Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Yampa Float

As promised, the next installment of our weeklong Colorado trip. For the second adventure of the week, we canoed 50 miles of the Yampa river from the city of Craig to a place called Juniper Canyon (several miles upstream of Maybelle). We did not expect to accomplish this in one day, so we spent two nights on the river. I don't know what the flow of the river was officially; it was enough to keep us afloat (barely), but clearly had been higher earlier in the season.

Launching from the city park in Craig
This section of river quickly goes through farmland, then through BLM land known as Duffy Canyon, past Duffy Mountain and then back out to farmland. Somewhat surprisingly, the BLM land had more cattle than the farmland. It is not fun to camp with the cows (Vixen disagrees) and it is not legal to camp on private land, so we camped on islands.
Beached on a desert island for the first night
A lazy river

Full moon rising over our second camp
The shuttle vehicle at the Juniper Canyon takeout
After 50 miles of river, I biked back 30 miles to retrieve the pickup truck. Every afternoon on the river, we had wind gusts pushing us back up-canyon. I was hoping that would be a tail-wind on the bike, but that last day just wasn't as windy. Or maybe it was the 95-degree heat that slowed me down.

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