inflatable kayak.

We cruised through several class two rapids during a twelve mile stretch before arriving at 2:45 pm at Takeout Beach, the first of today’s two choices to disembark.

As the afternoon upstream wind grew in strength, eight opted to leave.

Armed with a steely determination, some cold drinks and sunscreen, Nancy, Carl and I set off in one raft to cover the ten miles downstream to Moab. We maintained good speed for a mile or two until the wind became so strong that it was almost impossible to maintain our place relative to the shoreline.

About that time, Carl and I rigged a rocket box (which is truly a metal box the Army uses to keep rockets dry) on a rope, tied it to the front of the boat and threw it overboard. It worked like an underwater “sail” and, as long as we kept the boat in the current, the river’s power was more than the wind could handle.

In this fashion, we inched our way along, marveling at the formations, colors and textures of the vertical rock walls rising hundreds of feet above us.

While I’ll probably never completely get over losing my parents, I felt extremely fortunate to share this most memorable of Memorial Days with family and friends who took the time to travel from places like New York, Chicago, Tucson and of course, Colorado.

As we expected, the Moab boat ramp appeared like a vision at just before 6 pm. Tired, sweaty, but with a sense of accomplishment we stepped off the raft and cheered as Rex met us.

Another day done and a long-overdue shower is in the near-term plan for me. My only regret was missing friends Susan, Charlie, Carly, Mogli and Coop who, mostly due to poor communication on my part, were in the area but unable to connect with us.

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Mile by Mile Photos

May 28, 2007 - Day 13
Mile 353 through Mile 373

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