Posts tagged: Colorado River
CAMPING — Urine management is required on rivers, but it's also worth consideration on virtually any camping trip where a vault toilet isn't close by camp.
I thought about this several times a day — not to mention a few more times at night — during my recent rafting-hiking adventure in Grand Canyon National Park.
Rafters on heavily used rivers such as the Colorado through the Grand Canyon, as well as on Idaho's wilderness rivers such as the Salmon and Selway, are asked to pee in the river rather on shores.
Dilution is the solution to pollution.
Peeing on shore ultimately stinks and makes the campsite less appealing to those who follow. Urine also attracts critters who crave the salt. This can be cute at first but menacing to those who follow.
The pee bottle for men or a pee bucket with a lid for women is a highly recommended item I've used for years — during snow storms climbing Mount McKinley, during late night nature calls while sleeping in the back of my pickup at hunting camp, in my tent in campgrounds…. you get the idea.
On river trips especially, you can store the pee in the bottle for an entire evening and through the night and make one trip to a flowing section of the current to dispose of the urine rather than making numerous trips during the course of a camp.
The best bottles are wide-mouth plastic bottles with tight-sealing lids.
My time-tested favorite is the 48-ounce (bigger is better) Nalgene Canteen — a flexible wide-mouth container that collapses flat for storage while traveling.
There, I'm relieved to have shared this with you.
ADVENTURING — My recent multi-week winter rafting-hiking adventure on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon (see story here) prompts a few hints to people planning similar river trips as well as to anglers planning multi-day trips to places such as Alaska:
CARE FOR YOUR HANDS. River trips suck the moisture out of your skin, especially your hands. I've come home with cracked, bleeding hands after week-long float-fishing trips in Alaska, my fingers so sore it was difficult to stuff a sleeping bag in its sack.
Colorado River rafters emphasize this point and recommend preventive treatment.
Based on a recommendation from an experienced Canyon boater, I started using ProKera lotion (available at RiteAid stores) twice a day several days before we launched.
During the trip, I wore paddling gloves as much as possible while on the boat and especially while loading and tending bow lines.
And I applied the extreme-care ProKera lotion two or three times a day. This is the kind of lotion (Tiger Balm also works well) that takes several minutes of rubbing to absorb into your hands. The time is well spent. My hands came out of the desert river trip in excellent condition.
ADVENTURING — My recent multi-week winter rafting-hiking adventure on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon (see story here) with a private group prompts me to share some observations to people planning similar group river trips. For example:
BAG THE GROUP KITCHEN: If your trip is long and the group is larger than about six members, rafting guide Brian Burns recommends letting every rafter, couple or family bring and prepare their own meals on their own cooking equipment.
“The group kitchen thing can cause problems on trips longer than a week or so,” he said. “People eat different quantities and have different food preferences and the chores can become a sense of friction if some people think others in the group are slacking.”
And it can be a big bummer to get up at 5 a.m. on a bad-weather day to get the group meal going so the coffee's ready by 7 — especially if several in the group want tea.
The do-it-yourself method worked beautifully on our Grand Canyon trip. It gave people time to chill on their own and then mingle as they wished during breakfast and dinner, sometimes sharing with the group treats such as cocktails, chocolate, smoked oysters and wine before and after mealtime.
Even after a couple weeks, the only person you could blame for inadequate food was yourself.
ADVENTURING — Before I write my stories about winter adventuring in the Grand Canyon, I have to decide which I enjoyed more, the view up from the river or the view down from the rim!
About 50 hours ago I snapped this photo after hiking out 10 miles and nearly a mile in elevation to the Grand Canyon's South Rim Village.
I'd been rafting the Colorado River and exploring the side canyons for two weeks. But I had to leave my rafting buddies and return to Spokane as they continue downstream on one of the greatest 30-day adventures one can have in the USA.
Two things motivated me to put the pedal to the metal for the 1,240-mile return drive from the Canyon:
Stories to come. Stay tuned.
NOTE DATE: The date for this program was incorrect in today's print version of the announcement.
PADDLING – Four Spokane Canoe and Kayak Club members who survived a close call with a freak flash flood event while kayaking the Green River of Utah will present a free slide and video program on the trip Monday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. at the Mountain Gear Corporate Headquarters, 6021 E. Mansfield Ave. in Spokane Valley (go north on Fancher Road from Trent and turn right just before the tracks).
Debbie Pierce, Lisa Helmbrecht, Marlene Landis and Susan Luchesi were trapped on a quickly disappearing sand bar out of reach of rescue-attempting park rangers until the flood formed a temporary dam that gave them a short window for escape.
FISHING — This story took me back to the Pend Oreille River about 10 years ago…
Northern pike have made their way into the Upper Colorado River
Utah has already put a $20 bounty on northern pike, the toothy adversary of a healthy trout population, and with a confirmed catch of the invasive predator—and, unfortunately, its live release into the Colorado River at Pumphouse Recreation Area, Colorado should consider a similar program to rid the waters of pike—which have no place in the Colorado River.
A column by Scott Willoughby, Denver Post; Aug. 7
RIVERS – Lynn and Stan Mrzygod will recount their recent 30-day, 300-mile, self-guided winter excursion through the wild rapids in the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River in a slide program sponsored by the Spokane Canoe & Kayak Club on Monday, 7 p.m. at Mountain Gear corporate offices, 6021 E. Mansfield in Spokane Valley.
This ought to be an excellent way to chill out after a busy weekend.
RIVER RUNNING — The National Park Service is abandoning its normal practice of stationing rangers at a rescue camp near the most dangerous stretch of the world-renowned rapids of Utah's Cataract Canyon on the Colorado River.
A story in the Deseret News explains that with high water everywhere this year, the Park Service said it won't be setting up the rescue camp and notified river-running companies to be prepared to self rescue.
PADDLING — Typically the Grand Canyon is floated by raft because of the length of time it takes to boat the roadless stretch of the Colorado River.
Most trips take 12-21 days to negotiate big whitewater and long stretches of flatwater.
All the skills requirements are amplified for the few self-supported kayakers who attempt to carry all their gear – including the required “groover” and fire pan.
But Scott Sills and Mike Copeland proved it could be done in a 16-day December adventure they launched in creek boats stuffed with 250 pounds of gear.
They’ll present a program on the trip (and tell whether they could Eskimo roll a kayak that heavy in the canyon’s huge water) Monday, 7 p.m., at the Corbin Community Center, 827 W. Cleveland, sponsored by Spokane Canoe & Kayak Club.
RIVER RUNNING — Rafters who have the do-it-yourself skills for big water have until Feb. 23 to apply for a coveted permit to run the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park.
The National Park Service is holding its annual lottery this month to assign launch dates for private river trips through the cayon.
The lottery system replaced a years-long waiting list in 2006.
The Park Service will award 436 permits for 12- to- 25-day noncommercial trips on the Colorado River. The permits are for specific launch dates in 2012.
Additional draws will be held for the self-guided trips that are canceled or left over after the Feb. 23 application deadline.
The main applicant must be 18 years or older, and at least one person on the trip must be experienced in whitewater rafting.
Check out the video above to see if you're ready to handle Lava Falls.
WHAT ARE YOUR ODDS?
A rafting trip on the Colorado River requires the luck of the draw or a hefty withdrawal from your savings account.
Not many years ago, rafting permit applicants got on a waiting list that ran as long as 20 years.
Since 2006, around 8,000 applicants vie for permits in a lottery system.
Chances of drawing a permit for a specified date are about 1 percent.
Therefore, most people who want to go on a Grand Canyon rafting trip before they die pay dearly for the privilege. An 18-day trip through 47 major rapids rated 5 or above on the Grand Canyon scale of 1-10 will cost around $4,800.