Verde River - Sept 11, 2009 - Beasley Flat to Childs RAP - Part I

I was bored surfing the net Thursday night when I checked the flow for the Verde and noticed it had peaked at nearly 700cfs on Sept 6th but as of Sept10th it was reading only 170cfs at Camp Verde. I quickly shot an email to a friend who lives in Payson to see if she would drive me down to the river Friday on the north end of Fossil Creek road where I would hike in to the river, and then drive down to Childs RAP on Sunday to pick me up and she was all for it. I quickly shot off another email to a friend from Phx who packrafts but she was already planning and packing for an upcoming packraft in Montana, so it looks like its just me but I figured that would be the case since it was a very last minute decision/trip.

I left Tucson around 7am Friday and made it to Payson around 10:20 or so. Grabbed some eats, filled up the gas tank, and called my friend to meet up with her for the drive to the river. With the drive from Payson, some dilly dallying, exploring a few trails off of Fossil Creek road, and my hike from where I was dropped off down to the river….I didn't actually make it to the river until 3pm. I had my packraft inflated and all set and was on the water by 3:30. I floated leisurely for a little while and before I knew it the pre-falls was upon me. I easily lined my packraft through the pre-falls on river left and then portaged Verde falls.

I floated through a pretty cool part of the canyon where walls tower above you on both sides and soon I came upon the No Stop zone for the bald eagles but it was past the closure dates so I was safe to pull in and stop. I looked around for about 35 minutes or so and didn't spot an eagle but figured I would make camp there for the night so I spread my stuff out and had my tent pitched and soon after I heard rumbling in the distance with some fierce dark looking clouds rolling towards me. About 40 minutes later the rain came and it came HARD and it also hailed for a little while, the storm passed after about 30 – 40 minutes. I climbed outta my stuffy tent to a deafening roar, sounded like a freight train, and I immediately though in my head FLASH FLOOD!!! So I frantically tear down my wet tent with everything in it and am trying to move stuff to higher ground when I look up river about 100 feet and there was a small side canyon with a humongous water fall flowing from the rains that just came and that's where the loud roar was coming from. I felt better but still moved camp to higher ground. Didn't get much sleep that night at all.
PaddleOn River Images