Green-Colorado Rivers - Mineral Bottom to the Confluence - September 6, 2003

The mode of transportation made this paddle trip a bit unusual. The normal hard shell kayak was ruled out for a couple of reasons. I didn't want to haul it the 375 miles from Phoenix to Moab. The last year they have gone trans-continental twice and I was just tired of the trailer. In addition, storage capacity was there to haul the estimated nine gallons of required liquids, but not when the portable toilet was included.

I've never understood canoes, which are the craft of choice on the river. So settled on my newest fleet addition, an inflatable Sevylor SVX200. A tandem kayak configured as a solo for this trip, the 650-pound payload limit was not an issue. In retrospect, I wish now that I had taken more luxury items, such as a real ice chest instead of the soft cooler that I did take.

The drive north was uneventful except for the amount of rain that was falling, or that had just fallen. Didn't drive through much of it although it seemed to be all around me, and the normally dry washes were running. After the drought years, I had been hoping for 1000 cfs flow and it looked good at that point. Perhaps even 1100 were possible. Little did anyone know about the huge spike (3439 cfs) coming down the river.

Tex's Riverways was the outfitter, more by chance than choice. River talk over the next week confirmed people seemed more satisfied with them than the alternative, Tag-A-Long. All I was looking for was the shuttle but the other groups going in on the 6th were close to being fully outfitted by Tex's. For $130, I thought the shuttle service was fine and would use them again without any hesitation.

Arrived at Mineral Bottom at 10AM on Sunday the 6th. Jet boat pickup was scheduled for noon on the 13th at Spanish Bottom. I was a little leery since I had not talked to anyone personally who had done this trip, only read web reports. The lunch stop at the San Juan Goosenecks had shown that river to be a long way down, with plenty of rain squalls and wind to contend with. But with the sun beating down, all looked good on launch morning.

Click images to view trip report details.

Trip report image
USGS flow link image