Well, we did our annual Dory Moon Expedition as planned–thirteen days down the San Juan from Four Corners. We were astounded to find out that the whole idea that you need water to go river running–is a myth. This may have been the worst year ever to decide to take dories down the San Juan, and we almost didn’t. But at the last minute Andy and I decided we just couldn’t leave our dainty wooden boats home. I got all the way to the load-up at the warehouse before Coop pointed out that I’d forgotten to finish the patch I started last fall. Janek and I had ground it down to dry for the winter and then this spring… um… forgot. Fortunately Andy’s boatshop is on the way to the put-in.
And off we go.
Sunset at the Citadel. I don’t think I’ve ever seen more cottonwood trees in one place.
Rock art. Stick ’em up.
Rock star art.
Casa del Eco. 17-room ruin. 14-room ruin. Columbine house. It has many names. What a magical place.
We made a lot of rumbly grumbly noises with the dories, but this was the first real obstacle. Gypsum Creek–a newly formed version of the rapid from a big blow-out storm last year. Andy made it through clean but I made a big bump noise.
After a hellacious wind storm at Shotgun camp, we were pretty damned thrilled to spend a night at the San Juan Inn. It sounds kind of cliché, but that was the best, most appreciated warm shower of my life.
Some places just didn’t have enough water to float a boat.
Fortunately last year’s big flood from Gypsum Creek cleaned out a chute at the new rockpile at Twin Canyons. You can still see the red mud line high on the bank from the Gypsum flood.
Government Rapid was the gnarliest of all, so we elected to line it. We set up a belay station and hooked up the boats at point A. Dropped them through a tight slot at point B. Then two right-angle turns at C and D. Then out. Pretty slick, really. Irish whiskey at point E.
Time to party at my favorite bar.
And bring out the Bradivarius.
Thanks to Todd Brown, Lauren Bloemsma, and John Karon for some of these fine photos.
And thanks to Cataract for putting up with my abuse. These band-aids on her bum will make everything all better.