Colorado River – Kayaking – 2018

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Earlier in the year us river rats discussed floating the Yampa and the Gunnison rivers. But, as the Colorado spring remained fairly dry, and work and personal schedules made June trips difficult, it became clear that those rivers just weren’t going to work for us this year.  So, we headed back out to the Colorado River for a float through the Ruby-Horsethief Canyons section, west of Fruita, Colorado.

We arrived on a hot, August, Saturday evening, stopping for dinner at El Tapatio restaurant just off of I-70 at Exit 19. This is very convenient as it is right across the road from James M. Robb State Park which is where most of us were camping for Continue reading

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Colorado River, Ruby-Horsethief – Kayak

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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   Continue reading

Woodstrip Canoe Build – Redbird 17

I took a break from blogging back in 2010, but always wanted to add this to my blog. A friend of mine saw a a photo of a wood strip canoe on my desk one day and asked if I could make him one. It was a Bear Mountain Boats, Redbird 17. I agreed that I would, bought the plans, and got to work.

To make the stems, you bend, glue and clamp the wood strips around the end forms.

Bending, clamping, gluing the stems around the end forms

Bending, clamping, gluing the stems around the end forms

You need to build a strongback, which is the box looking support, and then cut out a series of forms which make the pattern   Continue reading

Kayak, Canoe Shed

I’ve got 4 kayaks, which I built myself, and one canoe. Storing them has become a bit of a problem as two of them have been taking up one of my two garage bays, sitting on the canoe strongback I made a few years ago when building a wood strip canoe for a friend.

I designed the shed last fall, visiting home improvement stores to learn the various construction techniques. Then, in January my second son and I built the floor and walls, but it was too cold to do anything with it. So, it sat outside over the winter. This spring it was rather rainy so it delayed the construction even further. But, summer is in full swing and I’ve been able to make great progress with it. It’s 18 feet long, by 4 feet wide, by 4 feet high and a bit higher at the peak.

The floor leveled and walls framed

The floor leveled and walls framed

As soon as I got the roof on, I moved the boats   Continue reading

Green River, Labyrinth Canyon, Utah – Canoe Trip

Back in 2010 I went with a group of guys on a float trip, using canoes and my kayak, down the Green River from Ruby Ranch to Mineral Bottom. The float is about 44 miles and the section is called Labyrinth Canyon. This time I went with only two other guys, Jeff and Roger and the small group was just fine by me.

The Green River at Bowknot Bend, Utah

The Green River at Bowknot Bend, Utah

Getting There

We departed Colorado Springs around 3:30PM, and I figured that the drive would take between 6-1/2 and 7-1/2 hours depending on weather. Well, the weather wasn’t so great so it was more like 7-1/2 hours. In fact, we encountered   Continue reading

Crystal Reservoir – Peak Lakes, May 18th 2013

Got out in May for a little paddling. I decided to go to a nearby lake called Crystal Reservoir, not to be confused with another Crystal in Colorado out near the Black canyon of the Gunnison. This one is one of many reservoirs which capture snow-melt runoff from Pike’s Peak, with this one being on the north side close to Woodland Park. I believe the water is mainly used to supply fresh drinking water to Colorado Springs. I met my outdoor friend Jeff up there and he fished for several hours catching about a dozen trout. We expected to be driven off the lake since the weather forecast indicated high winds and rain, but to our satisfaction the wind was only a light breeze and there was no rain at all. We stayed out until late afternoon and made it home in time for dinner.

Fishing Crystal

Fishing Crystal

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Colorado River Trip – 2012

Each of the last 4 years I’ve been attending a “guys only” canoe trip in August. This year, like the first year, we floated the section of the Colorado River between Fruita, Colorado and Westwater, Utah. In river miles it’s a pretty short trip. Roughly, 30 miles. Last time we took 3 days, 2 nights on the river, but the guys thought we could use a little more time to goof off and relax so, we extended the trip by a day and night. The BLM manages this section of the river and there are many designated camp sites. For better or worse the BLM now requires boaters to make   Continue reading