River, Part 2

Ok, I was going to start with a list of excuses for why I haven’t posted since the last time, but you’ve heard them all, really. So I’ll just jump in with the story of the Great River Trip 2008. I’m going to put a bunch of pictures up here, but will link at the end to the whole photo album, for anybody with a lot of patience.

Now that the bruises have healed (more on that later), and the terror has faded (ditto), this stands out as one of my favorite vacations ever. I’d do it again in a heartbeat, which probably brands me as an insane person. Really, it was fun, I promise.

Here’s the rundown. We flew to Salt Lake City, rented a car, and drove to Vernal. I hope none of my readers are from Vernal, but if you are, I don’t mean to insult you. The people in Vernal were lovely, but the town is really dismal. It’s an oil boom town run amok, with little to recommend it to tourists. We had an extra day there due to some trip rescheduling, and drove up to Flaming Gorge, which was gorgeous. Fossils and rocks and desert, oh my. The geology in this part of the trip was amazing. One of the highlights was going to the dinosaur museum in Vernal. Here’s a photo:

I think she wanted to knit. Maybe if they’d had handknit socks, they wouldn’t have become extinct.

We put in on the Green River for the first leg of the trip through the Gates of Ladore. This was a 4-day, 3-night trip, with the raft company Oars. Both companies that we floated with were outstanding, by the way. I’d go with either of them again without any hesitation. Here are just a few photos.

The second leg of the trip was on the Colorado River south of Moab, through Cataract Canyon. This trip was with Sheri Griffith, another excellent long-term rafting company. The Colorado was at nearly all-time high water levels the week we were there. The first two days were nearly flat water through some spectacular red sandstone cliffs, with hikes every day. The rapids came later in the trip, and we ended up flipping a raft through a set of rapids known as the Big Drops on day 4. The six of us on our raft managed to stay with the upside down boat through the rest of the rapids, and the guides got us to the river bank and rescued us. The raft we were on was an 18 foot raft, with huge oars that you can see in some of those photos up there. I got banged around pretty good by the oar and the water, and had bruises to prove it. We were in wet suits, but I can tell you that the cold water was the last thing I was thinking about. Just to give you an idea of the force of the water, two of the guys on our boat were wearing swim trunks over their wet suits, and they were torn completely off in the water.

The boat that was behind us had a camera mounted on the deck, and is rumored to have a good video of our flip, but we don’t have it yet. Here’s something similar to what we did, in about the spot we went over. (If the link doesn’t work, right click it, and choose “watch on youtube”.)

Yeah, it was about that much fun.

Here are just a few more photos from the Cataract Canyon trip.

That’s Jose, our guide, and one of the owners of the company. Jose knows just about everything about river rafting, and a good deal more. After I brought out the knitting, he told me about the yarn shop back in Moab, and that they have a group that meets once a week to knit. We had to catch an airplane home, so never made it there to check his story, but next time.

That’s me explaining the basics of sock knitting to the boys.

Here we are, after the big flip, sharing war stories over cocktails.

And at baggage check-in at the Lake Powell International Airport:

Our rides back to Moab:

Here’s the link to the full photo albums, if you have nothing better to do. Next time there will be knitting updates!

Gates of Ladore

Cataract Canyon

Posted in Travel permalink

About Lorette

My name is Lorette. I learned to knit in 1999, and took up spinning in 2009. I'm a physician specializing in internal medicine, and live in the Pacific Northwest. Enjoy my blog!


River, Part 2 — 21 Comments

  1. You’re amazing.
    and you want to go again??? woo hoo You rock.
    So did you have some sort of hermetically sealed baggie for your sock??? (big grins..)
    Glad you and John are safe – and glad that you had a fabulous trip.

  2. Sounds like a fabulous trip! I’ve done the Colorado from Lee’s Ferry to Lake Mead, and yes, that water is COLD and powerful.

  3. Lorette! Bless you! I lived in the tiny town for Roosevelt (to which Vernal is a booming metropolis), just 30 min. outside of Vernal for 5 years and it’s nice to see that my opinion of it as the ass-end of civilization is shared by someone else. It was a horrible place to spend my first teenage years.
    But the surrounding desert IS beautiful.
    Glad you had fun!

  4. What an exciting trip! I think after flipping I’d be on the first plane headed back home. You’re a braver soul than I am!! The pictures are gorgeous. Although I have no desire to live there, that part of the country is so beautiful. Glad you made it home safely.

  5. The best thing about Vernal is the river and Flaming Gorge. The trip sounds awesome…awesomely beautiful, awesomely scary and awesomely wonderful!

  6. Sounds like a great time. And obviously you were prepared – both the camera and the knitting pulled through!

  7. You’ve convinced me not to go. I’ll just sit back and enjoy your pictures while staying nice and dry.
    Love the way the runway ends.

  8. I’m back after looking at your pictures, definitely not for me, first the flip, then the bathrooms, the rains and the planes. I’ll stick to those 1000 ft boats with multiple bars and buffets thank you very much. YOU have a GOOD attitude, lady.

  9. You are lucky, or plucky knitter. The rivers in Colorado are so high and fast this year that the local Sheriff has been threatening to close one of them. I live on the Arkansas, and I read about a rafting tragedy every week in the local paper. I mean, 5 people died last summer. I think there’s been nearly that many killed already this year. All in separate incidents when their rafts flipped or they were knocked out into that cold, swift water.