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Rafting the Colorado
Old 05-12-2007, 09:39 AM   #1
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Rafting the Colorado

I asked DW if she would be interested in joining me, as I definitely want to do this in the next year. Much to my surprise she said yes, provided she could anticipate a certain level of comfort over the several days the trip would probably take.

So I thought I would check here before starting the research effort. Anybody have experience, recommendations, advice, hair-raising tales??
Outfitters/guides, time of year, etc etc. ?

How about hiking the canyon? Is that an option during the rafting?

I still don't get it...
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Re: Rafting the Colorado
Old 05-12-2007, 09:54 AM   #2
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Re: Rafting the Colorado

Here's how I sum up the rafting trips I've been on: Long periods of boredom punctuated by short periods of terror.

That's pretty harsh, but I think I'd be bored on a several day trip.

Related: I recommend the following DVD:

The Same River Twice

An instant hit at the Sundance Film Festival and nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, THE SAME RIVER TWICE is a rich and warmly insightful mosaic of change, choices and communal living, highly acclaimed as "piercingly poignant" (The New York Times) and "a [four-star] masterpiece! Powerful, compelling and graceful!" (Chicago Reader). In 1978, award-winning filmmaker Robb Moss and a close-knit group of free-spirited friends and lovers took a month-long trip through the depths of the Grand Canyon; a breathtaking, white-water rafting adventure down the Colorado River. Cutting between footage of their youthful--often naked--live-in-the-moment existences and the complex realities of their adulthood today, the film travels the road from peyote to Prozac, creating a compelling portrait of cultural metamorphosis and the struggle to find one’s place in the world. From running rapids to running for mayor, THE SAME RIVER TWICE is an intimate depiction of those baby-boomers who took the Sixties seriously, and then grew up.
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Re: Rafting the Colorado
Old 05-12-2007, 10:09 AM   #3
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Re: Rafting the Colorado

Originally Posted by TromboneAl
: Long periods of boredom punctuated by short periods of terror.

Sounds like my former j*b!

My only rafting experience was down the New River in West Virginia. A day long trip I thoroughly enjoyed. A few notable rapids (C III ?) but nothing like the Colorado. Most memorable moment was looking back & discovering that the guide had been pitched overboard !! We were on our own - rudderless - till we got to calm water below the rapid; the guide surfaced & we hauled him aboard none the worse for wear. This was his first guide job; I wonder if he kept it?
I still don't get it...
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Re: Rafting the Colorado
Old 05-12-2007, 11:27 AM   #4
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Re: Rafting the Colorado

I've rafted Brown's Canyon on the Arkansas River in Colorado several times but it's only been for day trips. I've always done the rafting with wife and/or kids so for what it's worth here are my experiences. Brown's canyon is class 2 and 3 with one class 4 hole depending on the water level and season. The rough water is interspersed with long runs of calm so there's always a chance to calm down after rapids.

First time was the most harrowing, it was a rowing trip, water was very high and cold, and the guide fell out in one of the holes. We managed to get her back in and kept going through the calm areas. At the next rapids a woman fell out and later went hypothermic so we went to shore and built a fire for her, warmed her (and us) up, then kept going. I know it sounds frightening but it really wasn't. At the time you don't have time to be afraid, everything goes so fast. At the end you look back and say, gee, we did that? Years later you look back and realize how much fun it was. Even with the problems, I think it was pretty safe. I've gone out of the raft myself and if you stay calm and think about what to do (feet downriver, paddle with hands and feet away from upcoming holes, etc) you pretty much float along with the raft.

The next 2-3 trips were not nearly as eventful, the water was lower and warmer and some of the trips had a guide paddling and we just sat there. Still exciting through the holes but much more controlled.

Good luck, I'm certain you and your wife will enjoy the rafting part. As for overnight, can't help you there.
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Re: Rafting the Colorado
Old 05-12-2007, 11:41 AM   #5
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Re: Rafting the Colorado

In 1973 I did a trip down the Colorado through the Grand Canyon for about three weeks, 225 miles from Lee's Ferry to Diamond Creek in a four man raft, ( motor). Much more like The Same River Twice than today's experience in large motorized rafts complete with wine and steaks. An experience that couldn't be duplicated today with the increased traffic on the river. We went three weeks without seeing another boat or human being, seeing a plane, or seeing any sign of human activity. It was an incredible trip.

You might want to suggest a shorter trip on a less challenging river for your wife's first trip.

You can rough it or rough it easy or rough it not at all depending on what kind of a trip you choose, but folks who have difficulty separating from their hair dryer and makeup will always have trouble.

Just check with the outfitters. They'll be pretty honest with what conditions are like on their trips. They don't want a dissatisfied, unhappy client complaining about lack of comforts. They'll tell you straight. There are some very luxurious trips out there anymore. No roughing it is required.


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