After parking at Valle's, the three of us (1 raft, 2 IKs) put in on Friday around mid-day after a young BLM employee (Brit, I believe) checked all our gear. He was much more polite than the older BLM employee we've had the past two years. Anyway, this was my FIRST time with a raft, I usually take an overloaded IK, so things were very much trial and error-based with respect to rigging placement, seat placement, oar tower placement, etc. Fellow buzzard "Fuzzy" was also at the put in and I told him it was my first time with a raft. Along with the added help of Nancy, one of Fuzzy's crew, I put in with the best set-up I could imagine.
Well, the first rapid shook me up a bit and I went into the meat of it sideways. Got a lot of water in the boat but it bailed quickly enough. I pulled off, got rid of the captains chair, sat on my dry box, and things were much better after that. (People here warned me about the captains chair, I'll admit)
In March I bought a new Saturn 13 footer. This was its maiden voyage. It did everything I asked it to do and more. I was happy with the floor, the D-rings, the design... everything was great. And as other Saturn owners have said before on the Buzz... the valves leave much to be desired. If any sediment gets in the valve, the spring might not work and it can be a pain to switch between inflating and deflating. That's my only big gripe, though.
I screwed up my entry to Government Rapid and ended up hitting the big rock dead on. It spun me around and let me go without much trouble. I learned a lot on the trip, gained a good bit of rafting confidence, but also was humbled by how much I still have to learn. We had 3 different big horn sheep sightings: 1 harem, and 2 solo males. Plenty of geese and also one gopher. No beaver sightings.
Weather was great except for on Day 3/4 when the wind was blowing up-canyon almost constantly. The gusts were incredible... the narration during the of couple videos I took at Gov't Rapid were almost drowned out by the wind gusts. One of my buddies almost flipped his IK in Gov't, but I think he was too drunk to notice. I think we drank ~150 beers over 4 days between 3 of us. Holy cow, so drunk.
Flow was between 700 and 900 cfs most of the trip, I believe. Thanks to everyone on the forum for all the advice getting me ready for my first time rafting. Very enjoyable.
(Fun with the pool toy)
(Jeff's terrible run)
(Mike's clean run)
(Big Horn in action)
(Gopher just chilling)
Life is good.
Mike brought a pool toy. Other groups got a good kick out of it.
Yes, you can ride it!
Cold Bud Light Lime's on Day 5 (success!)
Dirty feet and an even dirtier margarita. The blender worked really well.