Kayaking the Colorado River – Before setting off

We woke up at 5am to start our trip to Utah. We would be camping in Canyonlands National Park the first night and then spending 4 day/3 nights kayaking down the Colorado river. We had already loaded up the kayaks and all of our gear. We had to pre-pack the gear in the kayaks just to make sure we could fit everything that we would need to survive for 4 days with no support. We got it all packed but there was no room for “extras”. Somehow it still took us an hour to get out of the house and on the road.

We arrived at Canyonlands National Park around 12:15pm. We checked into the back-country office since we had to get a backpacking camping permit for the 3 nights that we would be spending along the river. We then secured one night of camping in the park at the Willow Flats campground. We got one of the last spots. We set up the tent and took off for a hike. It was soooooo damn hot. We decided to do two small hikes so that we would keep things easy instead of trying for one long one. I was recovering from some low back pain and didn’t know how it would react to so much kayaking and sleeping on the hard ground.

The first hike was along the Grand View trail. A simple out and back along the rim of the canyon. It had sweeping views and steep drop offs. We had a slight view of the Colorado River and on the other side of the canyon we could see the Green River. In a few days we would be at the confluence of the two rivers.


The next hike was along the White Rim trail which ended up overlooking the Monument valley area. We could see the La Sal range aka the Salt Mountains which actually look like they have salt on them. To me it looked as if they were snow-capped mountains. I would have LOVED to see some cold snow right about then!


Back at camp we found a small amount of shade and cracked open some brews. I aptly chose to drink Titled Smile, an Imperial Pilsner from Uinta (brewery in Utah). It was perfect for such a hot day. I followed it up with an IPA2 by Sprecher Brewing out of Wisconsin. Hubby drank an Espresso Oak Aged Yeti by Great Divide Brewing followed by a few other stouts.

We brought a Kindle so that we could read while camping. The book was Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire which was a perfect read for being in the aired, dry, vast, hot, and unpopulated regions of Utah. The book is about Abbey’s time spent as a seasonal ranger at Arches National Park back in the late 1960’s. He goes into detail about his surrounding which seemed to be the exact surroundings that we were presently living in. We read the book under the shade of  a Juniper tree while Abbey was describing sitting under his favorite Juniper tree. Areas that he detailed were areas that we had driven/hiked though or areas that we would be in over the next few days.

We made a dinner consisting of pasta, baked beans, and Kentucky bourbon sausages. It was the last “home-made” meal that we would have for a while. Sleep came early and easy though it was a very hot night and we slept with no rain-fly and outside of our sleeping bags. It was a good sleep.


~ by willtriforbeer on September 7, 2013.

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