Weekend on the San Juan River
Trip Start Feb 28, 2009
47Trip End Ongoing
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We had a great time on our river trip! And right off I'd like to say that there were NO injuries!! Yep, I made it through will all my toenails intact! I thought it was kind of funny- right at the put-in there's a sign (I don't think it was there before) that warns you that the boat ramp drops off abruptly and has rough edges- I can definitely vouch for that!
Silas was able to get off at lunch, so we left here just before 1pm and after we did our shuttling we got to Sand Island at about 2:30pm. We were surprised that there were two groups there getting ready to put it- one group of 2 people left right after we got there, and we were able to get the boat ready in record time and get on the river before the other group.
Not too long after we got on the water we came across several large groups of rafters and kayakers- I think at least one of them was a commercial group, but we couldn't believe how many people there were! On our other two trips down the river we had seen so few people- I think on the first trip we had gone days without seeing anyone else, so we were hoping that it wasn't going to be like that the whole time. (Luckily it wasn't- we didn't end up seeing anyone else until right before we got to Mexican Hat.)
It was a really nice afternoon on the water- it was very relaxing and the weather turned out to be really nice. The water was much higher and faster than it had been the other times we've been there, so we made it to the beach we were going to camp at pretty early. We unloaded the boat and set up the tent and then Silas wanted to go exploring- I really didn't think the slope he wanted to climb looked very 'friendly' so I stayed back at camp and while he climbed.
When he got back we played some Scrabble (I won!) and then cooked our dinners. Silas has come to love dehydrated meals- I really like them too, some of them really are good. Not just good for dehydrated food, but actually really good. I think we had Spaghetti and Jamacian Chicken & Rice- both very good. After dinner Silas built us a campfire and we just sat and listened to the river and watched the fire until bed time.
I slept horrible that night! I just couldn't get comfortable- I felt like I was awake as much as I was asleep, so unlike most days- I was glad to get up. We had oatmeal, dried fruit, and coffee for breakfast, packed up our camp and got on the water. It was another beautiful day and we just floated and relaxed...until the rapids. I'm kind of joking, but I have to say that ever since Silas and I flipped the kayak last summer on a day trip- I've been really nervous about rapids. It might sound stupid, but I really never thought about the possibility of us flipping before that happened. Actually, I might have thought about it, but it wasn't until it actually happened that I realized how FAST it could happen, I think that's what scared me. But everything was fine- no flipping.
After we had lunch (Chicken Teriyaki- our all time favorite!) we got back on the water and the wind had really picked up. It was so windy it would just push us to the bank and no matter how hard we paddled, we couldn't get back to the middle of the river. We finally just pulled over and got out of the boat and waited it out and when it finally died down a little we were able to get back on the water and made it to our next camp.
We had both really been hoping that we would be able to camp at the place that we had camped when we had gone down the river in 2006. We got there and it was empty- yay! We set up our camp and played some more Scrabble (Silas won this time) then made dinner (Lasagna and Beef Stew) then Silas made another campfire and we sat and watched all the wildlife around our camp. There were tons of bats flying around, and we also saw a deer swimming across the river just down stream from us, and we saw either a couple different beavers or one very busy beaver on the shore across from us and swimming around slapping its tail.
We went to bed and we both slept much better that night. When we woke up the sun was shining right into our tent and it was already getting HOT! We got up and made breakfast (oatmeal and coffee again) and kind of took our time packing everything up. We were only about 5-6 miles from where we were stopping (in Mexican Hat) so I think the fact that it would be over soon was making us not feel very motivated to get on the water. But of course we couldn't stay there all day, so we finally got going and floated the last few miles to Mexican Hat.
We went to the San Juan River Kitchen in Bluff for lunch- we've been wanting to go there for a while, but it's been closed the last couple times we've been through there. It was open and we weren't disappointed- we both had burritos- I ordered pork and Silas ordered beef and they were both good. After that we made one more quick stop at Comb Ridge Coffee- another place that I've been wanting to go to- we got an iced coffee to go and split it since we were driving in seperate cars. We were both saying how we weren't looking forward to the drive home, but then we realized that this is the shortest drive home we've ever had from the San Juan- it's a lot shorter than driving to Missoula, so we decided that we shouldn't be complaining!
It was such a nice relaxing weekend- I know we both wished we could have done the whole river, but we can only fit about 2 days worth of food/water on the kayak, plus Silas had to get back to work anyway. I guess now that we're down here we'll have a lot more chances to get on the river than when we were living in Montana!
Silas' entry will be coming soon...he says tomorrow...we'll see...