“Where the eagle glides descending, there’s an ancient river bending..” ~ Neil Young, “Thrasher”
Day One — Mineral Bottom to Lower Fort Bottom, 10 miles
I have dubbed her “Saint BJ.” Not only does she loan me dry bags, but she comes over to help me pack,, and then color codes them with orange and green ribbon according to storage hatch!
This is all of it. All my “stuff” stuffed into two large IKEA bags, filling the Winnie.
Loaded up and ready to go — 3 “sit on top” Scupper Pros, one enclosed touring kayak, one wooden kayak hand crafted by Kathy, and one wooden canoe hand crafted by John.
Steep, 4WD road down to Mineral Bottom. I get to ride “shotgun” down the switchbacks.
This drive would not be so bad in the Tracker, but I wouldn’t want to be driving the passenger van towing the boats!
Nine days worth of “stuff” to support six people on the river.
I am surprised that we enter canyon walls so soon after launch.
Lunch stop. The first of many days of “nuts and beef jerky.”
Early on, we enter into the Canyonlands National Park boundary for the remainder of our journey.
Floating on the river is about the only place to escape the unseasonable heat.
Alan and Julene from the Salt Lake area are avid kayakers, just having finished a trip across Leigh Lake in the Tetons.
First camp at Lower Fort Bottom, the “Groover” must be unloaded and positioned.
John demonstrates proper use of the “Groover,” or port-a-potty, nicknamed for the imprints it leaves on your bum.
Kathy, John’s former Admin now friend, knows how to accessorize with a fuchsia tent and tee shirt to match!
There is always a “kitchen” set up at camp, located in the best opportunity for earliest chance of shade.
Day Two: Lower Fort Bottom to Anderson Bottom, 9 miles
Early morning wake-up calls are necessary to get on the river early to avoid higher afternoon winds.
At least the early mornings make for nice light in the river.
I took almost 500 photos on this trip. There was spectacular scenery in all directions.
BJ pauses to enjoy the view of “Butte of the Cross.” From here, it appears to be one formation, but it is actually two spaced far apart.
Anderson Bottom, our camp for our one “layover day.”
Anderson Bottom is a difficult take-out due to the steep bank, so we must make a “daisy chain” to unload the boats. But the shade of the cottonwood tree is worth it.
After doing laundry in the river, I am happy to find this makeshift clothes dryer.
Anderson Bottom has beautiful buttes all around.
Hiking up an old road chiseled in the rock long ago for cattle transport.
“Just one more bend?”
John and BJ in lower right for perspective.
L to R: John and BJ, Julene and Alan, and Kathy
The opening to the small slot canyon is only 300 yards down, so some choose to leave their gear at “Locker Rock.”
Walking the Wash
Opening to impenetrable slot canyon, unless you are Spiderman.
BJ and John survey nearby campground Bonita Bend as potential for BJ’s return “girls trip” next week.
We move down to “the balcony,” a small shelf overlooking the river for some cooler shade.
Day Three: Layover Day at Anderson Bottom
My rental kayak is the really skinny one with the charts on the deck. The narrow shape is really evident here. It made for challenging gear loading.
To be continued…Next up, Days 4-6