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Old 08-31-2008   #1
Arvada, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 185
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Royal Gorge

The water is low, slow and warm. The helicopter, train and tourist are alive and well.
Sunshine is eating rafts for lunch and spitting out floaties. I sat there with a park ranger for two and a half hours watching rafts and people take a beating. I saw two strong beefy dudes surf in 'el diente' for five minutes, I saw an entire boat flip parallel with the river in 'el diente' and I saw a raft bump up and on to another raft on the first hemorrhoid.
With the river running at 520 CFS, this is the time to sit down there and watch the carnage. The park ranger pulled in 11 people with his throw bag. The line up before 'sunshine' had 20 boats at one time. This is the only action on the river but was it ever fun. I guess having no one hurt was a blessing and a surprise. There were plenty of boats that aced it but then again there were many that got stuck, flipped or surfed.
I will say all the guides kept their cool and no boats were left in the river.
If you are looking for more entertainment within the gorge, hit it at just above 500 CFS near Labor Day Weekend. Get to sunshine around noon, find a compfy position and just watch the carnage parade. You won't be dissapointed...until you have to float out.
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