Green River 2003


Diary of my Green River Utah Trip on 6/12/2003. Mollie Allen my niece joined me on 6/13/2003 and on 6/14/2003 we did a 4 day camping float trip on the Green River from the City of Green River down 75 miles to Mineral Bottom Canyon just above Canyon Lands National Park. This was a real adventure as there are no roads along the way and you are in total isolation on the BLM land. My personal diary follows:


6/12/03 I did a 1 day white water raft with TAG-ALONG out of Moab today. It was on the Colorado River about 20 miles up from Moab. We put in at Hittle Bottom camp ground right on highway 128. We floated down about 12 –14 miles. The cost was $45 + $5 tip for the guide. I was on a 10 person boat with a lawyer & family from New Jersey, 2 people from Missouri, 1 from Minnesota, and our guide from Truckee California. The guide was a great joke and story teller keeping us laughing a good part of the time. The canyon and rock formations were very beautiful similar to Arches NP. The land was a combination of private, NP, & BLM. Apparently many movies have been filmed in this area including John Wayne in the Comancharos. There was a working ranch and several Dude Ranches along the lower portion. We were served a nice lunch of watermelon and a Mexican Doritos salad made fresh on the river. There was about 6 class I & II rapids and two scary class III rapids which would be challenging in an IK. I can’t wait to try this pretty stretch of water with my own Inflatable Canoe some day. We got off the river just as a wicked wind and rain storm blew up. A 60 mph gust blew a small girl right over to the ground, skinning up her arms and legs. Fortunately it only lasted 30 minutes. I had dinner at Moab Micro Brewery which had great beer and above average food. I was disappointed when I found out that all Micro Breweries serve 3.2 % by volume beer in the State of Utah. Probably for the best as I had to drive back 48 miles to the 5th wheel in Green River.

6/13/03 Called Mollie and Linda in a.m. Just kicking back reading about tomorrows trip and confirming that I have all equipment packed and ready for the float trip. Linda called and told me that Meghan has apparently sprained her leg and is in shock. She was unable to pee and was shaking. The Vet could find nothing wrong with her, but gave her an sedative to calm her while she hopefully heals. Linda took day off work to attend her. Sure hope she will be OK. Called Linda again in the p.m. and apparently Meghan is active again!! Mollie arrived at 7:00 p.m. and we went to the Tamarisk Restaurant for our final meal before going into the back country.

6/14/03 We got to Green River SP boat ramp about 7:45 a.m. It took us until 9:00 a.m. to pack the 14’ Soar inflatable canoe and the 10’ Old Town hard kayak. A person at the park checked our permit, all safety equipment, 2nd paddle, fire pan, and cleanable toilet system. We finally got on the river on a perfect day with very little wind. Our first stop was Crystal Geyser which drained in a beautiful crystalline pattern down to the river. I had planned on making about 5 mph but quickly found out that we were only averaging 3 mph. We wanted to stay the night about 20 miles down river at the Anvil but missed it, as possible camp sites were not obvious because of all the weed-like Tamarisk trees blocking entry. At 25 miles down river around 7:30 p.m. we docked our boats near a small wash and climbed up with our gear through the Tamarisk to a high clear level bank which had a nice Cottonwood shade tree and a view of the River. Got our tents all set up and cooked REI dried Beef Stroganoff and wild rice for dinner. It was reasonably tasty and filling after a long day of paddling. As the sun went down the bugs and mosquitoes came out so we both jumped into our bug proof tents. My reading was short as I dosed off while feeling the sensation of the boat still in the river.

6/15/03 Had REI granola for breakfast. (Add not so cold water and you have instant milk. Mollie was disappointed with the uncold milk) We carried our gear down the steep bank through the ugly Tamarisk trees and loaded the boats, getting quite full of mud in the process. The muddy silt along the river was really ugly as the high water about a week ago was now subsiding and left up to 3 foot deep silt mud in some spots. We left camp early as the bugs and mosquitoes were very bad in the morning. In the middle of the river it was very pleasant with no bugs. I let Mollie take the inflatable canoe after a couple of hours. The inflatable is much more comfortable than the hard kayak. The inflatable, however, paddled harder and was not as maneuverable with all the camping gear weight. If the weight on the inflatable is not distributed evenly it has a mind of its own when going through eddies. We paddled about 20 miles and spotted a good sized beautiful sandbar island to camp on. It even had an elaborate sand castle and turtle art done by previous campers. We set up camp and had Thai Chicken with noodles for dinner which was well appreciated by both of us. The bugs were not bad but we settled into our tents with some reading material way before sunset.

6/16/03 Had instant oatmeal for breakfast and was on the river by 8:00 a.m. The Bow Knot part of the river was beautiful. We stopped several times for break and to change boats. The wind came up big time in the afternoon making it hard to navigate the inflatable. We stayed close to the shore which helped allot. The inflatable was much more susceptible to wind. I was really worried about avoiding islands and rocks a couple of times. The GPS came in very helpful as we approached Mineral Bottom. We arrived at our take out Mineral Bottom around 3:30 p.m. There were two husband wife canoe parties already camped their because of wind and mosquitoes. They were very nice and invited us to stay in the same area with them. It had some Cottonwood trees for shade but was a very dusty dirty site. We set up our tents and then made spaghetti for dinner.

6/17/03 Got up at 8:00 a.m. and had some more oatmeal for breakfast. Used the pit toilet for a number two, the first time in 3.5 days. Mollie and I got the equipment all packed and organized for the shuttle company. I then took a wonderful 3.5 mile hike in Mineral Canyon between 10:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. The canyon rock formations and colors were awesome. At 1:00 p.m. the Coyote Shuttle driver arrived with Volkswagen bus as scheduled. The very steep red dirt road out of the canyon made it obvious why few people visit this canyon. I was scared to death by our talkative mountain bike rider driver who went right out to the edge of every curve as if he were driving a mountain bike, but not a motorized vehicle. We got back to Green River, where I treated Mollie and our driver to a fantastic cheese burger and fries at Ray’s Tavern. Overall I really enjoyed the trip and was glad I tried it. Mollie was a great camping companion, outdoors woman, and I enjoyed her company allot. We both decided that June is the wrong month. Early or mid May would be a better choice because of lower temperatures and fewer mosquitoes.

6/18/03 I did a 1 day white water raft with TAG-ALONG out of Moab today. They bussed us up the Colorado River to West Water, about 70 miles up from Moab. We left Moab at 7:00 a.m. I got a discount from $120 to $80 because I was a single and filled up the last boat. We followed the scenic Colorado river on highway 128 and then away from the river through Cisco all the way to the BLM West Water boat ramp. Permits are required for this challenging trip with class IV & V rapids. Once on this stretch of river there is no access to any roads and the terrain is very rugged. If your injured and end up on shore, the only way out is by helicopter or to get picked up by another boat coming downstream. After lunch at the ½ way point on the river, we started on the really big class V rapids. The scariest one between two huge rocks is called Skull. If you don’t enter it right you flip along the canyon wall or end up in a horrendous eddy called the ROOM OF DOME which is virtually impossible for the raft to get out of. If the raft gets in it you get very dizzy and have to climb out on a ledge and walk down stream to be rescued by another boat. If you fall in, it sucks you down for up to a minute and you might be hit by debris which is held and spirals around in the eddy. Our guide Annie was petrified and waited 5 minutes before making the attempt. We six in the raft were all relieved when we made it through quite smoothly. Many of the rapids including this one, we were instructed to all hang over one side (high siding) to keep the raft from flipping or tipping over. It was the most exciting rafting trip I have ever experienced. We got back to Moab at 5:00 p.m.

6/19/03 Left Green River at 8:00 a.m. and arrived in Las Vegas at the KOA Silverton RV Park at 4:00 p.m. It is partly cloudy and only 95 F today. This is a cold wave for Las Vegas this time of year. I arrived with a very bad upset stomach cramps, probably due to the Dairy Queen chocolate malt, candy, and processed cheese I ate while on the road. I made an appointment with Kaiser Dr. Spier for August 28 at 11:15 a.m. I also confirmed my periodontal surgery I am having on June 23. Had an excellent dinner at the Silverton Casino Sunset Grill Restaurant.



Last updated on April 23, 2009