Cataract Canyon 21k & Dolores
Got home a couple of days ago from a Cat trip at 21k and then the Dolores from Bradfield to Gypsum. 3" of fresh snow this morning... miss the desert.
First time down Cataract and we had my 15' NRS E-series, an 18' Aire, a Puma and a 30hp sportboat. Spent the night at Potash rigging, drinking beer and zipping around in the sportboat. Noone else was there so there was a little naked howling at the moon. Ran shuttles super early in the morning and hit the water by noon. Party barged the boats and made some great flat water miles... only hung up on a couple of sandbars briefly. Next day, more motoring and then through the first couple of rapids. Morning brought an awesome hike from Lower Rapid 5 camp up the backside into Surprise Valley and the Doll House... gorgeous country up there. Little rough through Capsize with no scout but no carnage. I came in to eager on the Marker rock in BD2 and got jammed up for a second. Wife and her best friend in the boat with me. Hangup killed all of my momentum and ended up catching the right side of Ledge Wave. Squared up, thought I had it... nope. Flip in Ledge, stuffed underneath the Dunnage pile for 10 long seconds in the Claw and bumped a couple of rocks in Satans Gut. Noone was hurt and the rigging all held. No water in dryboxes, bags, etc. Only a couple of pairs of sunglasses and a hat gone. My first words out of the water were "That was a violent experience". Girls were smiling after which was the best part. Dark Canyon hike the next day and some Kobe Ribeye steaks for the last night. Great times, great weather and looking forward to getting back to nail the line I missed... albeit without wifey/friend in the boat. Headed south from Hite through Blanding to get to Bradfield Bridge. A beautiful and not very long drive. Consolidated some gear at the put in and got an early start. The Dolores was incredible. Gorgeous river, gorgeous scenery and some very nice camps... patience and then springing into action is key. No issues on the Dolores though heard from others about some wraps.
Back home and it is snowing... wish I was back in the desert.