Does anyone have good or bad to say about Desolation Outfitters shuttle service?? - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 05-19-2011   #1
 
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 5
Does anyone have good or bad to say about Desolation Outfitters shuttle service??

I'm putting in at Deso-Gray tomorrow and plan to use Desolation Outfitters to do the shuttle. Since we are driving one vehicle, we decided not to use the fly shuttle.

Does anyone have comments, good or bad?

Thanks.

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Old 05-19-2011   #2
 
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SE, Wyoming
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We hired them for our Deso car shuttle (Sand Wash to Swasey's) and were pleased: reasonable price, vehicle delivered in good shape.

We came from the north and were able to drop off our car keys in Roosevelt and meet the owner at his house.
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Old 05-19-2011   #3
 
Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Thanks Chip. Sometimes you hear some horror stories. I wanted to make sure they will treat my truck right.
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Old 05-20-2011   #4
 
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Silt, Colorado
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I was with a group a couple of years ago that did Deso. We put all the keys in one truck, with instructions for each vehicle. Stagman ignored the envelope, and guess what, he didnt drive truck to the take out. He said he couldnt find anyones keys!! So i had the pleasure of hanging out at Ray's for 3 hours waiting for him then I got to enjoy a lovely 4.5 hour drive back to sand wash. By this time its 0100 and I have to be at work in Carbondale CO at 0800. We now use Green River Shuttles, they are only $150 per car. They put your vehicles in their secure lot untill the day of the take out, and best of all you truck is there at the take out!!!! (what a concept)
Have a great float, its one of the best around IMO!!!
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Old 05-22-2011   #5
 
salt lake city, Utah
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River RunnersTransport has always worked well for us.
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Old 05-22-2011   #6
 
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Sandy, Utah
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+1 on River Runners Transport. No problems, and Melanie has been helpful to work with. She gives very clear printed instructions on how everything works. I prefer to mail her a spare set of keys to the designated "lead vehicle" ahead of time instead of hiding a key on a vehicle.
KJ
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Old 05-31-2011   #7
 
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jul 2008
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Cataraftgirl, thanks for the River Runners Transport recommendation.

I just returned from my Deso-Gray trip and Desolation Outfitters had my vehicle and trailer at the Swasey's take-out as promised. However on the return trip the trailer lugs loosened and worked their way out, the wheel came off, and the hub was ruined. The lugs were checked and tightened before the trip. I'm always suspicious that impatient employees are driving the rough dirt roads at 65 mph, giving the empty trailer lots of air miles.

I'll try River Runners Transport next time. Although they will probably also hire impatient employees.
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Old 05-31-2011   #8
Di
 
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Yeah, unfortunately Deso shuttles are hard on trailers. A couple years ago, we arrived at the takeout to find my trailer floor, (it's a converted ATV trailer, with a steel mesh floor, sidebars and a deck on top) had actually bent down on both sides, appreantly from being driven fast (ie bouncing) while empty. Another person in our group found an entire wood panel had come off his flatbed, but apprently the driver didn't notice or didn''t care, as the panel that came off was nowhere to be seen. We used River Runners, and while we have been on other trips using them and not had trouble, it really depends on the individual drivers and condition of the road. And all the companies liability releases pretty much guarantee you're SOL.
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Old 05-31-2011   #9
 
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jul 2008
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Hopefully posting recommendations will put the sorry shuttlers out of business.

I also know of one case (not this particular shuttle company) where a rafting friend received his newer Suburban back with about 3,000 additional miles on the odometer. Has anyone heard similar where shuttle employees take advantage of your vehicle while you're on the river?

Regarding leaving a tip for the driver, what is the recommended? 20%?

Also, has anyone ever contacted a shuttle company to request a particular driver and to make sure he/she knows that a tip is awaiting him/her? I would like to speak with the driver personally to let him/her know what I expect to get for the extra money.
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Old 05-31-2011   #10
 
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Sandy, Utah
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No company is 100% without problems. I always confirm with Melanie that her drivers WILL NOT use Nine Mile canyon for the shuttle. This route is shorter, but much rougher, and can really mess up trucks & trailers. She has always assured me that her drivers never use that route. Is that a guarantee that it never happens? Probably not? I don't think that shuttle drivers are long term employees of the shuttle company, so I'm not sure that asking for a particular driver each time will help very much. Worth a try I guess? I think shuttles are kind of a crap shoot. Find a company that you consistently have good luck with, and roll the dice.
KJ
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