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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I'm a long time lurker/new poster and have always found this board helpful and entertaining.

I have a question about an Ark float. I have someone who has sent me a lot of referrals, and she and her husband would like me to take them on a float. They are total newbies and a bit freaked about some of the recent deaths on the Ark, but will be in the area and are wanting to float the Ark, otherwise I'd just do Rancho to State Bridge on the CO.

They asked for an "easy" float, I even think the husband even asked for a "easy river" type experience :rolleyes:, so I'm in a bit of a quandary. I want them to have fun and not freak them out, any suggestions?

I was thinking Vallie Bridge to Cotopaxi, but have never floated it.

Any help would be greatly appriciated.

Bill
 

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How easy? The Milk Run has 100' of whitewater then it is a class II float until Ruby. Also Stone Bridge to Big Bend or on to Salida is just a II with the dam chutes to liven things up a bit in the Big Bend stretch. Salida East to Rincon is also an easy run. Now none of this is a strict float trip, but I have taken my 6 yr old on all of it so I consider it safe as long as you are not stupid about the dam on Big Bend.

The Ark at 700 is not the Ark at 2000+ that those guys died on. A lot slower, warmer, and all the rocks have come out of hiding.
 

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Take them on the upper C from Pumphouse to radium (2.5 hours) and then on to Rancho Del Rio or state bridge if you want a longer float. This way you can take them through the canyon and have a nice float with a couple spashes at best. I just took my 3 and 5 year old down this section on Saturday. Have fun. Matt
 

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How easy? The Milk Run has 100' of whitewater then it is a class II float until Ruby. Also Stone Bridge to Big Bend or on to Salida is just a II with the dam chutes to liven things up a bit in the Big Bend stretch. Salida East to Rincon is also an easy run. Now none of this is a strict float trip, but I have taken my 6 yr old on all of it so I consider it safe as long as you are not stupid about the dam on Big Bend.

The Ark at 700 is not the Ark at 2000+ that those guys died on. A lot slower, warmer, and all the rocks have come out of hiding.
THanks for the suggestion....I was thinking about the milk run, but that's a short trip, right? I'm not needing a 13 mile float, but would like at least 4 or 5 hours.
 

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Take them on the upper C from Pumphouse to radium (2.5 hours) and then on to Rancho Del Rio or state bridge if you want a longer float. This way you can take them through the canyon and have a nice float with a couple spashes at best. I just took my 3 and 5 year old down this section on Saturday. Have fun. Matt
Thanks Matt,

Yeah, I was thinking and would prefer the upper CO...but they don't want to make the drive and are kind of insistent on doing the Ark.
 

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For a longer trip I would do the Stone bridge to Salida. Hell, I would actually start at Hecla and let them walk around Seidels and Twin Falls if they want to. Then you would have a long float dodging rocks all the way to Salida, or get out at Big Bend for a not as long trip. I could see Hecla to salida taking 4-5 hours at this level. What size boat are you going to use? The smaller the better for this time of year and flow levels.
 

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For a longer trip I would do the Stone bridge to Salida. Hell, I would actually start at Hecla and let them walk around Seidels and Twin Falls if they want to. Then you would have a long float dodging rocks all the way to Salida, or get out at Big Bend for a not as long trip. I could see Hecla to salida taking 4-5 hours at this level. What size boat are you going to use? The smaller the better for this time of year and flow levels.
I'm using a 14' oar rig...hmmm, I've never floated from hecla down, just did Browns on Sat and it was fun. River Runners sure puts a lot of rafts on, no? ;)
 

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Bill
Thanks again for rowing Brown's Sat. and giving me the opportunity to fish the entire length. Good Times!
I think Hecla to Salida may be a little bony for the 14'er, just my thoughts.
Try to talk them into an upper C and we will see ya out there.
 

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Folks that ask to boat on an "easy river" often don't realize that the same river can have very different characteristics over its length. Either Stone Bridge to Salida or below Salida would be good bets as they're scenic, easy, and will not be nearly as crowded as Brown's. if they're asking for an easy trip and are freaked out about the what they'e heard, then taking them through Seidell's and double drop will only erode their trust in you after someone tells them that you took them through a Class IV rapid (yeah, its low water and the sneak line's easy at this level but its still LISTED as Class IV...). If you want them to have fun and not freak out, then there's no reason to go somewhere that *you* really want to go. They'll be more happy feeling secure and just floating down a mellow stretch.

Also, if they're in the area, there's no reason to drag them all the way up to the Upper C. It always seems like folks don't realize there's a lot of time just burned up inflating and rigging and running shuttle, the drive time will be more than they expect.

-AH
 

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I do a ton of kid trips with my family and our friends and we always either run Stone Bridge to Salida or Salida to Rincon. Salida to Rincon is a personal favorite because there is great swimming and cliff jumping right above the take out. We just floated it this last weekend and the level is great right now but deffinately more rock dodging and generally busier than the Upper C.
 

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I do a ton of kid trips with my family and our friends and we always either run Stone Bridge to Salida or Salida to Rincon. Salida to Rincon is a personal favorite because there is great swimming and cliff jumping right above the take out. We just floated it this last weekend and the level is great right now but deffinately more rock dodging and generally busier than the Upper C.
I just got off the phone with the husband and found out the wife can't swim...this is getting to be a headache. Salida to Rincon sounds great...I don't mind the rock dodging, they will just have to get used to it...any drops that will freak them out?
 

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For a longer trip I would do the Stone bridge to Salida. Hell, I would actually start at Hecla and let them walk around Seidels and Twin Falls if they want to. Then you would have a long float dodging rocks all the way to Salida, or get out at Big Bend for a not as long trip. I could see Hecla to salida taking 4-5 hours at this level. What size boat are you going to use? The smaller the better for this time of year and flow levels.
Geeze - from Hecla to Stonebridge is a bitch with the friggin' head wind that stirs up esp. in the afternoon. Lots of paddling for not much fun. But, pretty sure your pals wouldnt get very scared there, maybe a little bored if anything, and Siedels and Double Drop are so out-of-play and weak that I wouldn't portage that for anyone. Just my two cents... And the PFDs work great even if you can't swim, good luck!
 

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So, we just did Browns this weekend, and they probably would only appreciate a run like that if you cleaned everything, and its going to be alot of work for you, especialy with oars.

second, It is not worth the drive in or the hastle of starting out with sidels hole, it will scare them, and its right off the bat, sure you could say its all down hill from here, but they wont know what to think, and down to salida is boring and unscenic compaired to Salida to Rincon. It will be more scenic and less stressfull, more warm up time, pool drop rapids (x3 only rapids in the entire run.) and a better float overall.

Salida to Rincon would be my first choice, 2nd would be to haul there asses out to the upper Colorado, and then the milk run.

have fun
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks all...looks like we are doing Salida to Rincon. I appreciate all the feedback and help.

Regards,

Bill
 

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Thanks all...looks like we are doing Salida to Rincon. I appreciate all the feedback and help.

Regards,

Bill
Bill, I would personally suggest you start at Big Bend and go through Salida all the way to Rincon. You would be looking at 15-16 miles of low water floating. Either trip (BB to Salida, or Salida to Rincon) is only going to take about 2.5-3 hours. If you want to make a full day out of it, you can stop at the Boathouse for lunch, plus the first part is easier, so as to help them get comfortable...
 

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Great idea. Thanks. What is the Boathouse?
The Boathouse Cantina is a resturant and bar overlooking the boat ramp and upper playhole, good menu with decent prices and 20 beers on tap...also just so happens to be 1/2 way through the trip.
If you do this trip just make sure that you get to the river left boat chute around the low-head dam at the Shavano fish hatchery just over half way through the Big Bend stretch. There are warning signs and a portage/scout trail on the left, but it is easy, just don't go over the dam...have fun:)
 
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