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Thread: Meander Canyon 9-6-11

  1. #1
    Outdoorsman gnwatts's Avatar
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    Meander Canyon 9-6-11

    My wife and I and another couple do an annual river trip. Last year was a 3 day 70 mile death paddle on the Green from Spring Canyon to the confluence. So this year we were determined to avoid that if possible. We decided to return to the Colorado and enjoy Meander Canyon, 47 miles of bliss and slow absolutely flat water. And you go deep through Canyonlands NP. My wife and I were in our 16' Wenonah Adirondack, and our friends were in their sea kayaks.
    To start off, we used Tex's Riverways. Very professional and organized. Drop off was at 1pm on the day after labor day, and except for 2 tour boats going by that afternoon we saw no one for 4 days. Except for a claasical french horn player.
    The first few hours you pass some houses, and some less spectacular scenery. But one thing was visually obvious, and that is how well those tamarisk eating beetles are doing their thing, leaving the Willows to thrive and (so far) just using the willow to copulate on.
    Water was about 65. Daytime temps in the low 90's, and it rained every afternoon or evening except one. Super bright moon, so no star gazing.

    One surreal moment, and one I will undoubtedly remember for the rest of my life, happened about 20 minutes after we left our first camp. We were opposite Shafer Canyon (mile 35) when we heard someone playing a french horn. We looked up and they were on the jeep road above, maybe 1000' above us. The person waved, and proceded to serenade us for the next 20 minutes as we floated down the river past the Grotto. The next day there was a concert at the Grotto (they jet boat people down). Maybe one of the musicians was testing the sound qualities of Dead Horse Point. It sounded great from the river.


    100_0211 by greg watts photography, on Flickr


    ZC0D1985 by greg watts photography, on Flickr


    ZC0D1992 by greg watts photography, on Flickr


    ZC0D1991 by greg watts photography, on Flickr


    ZC0D2015 by greg watts photography, on Flickr

    Camp 1 @ M 36.3, right below Dead Horse Point on an island. This was a very slim and sinuous place of pink sand. We found numerous camp spots on the trip, beaches evry 20 minutes it seemed.


    ZC0D2030 by greg watts photography, on Flickr


    ZC0D2026 by greg watts photography, on Flickr


    ZC0D2039 by greg watts photography, on Flickr



    ZC0D2056 by greg watts photography, on Flickr

    Day 2 mile 36.3 to 26.5 (mouth of Lockhart Canyon)
    Exactly like the first day, except with less beer. I did not take my camera out much.



    ZC0D2127 by greg watts photography, on Flickr



    ZC0D2112 - Version 3 by greg watts photography, on Flickr

    Camp 2 was on an island at the mouth of Lockhart Canyon.


    ZC0D2086 - Version 3 by greg watts photography, on Flickr


    ZC0D2113 by greg watts photography, on Flickr

    Day 3 was just like the previous 2.


    ZC0D2125 by greg watts photography, on Flickr


    ZC0D2132 by greg watts photography, on Flickr

    The picture above does not adequately describe the scene before us. It is an amphitheater of stone towers and fluted columns, at least a mile wide, that reminded me of those cool cities in the Lord of the Rings. We are just past Sheep Bottom, and we camped on river left below the amphitheater, just before Monument Creek at mile 17.

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  3. #2
    Outdoorsman gnwatts's Avatar
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    Part 2


    ZC0D2140 by greg watts photography, on Flickr

    Camp 3 at mile 17.


    ZC0D2154 by greg watts photography, on Flickr


    ZC0D2170 by greg watts photography, on Flickr

    Day 4 mile 17 to mile 10.3.


    ZC0D2192 by greg watts photography, on Flickr


    ZC0D2182 by greg watts photography, on Flickr

    We hiked up Indian Creek, and found this cool water fall about a mile up. This drainage flashed that evening.


    ZC0D2188 by greg watts photography, on Flickr


    ZC0D2195 by greg watts photography, on Flickr

    Our last camp, #4 was on river left @ mile 10.3, just past the trail that goes over the saddle at the loop.


    ZC0D2200 by greg watts photography, on Flickr


    ZC0D2209 by greg watts photography, on Flickr


    ZC0D2227 by greg watts photography, on Flickr


    ZC0D2242 - Version 2 by greg watts photography, on Flickr


    ZC0D2248 by greg watts photography, on Flickr


    ZC0D2247 by greg watts photography, on Flickr

    After the flash flood from Indian Creek.


    ZC0D2250 by greg watts photography, on Flickr

    Our last day.


    ZC0D2265 - Version 3 by greg watts photography, on Flickr

    This is on the other side of the Loop, showing the Meander Anticline. We were picked up by jet boat about a mile down on river right. The boat ride, which I normally enjoy, was rainy and cold.
    An amazing trip though. Thanks for looking.
    Greg

  4. #3
    Excellent photos! I don't know how much more of these float trip photos I can take though. The urge to buy a boat is getting out of control...

  5. #4
    Outdoorsman gnwatts's Avatar
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    Thanks Nick.
    Give in to your dark urges.
    Honestly, it's the best money we have spent in a long time.
    Greg

  6. #5

  7. #6

  8. #7
    Great write up and wonderful pics! Thanks for sharing. Did you guys caught a jetboat back up the river?

  9. #8
    Outdoorsman gnwatts's Avatar
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    Thanks Alex,
    Yes, we caught the jet boat back.
    Greg

  10. #9
    Your photos are amazing.

    Thanks for sharing.


  11. #10

  12. #11
    Wow! Your photos are amazing and really capture the essence of the region - Beautiful and well done (along with a great float trip!). Thanks for sharing!
    bearcanyon.wordpress.com

  13. #12
    Killer trip and photos

  14. #13
    Great Photos. Maybe I missed it but what time of year did you do this trip? I'm thinking of doing it in June.
    Mike

    Oh, now I see it. "The day after Labor Day".
    Thanks again for the great report.
    "Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies."
    Nietzsche

    http://justcallmeutah.net

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