Written by revloc on 28 Jan, 2012
(June 8) Today was my 54th birthday. We had a great day. We broke camp after a breakfast of sausage and eggs and went across the river to explore a cave. The cave is up on the side of the canyon wall and is called…Read More
(June 8) Today was my 54th birthday. We had a great day. We broke camp after a breakfast of sausage and eggs and went across the river to explore a cave. The cave is up on the side of the canyon wall and is called Signature cave. There are signatures from people who started exploring the river starting in the 1930s. The view from up there is incredible. When in the back of the cave people can only be seen as dark silhouettes.We hiked down and floated downriver to another cave. This cave we hiked about 2.5 miles to. It is called Mantle cave. It used to have Indian ruins in it but vandals have wrecked it. What a shame. It’s on the private property of the Mantle ranch. The next big event was the biggest rapid on the river, Warm Springs rapid. We stopped so the guides could scout the rapid for the best route through it. We were on Tom-Tom’s boat today and he maneuvered through the rapid beautifully. He used a big rock to pivot around from going backwards for max power to forwards. Just after running the rapid the pin holding the oar broke which left us adrift. Luckily we were close to shore and near an eddy to pull out. If that pin had broken while in the rapid it would have been real bad.We hung out and watched other boats run the rapid. Around this time the battery on my waterproof camera died. We headed down the river to our next campsite. I found two nice campsites next to the river with a wonderful view, but Laura felt there were too many mosquitoes there. However it turned out the whole camping area was swarming with mosquitoes and we ended up settling for a much poorer campsite.I was looking forward to one of my orange sodas I brought after the long day. I saw that a kid had taken one of my sodas and it upset me because I only brought a six-pack and I don’t drink alcohol, of which there was plenty on the trip. Luckily I had one orange soda left for myself.Laura gave me my birthday gift, which she had been carrying down river the whole time. It was a camping hammock.When we showed up in the kitchen area after our lasagna dinner everyone broke out singing me happy birthday and I was presented with a cheesecake with lit candles in it. I blew them out and we all ate cheesecake. I slept a little better that night getting things figured out better.(June 9) Today we decided to ride the dory boat. Steve or "Doc" as he is affectionately known as was our guide. Doc is a retired dentist who sold his practice to be a full-time river guide He works mainly in the Grand Canyon. He was on our trip as a favor to two of the people on the trip that loved riding in dories.I had lost my hat and couldn’t find it anywhere. It was the only hat I had with a strap to keep it on in the wind. I was bummed.Laura had to go relieve herself at the last minute and came back and tossed my hat in the boat and said someone left his hat behind. Luckily my hat somehow ended up where she decided to piddle. She didn’t recognize it as my hat even though I had been wearing it for 3 days.The dory really goes up and over the waves instead of blasting through them like the rafts do. You bob up and down. It’s very fun. Today we came to the confluence of the Yampa and Green rivers. The rest of the trip was on the Green river.We stopped at a park and hiked 1 mile up to some nice petroglyphs on a cliff. Down where the boats were tied up we saw a nice sized snake. I think it was a gopher snake. After lunch we rafted down through some geologic wonders. Faults had thrust and tilted layers almost vertical. Rock over a billion years old was exposed in this section of the canyon. Our lunch was at a nice sandy beach with the geology features in view. The battery in my second camera died at lunch. This is where my photography ended. I will rely on my sister to provide photos of the rest of the trip.We got to camp and found a nice spot in the corner where a creek enters the river.I had just finished putting the rain fly on my tent when it started pouring and the wind blew fierce. I had to help Laura put the rain fly on her tent. In the rain and wind we got it twisted and put it on upside down twice before we finally got it on right. Meanwhile even though I had all my gear in my tent, the wind picked it up and it flew until it hit a tree. Lucky it didn’t blow into the river. I staked it down after that. We then dove into our tents to ride out the rainstorm. The sound of the rain hitting my tent put me to sleep and I took a 2-hour nap.We had huge shrimp appetizers and very tender steak for our final dinner on the river.I slept completely through the night as I had finally, after 3 previous nights worked out the best pillow and sleeping arrangements. Too bad this was our last night.(June 10)Today was our last day on the river.We went through Split Mountain. It’s interesting geology where there was a mountain, and then it got split by a fault then the river went through it. It’s not too often a river goes through a mountain. They generally go around them. Today we rode with the guide Russell. He made the last day fun aiming the raft at the biggest waves and keeping us wet. I think I was more wet on this day than any of the previous days. We were riding on the raft with a family from Nashville, they were Tom, Susan, and their pre-teen daughter Natalie.We arrived at the take-out near Dinosaur Quarry. Our river trip was over. After we got to the hotel it was so nice to take a hot shower. What a great invention hot water is.After we were all cleaned up, we went out for a farewell dinner with most of the guides and fellow river running adventurers.Matt Colver Close
(June 6) The morning of our first day on the river I got up early to grab a good breakfast, but Laura told me the night before not to knock on her door because she preferred to sleep. I got to the restaurant "Betty’s" but…Read More
(June 6) The morning of our first day on the river I got up early to grab a good breakfast, but Laura told me the night before not to knock on her door because she preferred to sleep. I got to the restaurant "Betty’s" but the cook hadn’t arrived yet. I talked trucks with one of the locals (We own the same truck model). The cook eventually showed, I got breakfast and barely got back to the hotel in time. We drove over to Hatch, loaded our stuff on a bus and started our 2 plus hour drive to the raft put-in at Deerlodge Park in Colorado.There were 5 rafts, a dory, and a gear raft for our group of 25. I asked my sister to choose which raft she wanted to ride on. She chose Mariah’s raft because it had pink gear on it. Even the ammo boxes were painted pink. There were no rapids the 1st part of the trip, just a few riffles to splash us a bit. We laid back and enjoyed the beauty of the canyon and river. We stopped for lunch and were served burritos. Only 20 minutes after lunch we stopped at our first camp. The first camp is situated above the first rapid, so we had that to look forward to the next morning.Laura and I found a nice campsite up and away from the crowd and noise.After everyone had set-up his or her campsites we were shown where the groover (porta-potty) was placed. It was placed in an ant infested muddy spot a quarter mile from camp. The name groover stems from the early days of rafting when people used standard ammo boxes as a toilet and it left grooves on their behind. Our modern version had a comfortable seat and pressure relief valve. There are horror stories in the past of pressure build-ups and ammo cans exploding human waste in all directions.Laura and I were sitting in our chairs and I noticed a centipede on a mission. He was walking along with determination and Laura had to lift her foot up in time for him to go under and he kept on going. He was a large and beautiful insect.I took a small hike to have a view of the next day’s rapids. On the way along a humming bird hovered in front of me for a long time and I was able to pull out my camera turn it on and still get some photos before he flew away.Our dinner was chicken and rice, we went to bed at dark (around 9:30). I didn’t sleep too well my first night sleeping on the ground.(June 7) We ran (3) rapids today.We stopped to help another rafting company after the first rapid that had a raft flip in the rapid. One of the people who were thrown into the water was a fairly old guy and he looked cold and traumatized on the shore. It reminded us that this could be dangerous. All our guides helped flip the boat back over. Further down the river we saw some of the bags floating that had come out of the flipped boat. We got to camp early and Laura and I were told the good campsites were up river. However our guide Mariah was wrong and we ended up setting up in the kitchen area of another rafting company. By the time we were told that we were in the wrong place, all the good campsites were taken. We broke camp and ended up under a nice tree except the ground was covered in various grazing animal feces. All in all it was OK. Others went on a hike but with all the efforts with setting up camp twice we stayed behind. It was nice to just hangout in camp and read.(J Close
Written by jan&ray on 05 Nov, 2000
The towns in the Dinosaur Diamond take their dinosaurs and tourism seriously. Some sights, however, didn't fit the mold. Here are some results of our drive-by shootings!…Read More
The towns in the Dinosaur Diamond take their dinosaurs and tourism seriously. Some sights, however, didn't fit the mold. Here are some results of our drive-by shootings! Close
Written by jan&ray on 24 Nov, 2000
One of the many attractions of the Jones Hole Hiking Trail was the possibility of an encounter with some of the Monument's wildlife. This small stream has made it possible for many creatures to make their homes in the canyon. Aside from the…Read More
One of the many attractions of the Jones Hole Hiking Trail was the possibility of an encounter with some of the Monument's wildlife. This small stream has made it possible for many creatures to make their homes in the canyon. Aside from the assorted birds, lizards, snakes and toads which live here, there are a wide variety of mammals. Small animals, such as rabbits, skunks, squirrels, mice and marmots are commonly seen. Shyer canyon inhabitants are coyotes, mountain lions and big horn sheep.
Our hike from the trail head to the Green River was unremarkable with regard to wildlife. We saw little more than a few birds. Signs in the picnic area warned us not to feed the yellow bellied marmots which live beneath the Ranger Station - we saw nary a one.
It was with a sense of slight disappointment that we passed by the campground. We had only 1.5 miles to go, and we had seen little but scenery. Oh, well, it had been a great hike anyway.
We rounded the bend and the footbridge came into view. We stopped dead in our tracks. Big horn sheep were on both sides of the river! We were more startled than the sheep. They eyed us warily, but returned to their browsing along the trail and in the shallows of the water. We edged our way to a trailside rock and sat down to watch. We had no choice - the sheep blocked our way to the bridge!
We tried to determine the nature of the small herd before us. Several attempts at counting took us over 20 individuals, but it was hard to determine exactly how many sheep were there. None of the sheep had curled horns. We saw both sexes in the group and we guessed that some of them had been born this year.
As we watched, some of the sheep began to cross the bridge. One of the very youngest turned around and challenged other, bigger sheep who wanted to cross! This spunky little animal reared up on its hind legs and butted at the approaching sheep with its tiny horns. It was both adorable and amazing. Other, older sheep worked their way toward us along the trail. They seemed almost curious about us. They kept approaching and it seemed as though we could almost reach out and touch them.
Because we sat in the shade, I grew cold. When I slowly stood to put on another layer of clothing, it created enough movement that the sheep began to move off. They retreated up the side of the canyon and continued to watch us curiously. The youngest were as interested in us as we were in them! Eventually, they all disappeared into the rocks and brush above us. We were sure no one else would see them that day, and we knew that we would remember our hike in Jones Hole forever.