Day 11. Almost
25 October 2017 | Colorado River
Another day and another 30 miles. Not enough, unfortunately for us, to reach the Utah border today but we had anticipated this and brought an extra day's food ration with in the packrafts. More Skratch energy bars? Yes please!
We were up and out of the tent at six am this morning hoping to get a jumpstart on the day. To ward off the chill, we rekindled the fire from the night before, fired up the MSR stove then ate our breakfast in relative warmth.
With the sun rising, we had a better opportunity to inspect our tiny island camp site. Basically, it was in the middle of the town of Palisade but completely separate (duh, its an Island). It was shaped like a kidney bean with the front side more open and rocky and the back covered thickly in tamarisk. Two cottonwoods towered over the back side as well. Overall, a beautiful spot for a camp, my favorite of the entire trip.
Once again we loaded up the packrafts and shoved off into the current. Mine was an inauspicious start as I quickly got stuck on a rock. I levered my paddle against the shore, gave a huge shove and was released into the current. I've always love the transition from land to water. Awkward and choppy to fluid and smooth. We paddled away from camp quickly both to warm up and make miles. The river slackened in places but our progress was boosted by a tailwind.
One of the nice things about this adventure is that we get to have new sore muscles every few days. It started out with our legs and we have now progressed to our arms and shoulders.
At some point in the day, we paddled through Grand Junction - although you would have never guessed it. From our perspective on the river, all we could see was tall riverbanks and trees. In the distance we could see the sandstone cliffs of Colorado National Monument.
We pushed and pushed and pushed but in the end, we have 23 more miles to go. In reality that just means one more beautiful day left of this adventure!
If you haven't already, please consider donating to Big City Mountaineers through our Coloradathon fundraising page. There are some great 'thank you' packages with awesome swag form MSR, UCO, Therm-A-Rest, Granite Gear, Garmin, Stanley, Sole, Skratch Labs and Zeal Optics.
Image: home sweet home