Colorado River, Ruby-Horsethief – Kayak


Well, the summer seems almost gone and I finally got out for a river trip. John and family took a raft this year, while Marty had his Old Town canoe, but also a new kayak. This trip would be on the Colorado River, passing through   the Ruby-Horsethief Canyons section west of Fruita, Colorado.

Loading up at the Loma Boat Launch

Loading up at the Loma Boat Launch

The trip was set for August 10th through August 12th, and while weather along the front-range was rather rainy, the western slope was sunny and hot. This year we would shave a few miles off the trip by putting in at the Loma Boat Launch instead of the bridge in Fruita. One of the reasons was the ease of access for John’s raft. It’s quite the craft and can carry a bunch. He had enough space in his very large coolers that he could offer some to me, which I appreciated. My Chesapeake Light Craft Mill Creek 13 is big enough for most of my gear, except that trying to carry cold foods is problematic since no decent cooler fits in that little boat.


A peaceful float on the Colorado River


Like previous years we camped at Cottonwood 3. It’s got a decent rocky landing and ample places to camp and gather.

Cottonwood 3 camp

Cottonwood 3 Camp gathering area


Since the float was shorter this year, I had more time at camp which allowed me to walk around for a bit after we arrived. Cottonwood 4 camp was also pretty decent, with a wide rocky landing.


Cottonwood 4 Camp and Landing is pretty decent

It was a really relaxing float today and everything went smoothly. It was a little windy during dinner, but we didn’t mind too much as it kept us from getting too hot.

Colorado River sunset

A nice sunset

We had some good darkness for a while, but then the moon came up. Didn’t affect my sleep, however.


Moon rise view from Cottonwood 3 camp


On Friday, we had great weather once again. It was a beautiful morning and like other trips I brought a different stove to boil water for coffee duty. This time I packed a 1946 Coleman 530 Pocket Stove which is the stove modeled after the WWII military 520 stove. It worked well.


My 1946 Coleman 530 boiling water for the morning coffee at Cottonwood Camp 3



Yeah . . . we were having a nice morning


The skies were sunny, but there were a few high clouds which looked really neat.


Some high clouds viewed from Cottonwood 3 Camp

By-the-way, Cottonwood 1 camp . . . not such a good landing. The camping looked decent, but it would be difficult to unload boats there. Cottonwood 2 was decent and the camping was closer to the trees and . . . mosquitoes. The people camped there asked if we had as much trouble with the blood-sucking buggers as they did.


Cottonwood 1 and Cottonwood 2 landings

There seemed to be more dragonflies on the river this year, or at least more landed on my kayak. Some were really unusual.


A colorful dragonfly

We stopped at MEE 2 camp for some lunch and for Sheri to take some photos of desert Bighorn sheep.


A panoramic view at Mee 2 camp

Our camp for the night was at Blackrock 6. It’s such a cool looking area it takes some restraint to NOT post 20 photos.

Entering Blackrocks

Entering Blackrocks. Notice the pile of logs up high on the rocks from early summer high water



The raft makes it way through the Blackrocks


The raft approaches

The raft approaches Blackrock 6 camp

The beach at Blackrock 6 camp is very large. Love it. Sandy with few rocks. We camped up behind the beach among small junipers.

Blackrocks6 beach

The beach area at Blackrock 6. NICE!

Dinner was tortellini with grilled vegetables in a red sauce. Quite tasty. This night it rained for more than an hour and it cooled off quite nicely. The Kelty Large Sunshade worked so well, everyone agreed we were glad we brought it.


Two burners makes the cooking go a little quicker (Coleman 530 left, Coleman 400A right)

Just as the night before, we stayed up late looking at the stars and watching satellites cruise across the sky, and lit the canyon walls with our flashlights. Campers at other sites did the same. It was pretty funny. It ended up being another pleasant night for sleeping.


My campsite at Blackrock 6

On Saturday morning, we got up a little late, made ourselves breakfast, and gradually packed up all our gear. The only problem with it being the last day on the river is that you wish there were about 5 more! We took out at Westwater in Utah in mid-afternoon and headed back home.

Sigh . . . . . river trips are great.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

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