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

I was up Saturday morning by 5:30am. I had some eats, packed my stuff up and was on the river by 7:30. Floated for about 30 minutes or so and hit an awesome little drop that definitely helped me have a bowel movement. As I float around the corner I see a guy washing dishes in the river so I paddle over to talk to him. 3 guys all in canoe's put in at Beasley RAP Friday and taking out at Childs RAP Sunday. They damaged 1 of the canoe's at the pre-falls but were able to continue on with it, and honestly when I got done with the trip I just didn't understand how those guys run that in canoe's. Anyways……I float on and just enjoy the scenery and the solitude. As I came around 1 corner I disturbed a bald eagle and he took off flapping those humongous wings making the most awesome sound and making it look so effortless and gracefull. About 5 minutes down the way I saw a group of 7 or 8 female bald eagles just circling overhead, man that was just cool. Soon I would stop for lunch where I ate a few snack bars and also enjoyed a fat green burrito in this amazing and beautiful scenery. I pushed off and continued on paddling and soon came to a section of the river where I must have disturbed a couple of either river otters or muskrats (don't know if either are in AZ?) and they kept curiously bobbing out of the water an dmaking lots of noise and swimming all around my packraft. They continued doing this for about 200 feet following me down river…I must admit that was pretty damn cool.

Soon I looked at my GPS and I figured WOW at this rate I will be at Childs RAP today. So I had a decision to make…..1) find a place soon and camp for the night and make a leisurely short paddle for Sunday OR 2)paddle to Childs RAP and camp for the night and wait for ride on Sunday OR 3)paddle to Childs RAP and hope I could snag a ride out to Payson with someone, anyone. I paddled and paddled and soon came to the Verde Hot springs where I stopped for a soak. There was a couple there with their 2 young daughters and that was it. We talked for a while, they asked about my trip and where I was going and soon enough I had secured a ride back to Payson with them. They soaked for a while and I took off for Childs so I could take out and pack everything up. Soon we were off headed back to Payson. I got dropped off in town where I made a phone call for my friend to come pick me up. I grabbed some eats and then headed out on the road back to Tucson.

Great little 2 – 3 day trip. Definitely some hairy drops in there. In 1 braided section I got pushed into the reeds and flipped my packraft, luckily held onto paddle and was able to grab my raft just as it was being taken away by the current. I had to wind up lining my raft through the rest of that little braided section, that gave me a damn good scare. The water was pretty nasty since it was monsoon runoff. I was able to filter about 2 liters before my filter got clogged, had to clean it…and it still didn't work all that great, not to mention the water had a weird taste to it as well but I didn't get sick.
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