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Old 03-31-2009   #1
TakemetotheRiver's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,477
Lodore TR- Hell Freezes Over or

Rowing Against the Wind- take your pick.

Last week I joined Randaddy for the first leg of his re-creation of the Powell Green/Colorado river descents. It was snowy, freezing, and absolutely beautiful. Not another soul for 7 days. The quiet that always settles in when the clouds are thick and the snow is falling was magnified by the remoteness of the river and the towering canyon walls- the solitude was exactly what I needed after a long school year. 6 people on 3 boats floated from Brown's Park to Split Mountain. The wind blew constantly, but the upside is that it was almost always a tailwind.

We took a layover day at Jones Hole on Thursday because the boats had a half inch of snow on them when we woke up that morning. We put up a slack line, did some hiking, did some drinking, and hung out by the fire. We tried to talk Randaddy into letting us cut off one of his arms so he could do the trip right. A Big Horn visited our camp and hung out for several minutes just watching us from a few feet away, even stopping to sniff at a dry bag that sat on the ground near him. We were definitely the strangest creatures he had ever seen.

We also saw river otters daily, large herds of elk and deer and laughed at the nesting Canada Geese trying to either hide behind single reeds or trying to lead us away by squawking and swimming in front of the boats. Sadly, we saw a young elk dying next to the river- his herd had obviously left him behind- so it goes... It made me feel very much a part of the "real" world to witness the daily routines of so much wildlife on this trip.

The rapids were splashy and fun though we tried to stay dry because it was so cold out. Due to the cold, Hell's Half Mile was too intimidating to me and I had someone else row it and I got to ride through with a paddle for support- something I haven't done in a while. The sun finally showed itself on the last day and made it harder to want to get off the river.

At the end, Randaddy continued into the Uintah basin with two others for the next leg of the epic journey, and I was sad to have to get in my truck and drive home even though we were frozen most of the time. Special thanks to Mania for the drysuit "rentals," they were lifesaving!

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Old 03-31-2009   #2
caspermike's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,507
come tmttr. you talk about its beauty wheres the pics.

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Old 03-31-2009   #3
spankey's Avatar
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 81
Updates, keep em coming

Originally Posted by TakemetotheRiver View Post
Rowing Against the Wind- take your pick.
drysuit "rentals," they were lifesaving!
I have been awaiting in wild anticipation the hear about the epic journey of Randaddy Powell. Thanks for the update, hopefully others that join him will remark on their sections.
"I hope others think more of me than I think of myself" SL
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Old 03-31-2009   #4
DurangoSteve's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,907
Sounds wonderful... especially with a drysuit. One of my favorite places. Sounds like the wildlife was more abundant than usual.

I bet Hell's Half Mile was kinda technical at 800ish. I've only done it at 1400, and I was paddling a duck, not rowing. Hanging up on Lucifer would really suck in the cold.
You can never step into the same river; for new waters are always flowing on to you. - Heraclitus of Ephesus
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Old 03-31-2009   #5
TakemetotheRiver's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,477
Yeah- the biggest worry on HHM was the likelihood of wrapping the boat around Lucifer- fortunately everyone had fairly clean runs- upright is alright... there were a lot of rocks in every rapid at this level and Randy's "Huge Bitch" as he called her got caught up in almost every one considering he's carrying gear for 50+ days.
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Old 03-31-2009   #6
Westminster, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 524
I was wondering about you guys way up north like that. I found this skating rink in my wash bucket one morning last week, and we were on the San Juan.
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Old 03-31-2009   #7
Chip's Avatar
SE, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,098

Asleep— shocking cool! Let's hope he doesn't come looking for it.

Kjirsten— thinking about you and ol' Rum Doddy (whatever his name is). I reckoned it'd be a frostbite trip. Glad you've still got fingers.

Hell's Half-Mile has made fools of quite a few of us. Here's graphic evidence of my humiliation:

(photo by Nancy Hess)

For the rest of the story, check out the oar-wrapping thread in Gear Spew.

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Old 04-01-2009   #8
caverdan's Avatar
C. Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,443
Chip.....Are you trying to boof off that rock.......or just stopped for lunch?

Thanks for the report TMTTR. Wish I could have hooked up with the crew for Deso/gray. Hope them the best of luck or their never ending journey.
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Old 04-01-2009   #9
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,347
Gee, that kind of makes me think that another one of the things Chip CAN'T do, is row a boat? How did that thing track up there on the 'ole rock?
I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 04-01-2009   #10
raftus's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,128
Love the trip report, sorry to hear that Randaddy refused to give up one of his arms, I thought that he was committed, but apparently he is only going halfway.

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