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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those heading out on Deso in the next few days/weeks.....Low and slow. That was the theme. Put in and took out at about 2400 cfs (give or take a few hundred cfs). We did have a bit of a Deso miracle with NO Mosquitoes!!! None. Zip. Zero. True Story. The grey biting flies are out as usual, but nothing long sleeves and a sarong couldn't handle. At dusk there were tiny annoying flies at some camps. They don't bite and they taste lemon-y :p

Full fire ban in effect. Hip tip - Once the ranger checked that we had a big heavy fire pan with us she told us we didn't have to take it, as the aluminum pans we had in the kitchen box would work. Nice to not have to row a fire pan we would not use. We did not miss having a fire, at all. The night sky - look up....that was all we needed. We did have a fair amount of smoke on day 3 from the fire up by Strawberry Reservoir, but it cleared out my mid-day. We were launching as early as possible each day (breakfast at 6:30, launch by 8, or 8:30 at the latest), so we could be at next camp before the W (wind). We did have a bad W day, where she reminds you that you are not in charge, at all. Wouldn't be Deso without W though.

As expected there are sand and gravel bars to get hung up on, but at ~2400 cfs they were avoidable too. A fair number of beach camps exposed, though some were too muddy to land. The RiverMaps guide by Martin and Whitis had very accurate descriptions for low water, especially which camps are too rocky to land. Dripping Springs for example was so-so ok for smaller boats, but not great otherwise. We had a bear around at Dripping Springs. It behaved, but came to check out the goover during the night. Bear tracks at other camps. No problems and hope it stays that way. We launched as the last group on 6/30, and it felt like we had the river to ourselves until day 3, but the other groups we caught up to or vice versa were one private and 2 commercial groups who coordinated camps with us, and it was all just great! Everyone was super nice.

The Class II rapids were extremely fun, lots of big wave trains and some decent drops and holes here and there. The only pesky Class 2 rapid was Lower Wild Horse- no good line through the rock garden. Each of our 4 boats took a different line, one got caught on a rock, but easily spun off.

As for the scout-able rapids- Joe Hutch is worthy of a scout- some large sleeper rocks to pay attention to. Wire Fence and Three Fords really didn't need a scout at 2400 cfs, as there is really only one line, and the rocks were obvious. Both were super fun. It would have been nice to scout Coal Creek, but the scout landing was inaccessible at the low levels. The rocks are pretty obvious, as was the right run, but it was a bit nerve-wracking to enter. But again, super fun.

The boat ramp at Swayzes was rocky on the right side (as viewed from the river), but better on the left side. The concrete ramp was right at or above the water level. With the water dropping it will be more challenging for sure.

Tons of wild life- beavers, otters,peregrine falcons, heron everywhere, bald eagles, bears, monarch butterflies, coyotes, wild horses, and ....bulls. The first 10-12 miles on the Ute Res had a lot of bulls along the river corridor. Worth avoiding those boys.

Have fun!!!!
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