Trip Report: White Water Rafting Desolation Gray Canyon Of The Green River
White Water Rafting Desolation Gray Canyon Of The Green River
By Kay Tran
| Green River in Desolation & Gray Canyons
No bugs, no headwind, 12,000 - 14000 cfs flow, delicious meals, eight compatible people
Cancellation permit May 21 - 25, obtained with approximately two weeks of preparation time. Thank you Ken Tharp, Kate Little and Ron Tharp. Greg Clark listed it on the WMC calendar and picked up: Kay and Arnie Tran and Lindi McIlwaine. Tom Garrow, a friend of the Tharp/Little family flew in from San Diego to complete the team of eight.
We used RiverShuttlesus.com for shuttling three vehicles and a utility trailer. Thank you Dusty. We went with two 14’ rafts and the WMC 16' Hyside raft along with three IKs, two which were lightweight Alpaca boats. We were a colorful flotilla with Lindi's purple Alpaca "Tulip" and Greg's lime green raft. Thanks to all for sharing boats which allowed for variety and created lots of fun, comfort, learning, and excitement.
Menu highlights: There were too many to mention, but we started off with quinoa and shrimp salad, and Ken's Red Beans and Rice with andouille sausage, ham and bacon is a stand out. One couldn't complain about the Waldorf chicken salad, homemade granola, or the West African peanut stew. Throughout the 5 days we had fresh salads and homemade meals and baked goods. Cooler ice lasted the entire trip and cold beverages every happy hour! Save your ½ gallon plastic jugs for ice bricks.
Campsites: Sand Wash (launch site), Rock House Canyon (mi 80.1), Flat Canyon (mi 62.8), Moonwater (mi 43) School Section Canyon (mi 22.3). The bird songs were our alarm clock, coffee brewing was next and then hearty cooked breakfasts. Our usual river launch time was 9:30ish and it enabled us to get our top choices of campsites.
Excitement: a flipped kayak in 5 foot waves in Wire Fence Rapid. Oh yes, the swift water rescue went well with the paddle, kayak and human all together for the pick up by the spontaneous teamwork.
With swift-water, we instituted a pre-launch circle, with PFDs donned and zipped, each morning to cover the day's route & conditions. This provided the opportunity for better communication and commitment to each other and our safety.
Hikes: all of our campsites had nice hiking trails and canyon walks in the washes, Mushroom Rock petroglyphs was a nice lunch stop. On the first night sub-groups went on solo hikes and by the last morning all eight of us hiked together. We even had a naturalist who recognized bird songs, identified birds, plants and flowers.
Meals were about $12.00 per person per day. Shuttle: $250 per vehicle. Entire cost of trip including food, transportation, shuttle, permit, boat rental: about $300.00 per person. Using Google Sheets was very helpful in organizing and communicating pre-trip information.
What an unexpected trip during a season in which WMC obtained few permits in advance. Thanks to Ken Tharp for the permit and to Kate Little and team for providing the amazing meal plan! Thanks to WMC for bringing us together for beauty, fun and laughs while being safe, responsible and taking good care of each other. This trip was as perfect as river trips come.
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