Saturday, October 29, 2011

Through the Uintas

The miracles of technology are such that the tendrils of 3G service reach into the depths of Swallow Canyon, where we are drinking coffee on a sandy beach. After long days paddling across the Flaming Gorge Reservoir we've slackened our pace and have been leisurely exploring side canyons. Zak's dad and friend joined us on the reservoir, where we learned about the proposed 500+ mile water pipeline from the Flaming Gorge Reservoir to Colorado's Front Range. This project is still very much in planning stages but has the potential to significantly reduce the flow of the Green.
When we got to the Flaming Gorge Dam, we were greeted by two sheriffs who said they would rather drive us across the dam than us walk. What would have been a grueling three hour portage was an exciting 5 minute ride holding onto our boats in the back of the Dagget County sheriff's SUV, lights flashing all the way down to the river. You can blame the institutions that put a huge dam in a beautiful canyon (and we did), but all the people we've met have been exceedingly generous.
We're starting down the Canyon of Lodore tomorrow, which will be the first major whitewater of the trip.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

In the desert now

We're camped across the river from La Barge, the first town the river has gone right through. It was pretty much dark when we floated through and I almost hit a beaver with my kayak, so we didn't stop. So far we've spent 5 days in the Wind River Mountains (snowy, cold and spectacular), 5 days packrafting (down wet rocks, endless meanders and gorgeous country,) and 2 days kayaking (faster, less effort and much more aesthetically appealing). The river environment has changed from alpine wilderness to aspen covered foothills to the cattle covered sage flats where we are now. Most nights have been below freezing but the days are warm enough when we paddle. Wildlife abounds and the other night I woke up to Zak yelling at a moose walking about 10 feet from our sleeping bags. It's fun to see people's reactions when we say we're going to Mexico. Today we're going across the first reservoir of the trip, Fontenelle. Hopefully our sore shoulders can handle the flatwater...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Will and Zak are on the River!

We just received some of the first photos from Will and Zak's trip from their hike up into the Wind River Range, take a look:

Their SPOT GPS is also up and working now, here's a map of their position from last night:

According to their message from the SPOT they saw five moose and ten bald eagles yesterday. Continue to follow their progress here.

Thursday, October 6, 2011