Float #13-17: Colorado River

8 Aug

Grizzly Creek Rest Area to Two Rivers Park

Colorado River
Garfield County, Colorado
Sunday, July 17 – Thursday July 21
6 Miles

The other floats we did in Colorado were all the same 6 mile stretch of the Colorado river (See the previous post before you read this one). This float was really convenient for the raft owners to shuttle everyone to the put-in and the take-out was walking distance from the campground. Our friends from Colorado Springs owned 4 of the rafts and they set up a trip every day so many people from the NSS camp could get a chance to raft for free. DW played river guide for 3 of the trips and I split my time between paddling and riding the oar raft.

colorado river rafting

The put-in at Grizzly Creek

rafting colorado river glenwood canyon

DW plays river guide

The first day we went out with Brianna and her crew. The Colorado has been running really high this year due to all the heavy snowmelt. The river continued to drop the whole week we were there, so every day we went out was a little different. The first day all the obstacles were underwater, but the waves were pretty big. DW and I took The Pickle the first day. It was really difficult to steer because we have very uneven paddling strength. Every time DW would paddle the boat would spin toward him and my paddling was not enough to counteract his. We both got very wet and I almost swam twice! A third of the way down the river we finally figured it out and the rest of the trip was a lot of fun. Everyone else who took The Pickle the rest of the week had three people and it balanced out much better.

The following day the Colorado Springs crew went out with a large group of people. DW guided his own boat of adventurous paddlers. He has never guided a raft before, but since he knows how to read water and we had done it the day before, that was apparently adequate experience. Right out of the put-in his raft hit a hard eddy line and he and 2 others promptly fell out. They all got back in the raft and the rest of the trip went smoothly, although DW was teased about it the rest of the week. I helped paddle another raft that was overloaded with people. The water was still pretty high so it was a bit nerve-wracking hoping we didn’t hit a wave wrong and flip the boat. We all made it through and had fun.

The third day we went out the water had gone down quite a bit, resulting in smaller waves and a few rocks poking their heads above water. I planned to paddle in one of the rafts, but there were a bunch of new people who really wanted to paddle, so I gave up my spot and rode in an oar raft instead. DW guided a raft again. This time everyone stayed in the boat, but his crew did not listen very well or paddle very hard so he had to do most of the work!

Colorado river from Two Rivers Park

Along this stretch of river there are numerous hot springs that boil up into the water. On a typical July float guides will stop their boats and hang out, but the water was so high during this week all the springs were underwater. The final day we went out with Brianna’s husband Jamie in their oar raft. The water was getting pretty calm and there were no big Class III waves left, but the fallen logs and rocks were making a definite appearance. Even though we did the same stretch over and over, every day was different and we had great fun.

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